Editorial: Don't divert Dumbarton rail funds for costly SJ BART
- Published Friday, June 27, 2008, by the Redwood City Daily News
Derail bid to fund BART at local project's expense
Regional transportation agency staff should rethink a recommendation
to divert $91 million from a Dumbarton rail corridor project into the
costly, questionable scheme to extend BART into the South Bay.
The latest price tag for connecting BART through San Jose and into
Santa Clara is $6 billion, an expense that the region cannot seem to
cover. The project has languished for years while South Bay leaders
searched for ways to save it.
The latest idea is to complete the 16-mile project in stages,
presumably until the effort founders.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission staff suggests that
$91 million budgeted for Dumbarton could be used to extend BART's
terminus in Fremont another five miles into the city's Warm Springs
district. This money would be repaid at some future date -- we hope.
Palo Alto City Council Member Yoriko Kishimoto rightly said that the
Warm Springs plan is, by itself, a "bridge to nowhere." The project
still falls well short of the link to downtown San Jose that
presumably makes it feasible.
That missing piece includes no less than 4.5 miles of subway
construction under San Jose. Don't expect that anytime soon.
Admittedly, the Dumbarton rail corridor project faces its own
The proposal <http://www.smcta.com/Dumbarton_Rail/information.asp>
to run trains over the Bay between the Peninsula and the East Bay
has doubled in cost to $600 million. Meanwhile, residents in Menlo
Park are raising concerns about possible train noise, and the Santa
Clara County civil grand jury has raised valid questions about the
However, a previous grand jury has already blasted the BART project,
as well. What will the region gain by shifting money from a project
short of funding to another that may be completely unworkable?
Regional transportation officials should not be siphoning away money
from the Dumbarton project or any others to BART until they can
devise a viable plan for a South Bay BART presence.
[BATN: See also:
Comment: Push to cannibalize Dumbarton rail funds for SJ BART
Dumbarton Rail may be sacrificed to help fund Warm Springs, SJ BART
SCCo. Grand Jury advises VTA to pull Dumbarton rail funds
SCCo. Grand Jury slams VTA, San Jose BART
Grand jury raps BART linkup to San Jose
SCCo. Grand Jury report: halt SJ BART extension
SCCo. Grand Jury blasts VTA on SJ BART extension
VTA chair brushes off Grand Jury SJ BART criticisms
SCCo. Grand Jury: Halt BART to SJ, reform VTA