Over the next two weeks, Facebook will co-host a set of public meetings about reviving rail on the Dumbarton Corridor, with their public/private infrastructure partner Plenary Group and corridor owner SamTrans. The meetings are on both sides of the Bay; February 23 in Newark, February 27 in Redwood City, February 28 in Fremont, and March 2 in Menlo Park (see graphic and website for details). If you’re interested in Dumbarton corridor transit, these meetings are the place to be.
The program would rebuild the rail bridge and restore rail service. It is considering West Bay station stops in Redwood City and Menlo Park/East Palo Alto, and East Bay stops in Newark, Fremont/Centerville, and/or Union City (see map below).
Interestingly, the website notes that “the Project may also facilitate mixed-use transit-oriented development at key transit connections.” That will be a topic to watch for in the meetings – how will the rail project and cities work together on creating places for people to live and work at the same time that the transit is being planned.
The program is also considering bicycle and pedestrian connections on the corridor, an option that the SamTrans board kept alive for the West Bay following strong community advocacy.
The initiative, branded Crossbay Transit, intends to start construction as soon as 2022 (see schedule diagram), with community outreach, technical and financial feasibility, environmental analysis, and agreements with federal, state and local agency agreements all done by June 2020.
According to a study about the retrofit of the adjacent Dumbarton Bridge, that project in the same area needed permits, reviews and approvals from the Regional Water Quality Control Board, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers; Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), California Department of Fish and Game, and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (section 1.7)
The rail public/private initiative is advancing separately from a study initiated by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) on East Bay Rail hubs, which is looking at where east bay rail connections would be among Dumbarton, BART, ACE and Capital Corridor.
The rail initiative is moving forward separately from an MTC initiative to speed buses and carpools on the Dumbarton Corridor, dubbed Dumbarton Forward. A report for that project was circulating last summer but hasn’t yet surfaced.
How these initiatives will relate to each other in practice is another one of the good questions to ask at the public meetings.