East Bay News

Residents discuss new Livermore BART station

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

BART wants to expand in the East Bay and Wednesday night a public meeting was held to discuss those plans. People in Livermore have paid taxes towards BART for nearly 49 years. They say it is about time they had a station in their city, but there is a lot of debate about that station surrounding what it would look like and who would pay for it.

BART has envisioned a new station in Livermore in the center of Interstate 580, east of the end-of-the line station that's now in Dublin.

"The proposal is that we're going to end up going down 580 as far as Isabel. It's just short of five miles, so it is 4.8 miles," said BART board president John McPartland.

It's an agonizing stretch of road to drive at rush hour down I-580 and officials estimate the extension could get 20,000 commuters off the road and onto BART. But residents differ on how to do it.

"I do support the idea of the BART, I think you're making a huge mistake by putting this next stop in where you are when I think it should go all the way out to Vasco Road," said Livermore resident Gary Cose.

Others are concerned about this being a transit hub, where riders connect to busses and shuttles rather than a station with a parking lot.

"We need parking. Everything I've seen talks about off-site parking. They don't talk about parking at the site," said Livermore resident Robert Allen.

But as the details are debated, so is the cost -- $1.2 billion. And voters have a chance to boost the odds of the extension staying on track.

"It's an expensive project. If Measure B1 is approved by Alameda County voters this November, that would program $400 million to the project," said Livermore assistant city engineer Bob Vinn.

"To me this is really solving a public health issue. This is getting people out of single occupancy vehicles that are coming over from San Joaquin County. They're stuck in traffic, their emitting CO2 emissions and we're breathing that," said Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty.

Public comments were collected Wednesday night, but this is going to be a long-term project for weeks and months to come. If the Livermore station is built, it wouldn't be open until 2020.

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