Valley Link

The Tri-Valley-San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority has affirmed its commitment to “social equity” in the development and operation of the Valley Link system.

The board of directors last month adopted a policy statement “ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, nor denied the benefits of, [Valley Link’s] programs, activities or services on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.”

“I am proud that our agency is going above and beyond in our commitment to equity,” said board chair Veronica Vargas. “It is something we can be proud of at this time in history when so many are suffering from social inequities and injustice.”

The statement was part of a broader Title VI policy adopted by the board that included a commitment to public participation and language-assistance plans for the transit authority to qualify for federal funds.

Vice chair Melissa Hernandez said the participation plan would create an established process to solicit and consider public comment regarding future service, environmental studies, and construction.

“In particular,” she said, “the plan ensures we do not leave anyone out of the process. It ensures that we will reach out to minority and limited-English proficient populations when shaping the project’s future.”

The language-assistance plan calls for project notifications and documents to be translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Arabic.

Established in 2018, the transit authority is charged with developing a seven-station passenger rail service that connects the existing Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station in Alameda County to the with the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) North Lathrop Station in San Joaquin County.