June 8, 2020
Nick Josefowitz, Chair
Programming & Allocations Committee Metropolitan Transportation Commission
375 Beale Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Re: PAC Agenda Item 3d-20-0813
Support – $46.8 million AB 1171 Funds
Tri-Valley-San Joaquin Regional Rail Authority
Greetings Chair Josefowitz & Committee Members:
On behalf of the Tri-Valley Chamber of Commerce Alliance (TVCCA), we send this letter to express our strong support for the allocation of $46.8 million in AB 1171 funds to the Tri- Valley-San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority (TVSJVRRA) to advance the Valley Link rail project in the I-580/Altamont Corridor in Eastern Alameda County. MTC support for and approval of these funds will advance a much needed and long-awaited gap closure in rail connectivity through this regional gateway corridor.
Located along the I-580 & I-680 highway corridors in Eastern Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the SF Bay Area region, TVCCA is a collaboration of the Danville, Dublin, Livermore Valley, Pleasanton and San Ramon Chambers of Commerce representing over 3,000 member businesses and organizations employing nearly 90,000 workers. Since its inception, TVCCA has been on record in favor of the Valley Link project. The future implementation of this project will be instrumental in transforming travel through this key gateway in the San Francisco Bay Area region. It will strengthen the economic ties with neighboring regions in the Northern California Mega Region; increase access and connectivity for workers, students, visitors and residents to destinations throughout the Mega Region; offer a viable alternative to automobiles; and contribute towards a cleaner environment.
After several years of planning and early investment, approval of the $46.8 million in AB 1171 funds will allow for the completion of 30% design, federal environmental review documents, required Caltrans’ documentation and other critical reports and studies needed to expeditiously advance rail connectivity through the I-580/Altamont Corridor to Livermore and Northern San Joaquin County. After many decades of study, it will assure that Tri-Valley residents and businesses will finally benefit from the taxes and bridge tolls they have paid for many decades. An estimated 28,000 workers and visitors are projected to ride the 42-mile, 7-station system in 2040. This will result in reductions of over 99.4 million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and more than 33,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. In addition, through its Board-adopted Transit Oriented Development Policy, Valley Link will support the advancement of TOD adjacent to its stations, which will further reduce VMT and greenhouse emissions within the station environs. This TOD policy mirrors the MTC policy with a corridor average threshold requirement of 2,200 homes within a ½ mile of stations, ensuring that the transportation infrastructure is a catalyst for smart growth that protects open space. The proposed Isabel Neighborhood Plan in Livermore is an example of how this may happen throughout the system.
TVCCA appreciates the work of the TVSJVRRA and the due diligence and commitment to progress by MTC and other planning and transportation public agencies in the region for supporting the implementation of a vision of effective rail and transit connectivity throughout the Northern California Mega Region. We continue to support and look forward to the execution of the Valley Link project, strengthening the economic resilience of the region.
Dawn P. Argula, CEO, Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce
Stewart Bambino, CEO, San Ramon Chamber of Commerce
Inge Houston, CEO, Dublin Chamber of Commerce
Zae Perrin, CEO, Danville Chamber of Commerce
Steve Van Dorn, CEO, Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce