On Jan. 25 the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved a $5.5 million-a-year proposal to support improved bus service across the Dumbarton Bridge. MTC is the agency in charge of planning, financing, and coordinating transportation projects throughout the Bay Area.
The money was budgeted for operating a rail service on a separate bridge parallel to the Dumbarton highway bridge. The rail service, however, is not yet built, and since only about $300 million of the estimated cost of $700 to $800 million is available, it’s not likely to be built soon. The Dumbarton Policy Advisory Committee (PAC), the group in charge of building the rail line, is looking into ways to fund it; in the meantime, the PAC had proposed that the operating funds be used to support an expanded bus service that could build transit ridership on the corridor.
The Sierra Club sent a letter to the MTC supporting the proposal. “Making operating funds available now for enhanced bus service, rather than waiting for a future rail system that presents a range of environmental concerns, is an eminently sensible idea,” the Club wrote. “At a minimum, it will allow increased numbers of commuters and other riders to become transit patrons, to escape their cars while riding in more convenient, less stressful buses, and help to come closer to achieving the region’s goals for SB 375.” SB 375 is the California law requiring municipalities to come up with plans to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions.
Bus service in the Dumbarton Bridge corridor is currently run by AC Transit, on behalf of BART, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), Samtrans, and Union City Transit.
updated from the Loma Prietan, newsletter of the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter