Weighing in as the Tri-Valley Chamber of Commerce Alliance, the Danville, Dublin, Livermore Valley, Pleasanton and San Ramon Chambers of Commerce officially announced support for Valley Link, a future rail line connecting the San Joaquin Valley with the Bay Area Regional Transit (BART) system at its end of the line Dublin/Pleasanton station in the Tri-Valley I-580 corridor. The TVCAA submitted a letter and made its announcement at the March 13 meeting of the board of directors overseeing the project.

“After more than 40 years of waiting, local businesses in every sector welcome the prospect of the arrival of a direct rail connection to BART service, effectively connecting the Tri-Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area to the neighboring San Joaquin/Central Valley region,” said Dawn Argula, CEO of the Livermore Valley Chamber who represented TVCCA during public comment. “The future rail connection opens up opportunities for workers, jobs, housing, and visitors in multiple regions and will be a game-changer for the economy and the environment.”

The rail project is overseen by the Tri-Valley-San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority (TVSJVRRA). Formed as a result of legislation co-authored by former Assembly Member Catharine Baker representing the Tri-Valley and Assembly Member Susan Eggman representing the San Joaquin Valley, this joint powers authority is stepping up to meet the challenge of regional rail connectivity with a lower-cost and realistically deliverable option. Local elected officials from 15 jurisdictions make up the TVSJVRRA board of directors.

“TVCCA is committed to supporting this project as it undergoes the rigors of planning and funding. The implementation of an affordable rail connection in the Tri-Valley will have a positive return benefiting Tri-Valley and neighboring regions,” said Argula.

When a long-planned BART rail project connecting Livermore, the eastern-most city in the chronically congested I-580 gateway highway corridor, failed to materialize, there were few options to workers with grueling commutes, to businesses with hours of lost productivity and delayed shipments, and to communities located along the corridor choked with motorists using local roadways to bypass the crowded highway. Over the years, city, county, regional and state government funded major highway improvements in the corridor, but a rail connection remained elusive. Valley Link promises to take pressure off of crowded highways and improve conditions along roadways in the Tri-Valley and San Joaquin Valley corridors.

TVCCA represents more than 3,000 member businesses and organizations that employ nearly 90,000 workers. For more info visit www.trivalleychambers.org.