In 2018, voters passed Regional Measure 3 (RM3) which increased bridge tolls in the Bay Area and also established an Independent Oversight Committee. Each of 9 Bay Area counties appoint two members to the Committee. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is seeking two members of the public to serve.
The RM3 Independent Oversight Committee (oversight committee) will be established by the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) pursuant to Senate Bill 595 (which placed RM 3 on the ballot). The purpose of the Oversight Committee is to ensure that any toll revenues generated pursuant to the RM3 toll increase are expended consistent with the applicable requirements of the RM3 expenditure plan set forth in Streets and Highways Code Section 30914.7. The Oversight Committee shall annually review the expenditure of funds by BATA for the projects and programs specified in Section 30914.7 and prepare and submit a report to the transportation committee of each house of the Legislature summarizing its findings.
An individual interested in serving on the Committee must be a resident of Contra Costa County and meet the Streets and Highways Code Section 30923 (h) (3) restrictions below:
- A representative appointed to the oversight committee shall not be a member, former member, staff, or former staff of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) or BATA.
- A representative appointed to the oversight committee shall not be employed by any organization or person that has received or is receiving funding from MTC or BATA.
- A representative appointed to the oversight committee shall not be a former employee or a person who has contracted with any organization or person that has received or is receiving funding from MTC or BATA within one year of having worked for or contracted with that organization or person.
The RM3 Oversight Committee is subject to open public meetings (The Brown Act). Meeting dates, frequency, and length of meetings will be established by the members of the committee. The location of meetings will be in San Francisco at the Bay Area Metro Center. BATA anticipates a stipend to members for meeting attendance. The term length for representatives is four years, and each representative is limited to two terms.
Applications are available online at https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/3418 or by contacting the Clerk of the Board’s Office at (925) 335-1900 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed applications are due by 5 PM on August 9, 2019, and may be completed and submitted online, emailed to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, mailed or submitted to 651 Pine Street, Room 106, Martinez, CA 94553.
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) won a Caltrans SB1 Sustainable Communities Planning Grant valued at $755,000 to support a study that will evaluate new transit options between the cities of Antioch and Brentwood in East Contra Costa County.
The East County Integrated Transit Study will guide the development of a plan for providing fast, frequent, high-capacity transit connections between Antioch and Brentwood that will directly integrate with existing local and regional services such as the Antioch BART station and Tri Delta Transit local bus service. The study will also look at improving connections to Capitol Corridor and ACE rail services, as well as proposed future ferry service between Antioch and Martinez. As part of its commitment to sustainable communities, CCTA will focus on new, zero-emission public transit options for potential outcomes of the study.
“Now that Highway 4 has been modernized to improve access to Eastern Contra Costa, I am pleased that we were successful in obtaining these funds to plan for a future that provides more transportation options to support economic growth and mobility for our residents,” says California Assemblymember Jim Frazier.
“We’re always looking for opportunities to harness new transit technology that can integrate with existing systems to create a smart, efficient network that easily connects people to their desired destinations,” explains CCTA Executive Director Randell Iwasaki. “This grant will enable us to expedite a much-needed study that will guide valuable transit improvements for Eastern Contra Costa County.”
“CCTA is a forward-looking organization,” states Bob Taylor, Mayor of Brentwood and Contra Costa Transportation Authority Board Chair. “I’ve always predicted a bright future for Eastern Contra Costa County and this grant win lays the foundation for the communities along Highway 4 to connect, grow, and prosper.”
Lafayette, CA – Contra Costa County Public Works will perform roadwork on Taylor Boulevard approximately 0.6 miles north of its intersection with Rancho View Drive starting July 1 through July 11, weather permitting. The Public Works Department’s contractor will repair and replace a disconnected concrete storm drainpipe and repair damage to the road pavement.
Traffic may be affected by temporary lane closures between the hours of 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Mondays through Thursdays. A changeable message sign and other construction signs will be placed in advance of the construction activities.
