Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded a key step by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to advance the BART Transbay Corridor Core Capacity project.
Today’s announcement means the project can enter the engineering phase of the grant process, the next step in finalizing a full-funding grant agreement, which is expected later this year.
Secretary Chao also told Senator Feinstein in a phone call today that the Transportation Department will allocate $300 million that Congress previously appropriated to move the project forward.
“I’m pleased that Secretary Chao is allowing this project to move forward,” Senator Feinstein said. “BART carries more than twice as many passengers between Oakland and San Francisco as the Bay Bridge. Its expansion is an absolutely crucial step to reduce traffic congestion in the Bay Area, and it’s long overdue to receive an upgrade. I’m hopeful that there will be no further delays to this project and it will move ahead on schedule.”
This project would increase capacity by 45 percent along the Transbay corridor between Oakland and Daly City. It involves the procurement of more than 300 heavy rail cars, the modernization of train control and power systems and an overall improvement of maintenance capabilities.
State and local governments will provide two-thirds of the $3.5 billion cost of the project. The project was the highest-rated transit project still awaiting approval from the Department of Transportation.
Feinstein previously led the Bay Area Congressional delegation in urging Secretary Chao to move the project forward in a May 9 letter. Feinstein also raised the departmental delays with Secretary Chao in a March 27 Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing with Secretary Chao.