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Column: MTC to revisit taking $91m from Dumbarton rail for BART

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  • 9/8 San Mateo Journal
    Published Monday, September 8, 2008, by the San Mateo Daily Journal Column Sue Lempert [...] On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 9, 2008
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      Published Monday, September 8, 2008, by the San Mateo Daily Journal

      Column

      Sue Lempert

      [...]

      On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will
      reconsider a staff recommendation to transfer $91 million from the
      Dumbarton Rail project to extend BART to Warm Springs. The Dumbarton
      Rail Policy Committee, made up of members from Alameda, San Mateo and
      Santa Clara, asked MTC to delay its decision until they could provide
      feedback.

      The committee overwhelming voted in July to ask MTC not to shift the
      funds. Instead it requested MTC to provide the expected financing
      (approved by voters from a previous toll increase) when the project
      is ready to go in two years. Dumbarton Rail is an important link in
      a regional rail network. It would connect Redwood City, Menlo Park,
      Palo Alto and East Palo Alto to Newark and Union City as part of the
      Caltrain system.

      Meanwhile, voters in Santa Clara will be considering a one-eight cent
      sales tax increase on the November ballot to fund the BART to San
      Jose extension. BART to Warm Springs is the first phase. If this
      measure does not pass, the BART to San Jose proposal will be in
      jeopardy.

      Meanwhile opponents are saying the proposed one-eight cent tax
      increase does not bring enough revenue for VTA (Santa Clara's Valley
      Transportation Authority) to be able to pay its financial obligations
      to BART to operate and maintain the line. Sound familiar? Either way,
      this very expensive extension will impact the timing and funding of
      Caltrain electrification and the very survival of Dumbarton Rail. For
      San Mateo and Santa Clara residents, these projects are important to
      reduce traffic on Highway 101 and the Dumbarton Bridge.


      Sue Lempert is the former mayor of San Mateo. Her column runs every
      Monday. She can be reached at sue@...


      [BATN: See also:

      Warm Springs BART vs. Dumbarton Rail debate gets testy
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/39010

      Should Warm Springs BART defund transbay Dumbarton rail?
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/38995

      Editorial: Don't divert Dumbarton rail funds for costly SJ BART
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/38945

      SCCo. Grand Jury advises VTA to pull Dumbarton rail funds
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/38761 ]
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