Project Alternatives

Project Alternatives

The Project EIR evaluates a BART rail extension as the proposed project, along with three other transit alternatives, and a "no project" alternative. The alternatives are:

A. Conventional BART Extension (proposed project)
B. Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) or Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) Alternative
C. Express Bus/Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Alternative
D. Enhanced Bus Alternative
E. No Project Alternative

A summary of the different types of technology used with each alternative is presented below:

A. Conventional BART Extension
The extension of the existing BART system in the median of I-580 from Dublin/Pleasanton to a new station near the Isabel Avenue/I-580 interchange in Livermore is the proposed project. The station at Isabel Avenue would have provided parking and multi-modal access. A storage and maintenance facility also would be required in the vicinity of the system's end-of-line. The proposed project incorporated improvements to the local bus system that provided more efficient connections with inter-regional rail service, Downtown Livermore, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

B. Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) or Electric Multiple Unit (EMU)
This alternative  used self-propelled vehicles that travel on standard gauge railroad tracks. These vehicles are similar to light rail type vehicles. Two or three DMU vehicles are linked together depending on passenger demand. Power from a DMU comes from an on-board diesel engine.

With this alternative, the BART to Livermore DMU would have run in the median of I-580 from the existing Dublin/Pleasanton Station to a new DMU station near the Isabel Avenue/ Interstate 580 interchange. Passengers would transfer to the DMU train from a shared platform at BART’s existing Dublin/Pleasanton Station. This alternative would require a storage and maintenance facility near the system's end-of-line. Several locations were evaluated for the storage and maintenance facility, and BART chose a location north of I-580 and west of North Livermore Avenue.

As an option to the DMU, BART also evaluated an Electric Multiple Unit (EMU), a vehicle similar to a DMU that uses an electric motor and receives power through a system of overhead electric cables. All other aspects of the EMU would have been the same as a DMU.

C. Express Bus/Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Alternative
This alternative implemented Express Bus/BRT service to and from the Dublin/Pleasanton Station. Bus transfer platforms would have been added on the outside of the existing BART Dublin/ Pleasanton Station that allowed buses to enter the station directly from the new express lanes on I-580. Transit priority signals on local surface streets would have been added to improve bus travel.

D. Enhanced Bus Alternative
The Enhanced Bus Alternative would have made improvements such as signal priority, real time signage, and other enhancements to bus operations currently serving the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. The application of improved transit technology would make the buses run more efficiently.

E. No Project Alternative
The No Project Alternative assumed that only those transportation improvements already planned would be implemented. Public transportation services and conditions would stay much as they are.

Project Alternatives
 Diesel Unit
 Rapid Transit Busspace

Evaluation of the Alternatives

The Project EIR evaluates all the alternatives for ridership benefits, costs and environmental impacts such as air quality, noise and vibration, water resources, biological resources, transportation, land use and agricultural land, housing and physical displacement, community services, energy, greenhouse gases, geology and seismicity, hazardous materials, visual resources, cultural resources, public utilities, and growth-inducing impacts.

More specifically, some of the factors and questions the Project EIR considers include the following:

Land Use Compatibility – What are the impacts to existing land uses in the area? What potential displacements might occur? What are possible mitigations?

Transportation – What effects are there on local circulation, station access, transit system ridership, operations, transit connections and parking?

Wetlands/Biological Impacts – Will there be direct or indirect disturbances to sensitive areas such as wetlands, creeks, and undisturbed grassland, or to sensitive species in such habitats?

Safety Considerations – Do 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 occur on the local, and regional levels from providing a transit alternative to the automobile?

Noise and Vibration Impacts – What are the local effects on schools, parks and playgrounds, senior centers or other sensitive receptors along the alignment and near the station area?

Visual Impacts – How would the transit improvements affect adjacent views, including the City of Livermore’s scenic corridor? Are there concerns related to the project’s height or scale compared to adjoining development?

Capital Cost

Capital Cost (year of expenditure $) 
Conventional BART  DMU  EMU Express Bus/ BRT  Enhanced Bus 
 $1,635 million  $1,600 million  $1,670 million  $380 million  $25 million 


Ridership Projections

Projected Increase in BART Systemwide Boardings
2040, average weekday
Conventional BARTDMU/EMUExpress Bus/ BRTEnhanced Bus