El Sobrante, CA – Contra Costa County Public Works Department plans to repair a landslide along the western embankment of San Pablo Dam Road approximately 0.5 miles south of the Tri Lane intersection. The work will begin on July 1 with anticipated completion by October 3, weather permitting.
Traffic may be affected between the hours of 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Mondays through Thursdays. Changeable message signs and other construction signs will be placed in advance of the construction activities.
Will hire 19 more police officers, four fare inspectors
The BART Board of Directors has approved a $2.3 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) which begins July 1, 2019. The budget focuses on expanding and investing in Quality of Life issues, including the addition of 19 police officers and four unarmed fare inspectors.
“This budget is designed to make BART safer,” said BART Board President Bevan Dufty. “Adding officers and establishing a community ambassador program shows our riders that we’ve heard their concerns and we’ve taken action.”
Quality of Life
Including funds added in FY20, since FY14 BART has spent $59 million on new budget initiatives addressing Quality of Life challenges in the areas of safety, fare evasion prevention, cleanliness and homelessness. The FY20 budget supplements and continues Quality of Life initiatives added in prior years. Among the highlights:
- $2.1 million towards 19 additional police officers.
- $500,000 to fund four additional fare inspectors.
- $2 million to continue funding efforts to address the impacts of regional homelessness in the BART system, including outreach programs, elevator attendants and Pit Stop restrooms.
- BART station hardening efforts are incorporated into many projects and programs throughout the District, using operating and capital funds. In FY20, $2.4 million of new and ongoing funds ($400,000 of new FY20 operating funds augments $600,000 of prior year parking revenue held in reserves and $1.3 million of capital staffing) will support station hardening projects, including raising railings and securing swing gates. Additionally, BART directs grant funds to station hardening, including federal formula funds for the fare gate modification program and often redirects existing engineering and maintenance staff to projects such as the fare gate cinch modification program as well as the camera upgrade program. BART’s Station Modernization Program also incorporates elements of station hardening in design, guided by the BART Facilities Standards. Six stations in the Station Modernization Program are spending or will spend a combined $16 million on station hardening elements. In addition, the $61 million Market Street Escalator Canopies project includes installing roll-up grilles at the street level, security cameras and handrail lighting. In summary, station hardening is a substantial, multi-year systemwide effort, leveraging new and existing operating and capital funds from a variety of sources into a wide range of projects.
The new budget dedicates $1.4 billion for capital programs, a 5% increase from FY19 with the largest portion (46%) coming from Measure RR funds. The use of Measure RR funding for FY20 is increasing as projects anticipate moving from design and pre-engineering to construction. Most of the capital budget (69%) is directed to reinvestment in the system. The use of previously awarded and current federal funds has increased as BART ramps up on train control modernization, state of good repair projects and continues the delivery of new rail cars. FY20 projects include:
- $101 million for station modernization and elevator/escalator improvements across the system, including replacement of escalators at downtown San Francisco stations, and station modernization efforts at El Cerrito Del Norte, 19th Street, Downtown Berkeley, Concord, Powell, and Pittsburg/Bay Point stations. The station modernization program also includes many elements of station hardening.
- $303 million is budgeted for expenses related to the procurement of 775 new rail cars
- $151 million towards the continuation of a multi-year program of traction power infrastructure replacement, including replacement of traction power cables in San Francisco and in Alameda County.
- $71 million towards the Hayward Maintenance Complex, a modern facility to maintain the new rail cars.
- $86 million for planning and engineering for the Train Control Modernization Program and for renewing components of the existing train control system, including transformers, switch machines and speed encoding equipment at stations.
- Fare changes
- A 5.4% inflation-based fare increase will take effect on January 1, 2020 as part of a program first approved by the BART Board in 2003 and renewed for a second series in 2013. This is the last of four biennial fare increases called for under the 2013 series. The BART Board also approved a third series of inflation-based fare increases that will go into effect in 2022, 2024 and 2026. This latest series will follow the same inflation-based formula as the previous increases.
