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ACE up our sleeve

By enelson
Wednesday, October 18th, 2006 at 11:07 pm in Altamont Commuter Express, connectivity, rail.

ACE forum flier1.png

Having been around since March, I suppose one could argue that I should be up on the history of the Altamont Commuter Express.

But alas, my colleague, Rebecca, at the Tri-Valley Herald, has done such a good job of covering the Stockton-to-San Jose commuter rail service that I’ve been able to focus my attention elsewhere.

But she’s off to a more important assignment, and I have to get up-to-speed. Luckily, Rebecca will be around to write another story about ACE before I immerse myself in the zen of wi-fi-equipped rail service.

To do so, I may have to show up a public forum on ACE expansion projects?next Tuesday from?11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pleasanton Library Community Room, 400 Old Bernal Avenue.

One question I might ask is, “Why is it necessary to make a better connection between BART and ACE now? Why didn’t we do that when the thing was started?”

I’m sure there’s a good reason, such as there was a choice between not building the thing or building it a little off, and they went with, build it.

I’m sure there are people out there (including Rebecca) who know the answer to this, and rather than ask them directly, I’ll wait for them to respond publicly so we can get on with fixing this thing and getting more Oakland, Berkeley and crossbay workers to start taking ACE to BART.

Until the jobs come back to Silicon Valley ACE is going to need a good reason to increase service to a frequency that will get more people off of I-580.

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2 Responses to “ACE up our sleeve”

  1. Aaron Priven Says:

    BART was built in the 1950s at a time when there was no conventional passenger rail left, so there was no clear need to build a joint station. ACE was created in the 1990s on existing rail lines. Each time, it made sense. When ACE first started there was an AC Transit shuttle bus designed to meet the ACE trains, but it was cut at some point (I believe the 2003 AC Transit budget cuts).

    Building a transfer station where the two lines cross would be expensive, but good from a regional transportation perspective. On the other hand, it would not be so good from the perspective of the people who live where that station would be located, who might have to be displaced and the remainder would certainly have to deal with the traffic and parking impacts.

  2. Vaughn Wolffe Says:

    Why is it necessary to make a better
    connection between BART and ACE now?

    Its not. Only 9% of the folks coming over the Altamont or through the Tri-Valley at commute time are going to a BART served area. This is a political push to make it look like connecting to BART will solve the congestion on I-580 & 680.

    Why didn’t we do that when the
    thing was started?

    Because Alameda county(BART) wanted ACE to fail. Properly developed ACE would negate the need or extend BART to Livermore and San Jose. For less than $1 billion ACE would easily solve the problem that $1 billion Livermore and $9 billion San Jose BART will fail at. But ACE will not provide the construction jobs Alameda and BART are hoping for.

    Until the jobs come back to Silicon Valley ACE is going to need a good
    reason to increase service to a frequency that will get more people off
    of I-580.

    Wrong, a Santa Clara VTA study 5 years ago indicated the 8 ACE trains would carry 10,000 riders today. With Dumbarton all cross bay riders would be better accommodated by ACE direct to SF and a better transfer for Berkeley would be in Fremont. Except the city of Fremont knows this and it would eliminate any need for extending BART so they are doing everything they can to disrupt Dumbarton and side track ACE in Livermore.

    Transportation planning is jobs creation. It has nothing to do will moving people.

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