BART to Livermore Extension Project
The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), as Lead Agency, is preparing a project-level Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the BART to Livermore Extension Project (Proposed Project). The Proposed Project, which is being developed in partnership with the City of Livermore, consists of a 4.8-mile BART extension along I-580 to a new station in the vicinity of the Isabel Avenue/I-580 interchange incorporating an efficient bus-to-BART transfer; and also includes express bus services linking inter-regional rail service, Priority Development Areas (PDAs) in Livermore, and possible offsite parking facilities. The EIR will be prepared in accordance with the guidelines implementing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Proposed Project Description
The Proposed Project is a 4.8-mile extension of the BART line from the existing Dublin/Pleasanton Station within the I-580 freeway median to a new station in the vicinity of the I-580/Isabel Avenue interchange. The project will incorporate an efficient bus-to-BART transfer and a network of express bus services to link BART to inter-regional rail service at the Vasco Road ACE Station, Priority Development Areas in Livermore, and a possible offsite parking facility in the I-580 corridor at the foot of the Altamont Pass (see figure below). Limited parking also would be provided at the I-580/Isabel Avenue BART station. Express bus routes are tentative and a variety of routes will be evaluated during the EIR process.
Goals and Objectives
The primary goal of the BART to Livermore Extension Project is to provide an affordable and effective inter-regional and inter-modal link from the existing BART system to inter-regional rail service and Priority Development Areas in Livermore. This connection was identified as an important inter-regional link in the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Rail Plan (2007), and regional and inter-regional congestion in this corridor continues to grow. In addition, the Proposed Project is intended to support regional goals of integrating transit and land use policies to create opportunities for transit-oriented development around the proposed I-580/Isabel Avenue BART station, as well as around the inter-regional rail station and the express bus satellite transit nodes in Priority Development Areas in Livermore. The Proposed Project also is intended to alleviate traffic congestion on I-580, improve air quality, and reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions associated with automobile use.
In addition to the Proposed Project, other alternatives that may be evaluated in this EIR are listed below. More precise definitions of alternatives, or additional alternatives, will be identified during preparation of the Draft EIR. Project alternatives currently under consideration include a No Build alternative, a Diesel Multiple Unit or Electric Multiple Unit (DMU/EMU) alternative, an Express Bus/Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) alternative, and an Enhanced Bus alternative. The Proposed Project, as well as the DMU/EMU and Express Bus/BRT alternatives, will include tail tracks and maintenance facilities as needed for effective operations.
- No Build Alternative – The No Build Alternative assumes that the proposed project is not constructed. Limited low cost improvements currently planned and funded for the existing intermodal connections may be included.
- Enhanced Bus Alternative – The Enhanced Bus Alternative would include modest improvements to existing bus services at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station.
- Express Bus/BRT Alternative - This alternative would implement Express Bus/BRT service to the Dublin/Pleasanton Station with improvements that would provide for more seamless intermodal transfers to the BART system, such as potential improvements to bus access and operations. Transit access could be made using reserved lanes and direct ramps at the Dublin/Pleasanton Station.
- DMU/EMU Alternative – Using DMU or EMU technology, this alternative would implement a new rail service between the existing Dublin/Pleasanton BART station to a new station in the vicinity of the Interstate 580/Isabel Avenue interchange. Limited parking would be provided at this station. A network of express buses linking inter-regional rail and Priority Development Areas in Livermore would also be included.
Scope of Environmental Analysis
The EIR for the BART to Livermore Extension Project will be prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act of 1970, as amended. In general, the purpose of the EIR is to:
- Analyze the potential environmental effects of the Proposed Project.
- Inform decision-makers, responsible and trustee agencies, and members of the public as to the environmental impacts of the Proposed Project;
- Recommend a set of mitigation measures to avoid or reduce any significant adverse impacts; and
- Analyze a range of reasonable alternatives to the Proposed Project.
Potential environmental effects identified for analysis in the EIR include:
- Air Quality
- Land Use, Housing, and Physical Displacement
- Public Services
- Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change
- Geology and Seismicity
- Hazardous Materials
- Water Resources
- Biological Resources
- Visual Resources
- Cultural Resources
- Public Utilities
- Growth-Inducing Impacts
More specifically, some of the areas of the EIR will consider:
- Land Use Compatibility – What conflicts might be expected with respect to existing land uses in the station areas? What potential displacements might occur?
- Transportation – What effects would there be on local circulation, access, transit system ridership, operations, connectivity and parking?
- Wetlands/Biological Impacts – Would there be direct and indirect disturbance to sensitive areas such as wetlands, creeks, and undisturbed grassland, or to sensitive species in such habitats?
- Safety Considerations – Would changes to the Livermore Airport safety zones have implications for the project?
- Air Quality Impacts – What are the effects of air emissions from transit system construction and operation? What air quality benefits could accrue on the local, regional and global (climate change) levels from providing a transit alternative to the automobile?
- Noise and Vibration Impacts – What are the local effects on sensitive receptors along the alignment and near station areas?
- Visual Impacts – Would the transit improvements affect adjacent visual resources, including the City of Livermore’s scenic corridor? Are there height and/or scale compatibility concerns between the improvements and adjoining development patterns?
The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, as Lead Agency, issued a Notice of Preparation (NOP) on August 30, 2012 to advise other agencies and the public that it would be preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed BART to Livermore Extension Project. A meeting was held on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at the Robert Livermore Community Center in Livermore to receive verbal and written comments on the scope of the EIR. Approximately 85 people attended the meeting and 22 made verbal comments. Other scoping comments were received by mail and email from public agencies and the general public.
BART is currently preparing the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the BART to Livermore Extension Project. Once the Draft EIR document is complete, it will be released for public review and comment and a public hearing will be held on the DEIR. All comments will be given serious consideration, and written responses to comments will be provided in the Final Environmental Impact Report.
Livermore Extension Project
300 Lakeside Drive, LKS-22
Oakland, CA 94612
email the BART to Livermore Project
Last Updated: October 8, 2014