- BART will participate in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Regional Means-Based Fare Discount Pilot Program. The program will offer a 20% discount per trip to adult riders earning 200% or less of the federal poverty level. The FY20 budget assumes one-half year of the pilot with an estimated revenue loss of $2 million after the MTC’s estimated offsetting annual contribution to BART of approximately $2 million.
Revenue and ridership challenges
The FY20 budget is balanced and includes $17 million in budget cuts made by all departments in the district.
Fare revenue is BART’s largest source of revenue, with $479 million of rail fare revenue forecast in FY20, a decrease of $5.6 million from FY19, reflecting a lower ridership forecast. Other operating revenue is forecast to be $10 million lower due to one-time revenues in FY19 not budgeted in FY20. These decreases are offset by increases in financial assistance, particularly sales taxes. Sales taxes are BART’s largest form of financial assistance budgeted at $277 million for FY20 a 3.2% growth over FY19
We take a conservative approach to projecting ridership for our FY20 budget. We are concerned about the length of this current economic expansion and the potential for a downturn in the future, which could impact ridership.
The budget includes funding for service enhancements that will ease crowding. Most notably, by February of 2020 we expect to have 160 Fleet of the Future train cars which will allow us to run all 10-car trains on the four Transbay routes. As we increase the number of Fleet of the Future cars, we will begin retiring legacy cars, which should increase reliability and reduce maintenance costs.
Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension fares
Along with approving the FY20 budget, the BART Board of Directors voted unanimously to establish a fare structure for the Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension. BART’s existing distance-based fare structure will be used to calculate trip fares on the 10-mile extension from the Warm Springs/South Fremont Station to Berryessa Road in San Jose. This is in accordance with the comprehensive agreement between BART and the Valley Transportation Authority. The extension includes stops in Milpitas and Berryessa/North San Jose.
Though not part of the FY20 budget, $500,000 in additional anticipated revenue from the FY19 budget will be set aside to fund an ambassador pilot program. BART is in talks with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to seek matching funds for the program.
Bombardier Transportation announced it is opening a rail car assembly site in Pittsburg, California to assemble BART’s Fleet of the Future rail cars. This work, which is currently taking place in upstate New York, will be transferred to the Bay Area over the coming months.
The new facility will employ local workers, contribute tax dollars to the local economy and, thanks to its proximity to BART’s Hayward Test Track, greatly reduce the vehicle emissions needed to transport the cars to BART property.
What used to be a 3,600-mile journey home to the Bay Area, will now be a quick 50 miles.
It also means local jobs.
“It’s Bay Area workers building cars for Bay Area commuters,” said BART Director Mark Foley. “Bringing the work home.”
Riders are giving the new trains high marks for its new features and design. The customer survey results were unveiled at a recent Board meeting. The vast majority of features received at least 85 percent “Excellent” or “Good” grades.
Some of its most well-received features were the ease of on-board and off-boarding the train; lighting; audio announcements; floor-to-ceiling poles; comfortable air temperature; and digital displays.
BART’s website dedicated to the Fleet of the Future has lots of great information about the status of the roll out. They keep it updated with the number of new cars delivered to date and the number in service.
A Fleet of the Future tracker is in the works that will show you if one of the next approaching trains at your stations is a new train. That feature will roll out in phases, to eventually include digital platform signs, bart.gov, and the BART Official App, which you can download for free.
Among 13 winners named from across the nine-county region
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) joined forces to present the first Bay Area Metro Awards Thursday, at a ceremony in Oakland recognizing 13 people, projects, organizations and local governments advancing solutions to ease the Bay Area’s housing crisis, improve the transportation system or make the nine-county region more resilient.
BART to Antioch: For the 10-mile rail extension from the former Pittsburg terminus along the Highway 4 median to a pair of new stations at Pittsburg Center and Antioch.
Steven Falk: For his years of committed service to the city of Lafayette as city manager. He retired last September after 38 years working for the city.
UC Berkeley’s Y-PLAN Team: For the program that brought young people’s ideas into a regional challenge to develop community-based solutions to climate change.
