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BART Plan Would Connect Bay Area Transit System To Tracy

STOCKTON (CBS13) — A solution to the on-going congestion problem along Interstate 580 corridor that takes people from the valley to the Bay Area is in the works.

Last month, the board of the Bay Area Rapid Transit voted to allow the construction of a new rail system that would connect people with BART and ACE trains in Tracy.

"Oh man, that would be perfect because there are a lot of commuters that commute here from the Bay Area," said Francisco Euan, lives in Tracy.

He spends most of the week working in the Bay Area. A big part of his day is usually spent on getting to his destination.

"It's packed. It's always packed, in the mornings, especially in the afternoons. You always come back late, and can't be with the family a lot," he said.

People traveling from Tracy to Oakland say it can sometimes take more than two hours. The new $1.6 billion Valley Link train could change that by helping connect people to ACE and BART.

"I think, it will help out. It will make people get a chance to get to point a to point b quicker because the Altamont is congested," said Dwayne Thomas, who lives in Tracy and travels to the Bay Area to visit family often.

The train would go from river islands development to Tracy/Mountain house before the Altamont corridor, then onto the I-580 median to connect with BART. Additional phases include stops in Stockton and Lathrop/Manteca. ACE passengers would eventually transfer at several stations along the way.

"It will match the BART system schedule so reliability, constant service over the weekends you will be connecting to the airports in the bay area, Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, not to mention the schools," said Veronica Vargas, Tracy's Mayor Pro Tem.

More than 82,000 commuters from the central valley travel each day using the I-580, and traffic is projected to grow. Officials with Valley Link say the train is needed now, more than ever.

"Most families, over two hours in one direction, the quality of life is huge, to improve that," said Vargas.

The Valley Link Train committee is expected to meet in downtown Tracy on Wednesday to further discuss plans and funding. The public is welcome to attend.

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