Eight years ago, facing BART's costly 2B plan for a Livermore station by Junction Avenue K-8 School, some 8,400 Livermore voters petitioned the City to amend its General Plan and favor BART instead along I-580, initially to Isabel and ultimately to Greenville near ACE. The freeway median was bare then; the toll lanes came later.

Once their petition qualified for the 2011 ballot, the City so amended it's declared preference rather than place it on the ballot. The people were heard!

BART agreed in part, with extension to Isabel in it's Environmental Impact Report - but not later extension to Greenvillle. Their EIR included $465 million for a train yard near Las Positas College which was not needed, and $191 million for cars - despite talk of decommissioning part of the current fleet.

Faced with a legislative deadline to approve the EIR, the BART Board lacked enough time to challenge these costs. They dropped the EIR and let the funding go instead to the new Valley Link agency planning for rail over the Altamont Pass and into the Central Valley.

As the first elected BART director in District 5 and co-author of the 2011 petition, I support the current Valley Link rail project (public comment is due by July 30). With a cross-platform transfer to BART at Dublin-Pleasanton, it would serve Livermore much as eBART serves Antioch, but at far lower cost.

Hopefully Valley Link will acquire the BART facilities in Livermore soon, vastly enlarge the parking at Isabel, and run interim freeway bus service closely timed to meet BART trains at the existing station.