The Dumbarton Rail Corridor Project will extend commuter rail service across the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay between the Peninsula and the East Bay. When the service starts, the rail corridor will link Caltrain, the Altamont Express, Amtrak's Capitol Corridor and BART, as well as East Bay bus systems, at a multi-modal transit center in Union City.
More information can be found on the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA) webpage.
In 2012, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (TA) was preparing an Administrative Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the DRC, with an anticipated Final EIS/EIR to be certified in spring 2013. While the ADEIS/EIR was completed, the DRC funding plan was deficient; thus, the TA and the Federal Transit Authority decided not to pursue public review or certification of the EIS/EIR and place the project on hold indefinitely until the project partners can secure an adequate funding plan.
Since regional funds were reserved for the DRC, MTC requested that the project stakeholders develop an implementation plan to identify how those unallocated funds ($34.7 million in Regional Measure (RM) 2 funds) should be expended. The TA and Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) prepared a list of alternative projects that were presented to the Dumbarton Policy Advisory Board, the TA Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and the TA Board of Directors for review before forwarding the recommendations to MTC.
The alternative projects recommended by the TA to MTC were prioritized into two categories. Priority 1 projects included replacement of the existing Dumbarton Express bus fleet, study of potential Dumbarton Express bus service enhancements and transit signal enhancements to reduce Dumbarton Express bus travel times. Priority 2 projects would evaluate adding transit centers in Newark and Menlo Park to serve the existing bus and future DRC service.
MTC staff recommendation for the reallocation of RM2 funds, however, included the following projects:
Replacement of the existing Dumbarton Express bus fleet - $14.8M
Caltrain Electrification - $20M
In addition, $91M in RM2 funds reserved for the DRC project were previously loaned to Alameda County for construction of the BART Warm Springs Extension, which required repayment of the loan in the future to preserve funds for the DRC. The most recent recommendation, however, eliminates ACTC’s repayment of the $91M loan and dedicates the funds to the BART extension.
To provide feedback to MTC, the City Council submitted a letter to MTC expressing opposition to the proposed loan forgiveness of the RM2 funds on April 2, 2014. A final decision from the MTC Board is expected in May 2014.