Gov. announces $24 million for BART's Earthquake Safety Program


Gov. announces $24 million for BART's Earthquake Safety Program

Voter-approved Proposition 1B money to strengthen Transbay Tube

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced a state allocation of $24 million to help ensure the safety of the millions of BART passengers who travel through the Transbay Tube each year. This award will help fund BART's Earthquake Safety Program and is earmarked mainly to strengthen the Transbay Tube. The $24 million is part of the 2008 allocation of the California voter-approved Proposition 1B, which enacted the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006.

"A major quake in the Bay Area is inevitable," said BART Board President Gail Murray. "We are in a race against time to strengthen our system before the next big one hits and the Transbay Tube is our top priority. Thanks to California voters, this $24 million will get us to our objective faster and we are truly grateful for the Governor's efforts to allocate this funding to BART quickly."

A US Geological Survey statistical analysis predicts a 62% chance that one or more major earthquakes will hit the Bay Area by the year 2032. BART's success in maintaining continuous service directly after the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 reconfirmed the system's importance as transportation "lifeline." Unlike Loma Prieta, which was centered more than 50 miles south of San Francisco, future earthquakes could be close to, or directly under the BART system. The BART Earthquake Safety Program will retrofit and strengthen the original BART system. The Program aims to protect public safety, return BART service quickly and avoid gridlock after a major earthquake.

"In 2004, voters in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco Counties approved Measure AA, the BART Earthquake Safety Bond," said BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger. "Measure AA provides $980 million of the $1.3 billion needed to strengthen our system. Today's voter-approved Prop 1b award will help BART achieve our earthquake safety goals. We want to thank the Governor, the Legislature and the voters for their support."

The Earthquake Safety Program addresses the original system completed between 1972 and 1976, with a service area spanning three counties (San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa). System extensions built mostly during the 1990's employed more stringent and up-to-date seismic criteria than the original system, and thus do not require upgrades. The original BART system includes the following elements:

  • 74 miles of track
  • 34 stations (11 aerial, 14 subway, and 9 at-grade)
  • The Transbay Tube
  • The Berkeley Hills Tunnel
  • Several train maintenance yards
  • Terminal, operations, and administration facilities
  • Power, mechanical, train control, and communications equipment