OAKLAND, Calif., March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)'s Programming & Allocations Committee today recommended approval of a $19 million allocation of bridge toll funds to the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to help advance construction of the $463 million East Contra Costa BART Extension (eBART) through Pittsburg and Antioch. The full Commission will consider the committee's recommendation at its regular monthly meeting on March 23.
"The committee's approval is a crucial step in keeping the eBART project on schedule and on budget," said MTC Vice Chair and Orinda city councilmember Amy Rein Worth, who represents the cities of Contra Costa County on the Commission. "The project will not only deliver much-needed congestion relief in the years ahead, but BART estimates it will generate more than 600 jobs during construction and dozens of permanent positions once the trains begin service. This is a wise and very timely investment, and one I'm confident the full Commission will support."
Construction on the eBART project began in October 2010. The latest MTC commitment includes $15 million for construction and management activities needed to accommodate eBART in the median of State Route 4 plus another $4 million for eBART crossings over local roadways that will be built as part of Caltrans' and the CCTA's ongoing highway widening project.
"Toll funds are a big slice of the financing pie for the eBART project," explained Rein Worth. "This reflects the strong, continuing partnership between MTC and the CCTA to deliver mobility improvements for the residents of eastern Contra Costa County. Another big slice of the funding comes from the Measure J half-cent transportation sales tax. County voters made it clear that eBART is an important priority when they approved Measure J back in 2004."
The 10-mile first phase of the eBART line, which is slated to open for customer service in 2015, will stretch from the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station to Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch with an intermediate station at Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg. Travel time from Hillcrest to Pittsburg/Bay Point will be 10 minutes. The diesel multiple-unit trains used on the eBART line are smaller than traditional BART trains, with a capacity of 300 to 400 passengers in each two-car train. The trains will use modern clean diesel technology, and are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Route 4 corridor by 260,000 pounds per day.
MTC is the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area's transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency.
SOURCE Metropolitan Transportation Commission