California signs off on grant to connect ACE, BART


Author:Rail News: Passenger Rail

California has approved a $750,000 grant to help connect the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) rail systems.

The grants will help fund planning for the ACE-BART connection, according to a press release issued by the Tri-Valley—San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority.

The project’s first phase calls for building new rail from River Islands, Tracy, Mountain House and Livermore in Northern California to connect with a BART terminus. Later phases would include stops at Lathrop/Manteca and Stockton.

The new route, which would run along former Transcontinental Railroad right-of-way, would provide Stockton and Livermore residents a direct connection to BART.

The segment from West Tracy to Greenville Road in Livermore is expected to cost about $400 million, according to the Tri-Valley—San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority’s website.

The authority was established in 2017 when California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to plan and deliver the ACE-BART connection, which will provide an alternative to driving along Interstate 580.

That highway system is one of the most congested freeways in Northern California due to a high volume of commuter, freight and other traffic, said Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who also serves as chair of the Tri-Valley—San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority.

“With traffic on the I-580 expected to increase 60 percent in the near future, this is a very important rail connection that will not only improve our quality of life, but will also have a positive impact on our economy and the environment,” he said.