The Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority hosted a public meeting in Livermore on May 22 to inform residents about the Valley Link project, and to provide an opportunity for the public to share their thoughts and suggestions.

“The Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, established by AB758, has been working for over a year, and a feasibility study for the proposed Valley Link Project is due on July 1, 2019,” said Kyoko Takayama, a community organizer with Organizing For Action (OFA) East Bay. “Funding is still a top issue. Businesses, unions and private individuals have formed the Valley Link Foundation, a nonprofit that is helping to finance efforts to acquaint the public with the Valley Link rail project.”

Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, a champion for fixing the region’s clogged roads, opened the workshop, which took place at the Robert Livermore Community Center.

“I hope when everybody leaves, they feel positive about what this is, because this is really good for the Tri-Valley,” Haggerty said. “If we all work hard, and I can tell you our board is working extremely hard, we can have this train up and running by 2024.”

The Valley Link project will connect Northern San Joaquin County communities to the Tri-Valley and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) with frequent, fast rail service via the route of the historic Transcontinental Railroad right-of-way through the Altamont Pass. The approximately 12-mile, abandoned right-of-way, deeded to Alameda County by Southern Pacific in 1984, provides an opportunity to deliver efficient inter-regional rail service — connecting people, housing and jobs in the Northern California Megaregion and providing much-needed congestion relief in one of the Bay Areas’ most congested corridors.

“Staff of the Authority established that Isabel would be the main station for Livermore, and Greenville would serve as the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) transportation station,” Takayama said. “The possibility to add another station between the two was brought up since Greenville is at the east end of the city and may not be the best location for Livermore residents to go to. A proposed location is next to Springtown, between First Street and Vasco Road. How to get to the stations and what amenities residents want were two items on which the public wanted to give input.”

Approximately 30 people attended the meeting, which took place from 6 to 8 p.m.

Initially, Valley Link will extend from the planned ACE N. Lathrop Station in the San Joaquin Valley, then connect with the Dublin/Pleasanton BART terminus station in the Tri-Valley, with additional phase-one stations in River Islands, downtown Tracy, Mountain House, and Greenville Road/I-580 and Isabel Avenue/I-580, both in Livermore. Additional potential infill stations include Ellis, an historical coaling station at the foot of the Altamont, Grant Line Road west of Tracy, and Southfront Road in Livermore. Eventually, Valley Link would be extended to Stockton.

An initial analysis completed by the ACE, found Valley Link to have competitive travel time (73 minutes from Lathrop to BART), significant emissions reduction, and substantial environmental benefits.

The goal would be to operate Valley Link during BART hours. However, the initial service on weekdays in the Tri-Valley will have trains running every 12 minutes during peak hours, and every 30 minutes in off-peak hours. San Joaquin Valley trains would operate at 24-minute intervals during peak hours, and hourly during off-peak hours.

Travel-demand forecasting shows approximately 25,000 travelers per day riding on Valley Link in 2040. To learn more, visit www.valleylinkrail.com.