$100 million transit village breaks ground


$100 million transit village breaks ground

Union City BART station to become a signature landmark

Top BART, Union City and AC Transit officials broke ground on Tuesday, November 13, on a massive construction project that will transform the Union City BART Station into a spectacular, world-class, solar-powered, multi-modal transit hub where passengers will be able live, work, shop, eat and connect to everything from busses, to BART to Capitol Corridor trains. ACE, Dumbarton Rail and high-speed rail trains may also connect there.

Today's groundbreaking on this signature station marks the beginning of the Union City Intermodal Station project, which costs nearly $100 million. The City of Union City, BART and AC Transit are the lead agencies in this development.

The station portion of the transit village will be the first in the Bay Area and possibly the nation to run on solar-generated electricity. There will be solar cells on the 700 foot long, 25 foot wide canopy of the $3.5 million, 16-bay bus facility. "Those solar cells will actually generate more electricity than the station will use," Director Thomas Blalock who represents the station said. "The solar panels will produce approximately $23,335 per year in power, which is roughly what BART currently spends on electricity for that station."

Because those solar panels will generate more electricity than the station will consume, BART will redirect the excess electricity into the power grid, as it is not economically feasible to store that electricity. At night, when the solar cells cannot generate electricity, the station will pull its power from the power grid.

This ambitious plan develops the 80 acres of industrial space surrounding the Union City BART Station into a village with all the modern amenities and conveniences for a people who want to live, work, raise a family and play without having to depend heavily on their car. Within ½ mile of the BART station there will be:

? Up to 1,800 new residential units
? Up to 100,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail space
? Up to 1 million square feet of office space

Already, more than two hundred housing units are open and another 438 units are under construction. Crews will construct the office space gradually over the next several years. The Regional Rail Plan calls for the full village to be completed around 2015.