In our Tri-Valley community, transportation and commuting are some of our central concerns. With travelers sitting in cars for two or more hours each way every day, the strain on our roadways, emergency services, air pollution and overall quality of life have been significant.

Many valuable workers — such as some nurses, teachers, police officers, firefighters, business and lab employees — have been priced out of our communities, which provide inadequate low-cost housing. About 90,000 Bay Area workers are forced to travel over the Altamont Pass Corridor.

With a goal to connect those travelers from the San Joaquin Valley to the BART and ACE systems in the Tri-Valley, regional leaders have paved a path with Valley Link.

The 42-mile, seven-station project will serve communities in both the Tri-Valley and the Northern San Joaquin Valley. It’s estimated that 28,000 people will ride the system in 2040, resulting in the reduction of over 99.4 million vehicle miles traveled and eliminating over 33,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

While some have expressed the concern that Valley Link will lead to more urban sprawl, the current longtime issues must be addressed. Valley Link is the answer.

The Independent recognizes the hard work of outgoing District 1 Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who also sits on the Alameda County Transportation Commission, and Valley Link Executive Director Michael Tree for spearheading efforts that will drive change for commuters near and far.