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART): For the successful start of rail service connecting Sonoma and Marin counties.
HayWired Earthquake Scenario: To the U.S. Geological Survey and partners for studying a hypothetical 7.0 magnitude quake in the East Bay to help shape public policy for earthquake safety and planning.
Pacific Beach Coalition: For organizing volunteers over the past 21 years to clean up beaches along the San Mateo Coast.
Acquisition of the 23rd Avenue Community Building in Oakland: To the Oakland Community Land Trust and others, permanently preserving it as an affordable, mixed-use building.
San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority: For work on the Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Measure – Measure AA – which was approved by voters in 2016 to tax themselves to help restore Bay Area wetlands.
Joint Workforce Investment Apprenticeship Program: To a partnership between the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), its Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 265, and Mission College to support the professional development of VTA employees.
San Leandro Homeless Compact: For the efforts of three partner organizations to end homelessness in the city of San Leandro: the city, the Rental Housing Association of Southern Alameda County, and the non-profit Building Futures with Women and Children.
Carl Guardino, Gabriel Metcalf and Jim Wunderman: For their dedicated and tireless work advocating for Regional Measure 3, the voter-approved 2018 measure which raised bridge tolls to fund transportation improvements and congestion relief projects.
LEGISLATIVE AWARD: Hon. Jim Beall, California State Senator.
GRAND AWARD: Recognizes three public transit operators and a public energy program for their work to save lives, protect communities and aid in rebuilding in response to the October 2017 North Bay fires:
- Santa Rosa CityBus
- Sonoma Clean Power, Advanced Energy Rebuild Program
- Sonoma County Transit
- Vine Transit (Napa County)
Launched jointly by ABAG and MTC in September 2018 with a call for nominations, the new awards program honors positive impacts on the Bay Area’s mobility, affordability, resilience and community; and recognizes efforts that make the region a better place to live, work and play.
“We honor this year’s winners to say thank you for the work they are doing and we hope that the winners’ stories will inspire others to strive for excellence in their daily tasks,” said ABAG President and MTC Commissioner David Rabbitt.
Winners received a specially designed Bay Area Metro Award at the recognition ceremony. A six-member jury that included members of ABAG’s and MTC’s governing boards, as well as staff and a community representative, met to consider some 80 nominations in early 2019. The list of winners, with more details, can be found here: https://mtc.ca.gov/whats-happening/news/special-features/2019-bay-area-metro-award-winners.
Contra Costa County Public Works will begin construction on the Camino Tassajara Bike Lane Gap Closure Project. The project will widen the pavement to provide bike lanes in four separate segments along Camino Tassajara between Windermere Parkway and just north of Penny Lane. Segments are as follows:
Segment 1: From 240 feet north of Penny Lane to 150 feet south of Johnston Road
Segment 2: From 1,300 feet north of Highland Road to Highland Road
Segment 3: From 700 feet south of the bridge over Tassajara Creek to 2,050 feet south of the bridge
Segment 4: From 1,600 feet north of Windemere Parkway to 350 feet north of Windemere Parkway
The project also includes drainage improvements, signing and striping improvements, and placing a slurry seal from Windemere Parkway to Lusitano Street.
Construction will begin on Monday, June 3, 2019, with completion in late November 2019, barring unforeseen circumstances. Work hours will generally be 8:30 am and 4:00 pm to minimize impacts to commute traffic. Drivers should expect delays of up to 15 minutes during construction.
Funding for this project is provided by Measure J, Tri-Valley Transportation Council, South County Area of Benefit and Southern Contra Costa (SCC) Subregional Fee Program. More information on this project can be found at: http://www.cccounty.us/pwdmap.
The Contra Costa County Public Works Department will repair guardrails on Vasco Road from Camino Diablo Road to the Alameda County line. The work will occur from June 3rd – June 6th between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
The work may be rescheduled based on weather conditions. Electronic message boards will alert drivers of the scheduled work. There will be traffic control through the work area and drivers can expect delays.