BART launches online open house for community feedback on access improvements to BART in El Cerrito and Berkeley stations


BART launches online open house for community feedback on access improvements to BART in El Cerrito and Berkeley stations

BART has launched an online open house to seek community feedback for access improvements to BART from El Cerrito Plaza to Ashby stations. This event opened on July 2 and will be available until August 20 at . The open house will give community members the ability to learn about the Berkeley-El Cerrito Corridor Access Plan (The Corridor Access Plan) and provide input.  The Corridor Access Plan will help BART and its partner cities ensure riders can access BART when housing is built on the El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley, and Ashby BART parking lots.

The open house provides tools similar to those used in an in-person meeting. Visitors can move between the virtual “rooms” to learn more about the goals of the plan, its process and timeline, and how BART and the cities are balancing priorities for development and access to BART. Visitors can fill out a survey and interactive map to express their feedback about their needs for station access.

BART is leading the Corridor Access Plan in collaboration with the cities of Berkeley and El Cerrito. It will identify strategies for BART access by communities served by the El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley, and Ashby BART stations before roughly 2,500 affordable and market-rate homes are built on the stations’ parking lots. Downtown Berkeley is also included in the Corridor Access Plan because some BART riders may find it more convenient to access it after the homes are built. BART and the cities are aware that these developments may impact how some BART riders get to and from the stations and are working to balance homes, community amenities, and access to BART. 

The Corridor Access Plan began in early 2021 and is expected to conclude fall 2022. It is being funded by California’s Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration to develop strategies along this corridor to equitably distribute BART’s investments in walking, biking, riding transit, driving and parking.

BART is working with multiple municipalities across the Bay Area to develop transit-oriented development (TOD) on station land that has historically been used for parking. By building TOD, BART will help statewide efforts addressing the housing and climate crises. Data shows those living near BART stations are 2-3 times more likely to walk, bike and take transit to work than typical households, and drive 20-30% fewer miles each year on average.

The cities of Berkeley and El Cerrito have been supportive of the future TOD projects. In April 2021, the Berkeley City Council pledged $53 million to develop new affordable housing on the Ashby and North Berkeley station parking lots, the largest single investment in affordable housing in city of Berkeley’s history. In May 2021, BART and the developer team selected for El Cerrito Plaza TOD project co-hosted a community meeting to continue discussions with local riders and residents.

Project staff also plan to host office hours via Zoom to directly answer questions regarding the plan and the online open house.