The Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority Board of Directors has unanimously approved the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Valley Link rail project. This vote, along with other associated board actions, will allow the rail authority to proceed with continued design work while seeking funding for the construction and implementation of the project.
Tracy Mayor Pro Tem Veronica Vargas, who serves as the Chair of the Valley Link Board, said, “I am proud that we have reached this important project milestone that moves the project closer toward completion.”
Approval came during a board meeting on May 12.
“The project will bring congestion relief to more than 97,900 commuters travelling daily over the Altamont Pass,” Vargas said, citing a recent report from the University of the Pacific.
Vargas also commented on Valley Link’s impact on quality of life issues, noting, “People continue to suffer in their daily lives with anguishing super commutes. This hurts our environment. It hurts our economy. But importantly, it translates to the loss of 28 days per year on average for each individual commuter – and this hurts our communities and our families.”
The board also approved a Mitigation Monitoring Plan for the project that includes a wide range of measures aimed at minimizing potential environmental impacts.
Dublin Mayor Melissa Hernandez, Vice Chair of the Valley Link Board, said “I am pleased we are making these important commitments to support the environment and proud that we are continuing to move the project forward. Valley Link will connect people to work but also create jobs – an estimated 22,000 during construction and when operational support 400 jobs per year. It is vital to our economy given the recovery needs we are now facing.”
The board action adopted a preferred alternative for the 42-mile seven-station Valley Link project, a new commuter rail service that will connect the Central Valley with the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station. The project will provide 74 daily round trips and is expected to carry more than 33,000 daily riders by 2040. The FEIR finds that the project will result in the reduction of approximately 141 million vehicle miles traveled per year by 2040, which will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first Valley Link trains could be placed into service in 2028.