At its May meeting, the Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority Board received a presentation of the potential economic impact of the Valley Link project. The analysis was prepared by PGH Wong Engineering, Inc. using a tool created by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
APTA’s tool uses regional economic data to translate proposed transit agency activities into supported economic activities. The results of the analysis included both the immediate impact of the construction aspect of the project and the long-range impact of ongoing operations and maintenance in terms of employment, labor income and value added.
The key findings of the analysis were:
• The construction phase would create 22,000 jobs with worker income of $1.35 billion;
• The construction phase would also generate $3.5 billion in local business sales;
• When operational, Valley Link would support 400 jobs per year with labor income of over $19 million per year;
• Valley Link would also generate $69 million in business sales annually.
Alameda County Supervisor and Regional Rail Authority Chair Scott Haggerty said “I am very pleased by the results of this analysis of the economic impact of Valley Link. This project will not only get our vital workforce to their jobs once complete, but will also add 22,000 jobs to boost the economy during the construction phase.”
City of Tracy Councilmember and Vice Chair of the Regional Rail Authority Veronica Vargas commented that “the value of Valley Link cannot be overstated. As a transportation option it will provide nearly 30,000 rides a day to commuters eager to have relief from congestion on the I-580. And, in a time of economic stress with the COVID-19 pandemic, Valley Link can provide a significant job stimulus in the region.”
Phase 1 of the proposed Valley Link rail service would cover 42 miles connecting the existing Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station to the proposed ACE North Lathrop Station. A second phase would extend service from the North Lathrop Station to the ACE and Amtrak Stockton Station. Trains would be scheduled to allow for convenient transfers to BART.
The first Valley Link trains could be placed in service as early as 2027.
The Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority was created by the California Legislature in 2017 with the passage of Assembly Bill 758, co-authored by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-San Ramon and Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton. The authority’s primary purpose is to plan, develop and deliver cost-effective transit connectivity between the Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s (BART) rapid transit system and the Altamont Corridor Express’ (ACE) commuter rail service.
The Authority is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by its 15 member agencies, including: the Town of Danville, the cities of San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore, Tracy, Manteca, Lathrop and Stockton, the Mountain House Community Services District, the counties of Alameda and San Joaquin, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE). San Joaquin County Supervisor Bob Elliott serves on the governing board.
Additional information on the Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, is available at www.valleylinkrail.com.