California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is aiming to start construction on a second tube under the San Francisco Bay within the next decade, as transit planners anticipate population and job growth that could overwhelm the Bay Area’s stressed rail system.
In mid-November, BART directors received an update on early steps toward a second BART crossing that could include both standard-gauge rail tracks and the wider BART tracks, which could allow riders to have a one-seat ride from Sacramento to San Francisco.
The next stage is to conduct an economic impact assessment. BART will also issue a request for proposals next month for strategic advisory and program management services. The winning bidder should be announced in mid-2019; that winner will conduct a feasibility study and recommend two to four possible alignments for the second crossing.
Studies and early engineering for the project will be funded by $150 million from Measure RR, the $3.5 billion BART modernization bond measure approved by voters two years ago. Another $50 million for the study will come from Regional Measure 3, approved last June.
Planners have listed six objectives for the project, including the possibility of 24-hour service and increased capacity and to access new markets and growth opportunities.