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Is the Dumbarton Rail Corridor Project Off track and headed for Derailment? July 2013

While the Dumbarton Rail Corridor Project remains alive in the Alameda County Transportation Commission’s list of major projects there are signs and signals that people are finally coming to grips with reality. Reality being that the DRCP costs too much, doesn’t have the ridership, isn’t needed, and is generally a boondoggle perpetrated by some folks who have always wanted a life size train set.

 Here are the signals I am talking about:

  1. No Policy Committee or Citizen’s Advisory Panel meetings have been scheduled to date in 2013. – An inquiry with the project team members resulted in the following response regarding upcoming meetings:” … we had originally estimated a meeting for February; however, we have yet to receive from some funding members, the replacement appointments for the PAC.  Also, due to failure to pass the Alameda County Measure B1 which would have provided additional funding for the DRC project, the MTC, ACTC and TA are in the process of defining next steps….”. In the most recent Alameda County Transportation Commission DRCP update they list sometime in 2014 as the target date for the environmental report to be issued.  Placing that element in perspective at an early 2008 DRCP Policy Committee meeting it was projected that the Environmental review of the project would be fully completed by early 2010.  http://www.alamedactc.org/files/managed/Document/7608/ACTIA6250_DumbartonRailCorridor_factsheet.pdf
  2. The failure of the Alameda County Measure B1 Tax – In Nov 2012 the proposed Measure B1 transportation tax measure did not pass the scrutiny of voters and failed to pass. It was a close vote so a re-count was initially started but in the first portion it became apparent that it was not a worthwhile endeavor. DRCP would have benefited significantly (approx. $150M) if the measure had passed. http://www.alamedactc.org/files/managed/Document/9714/AlamedaCTC_B1_Just_Shy_of_Success_PR_120512.pdf
  3.  Absence of DRCP funding allocation from a key jurisdiction- A check of the Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority current budget requests shows that they have removed Dumbarton Rail as an actively funded project. That jurisdiction had previously committed $44M to the DRCP.  http://www.vta.org/inside/budget/index.html
  4. Possible changes in the Capitol Corridor ‘s planned route from Oakland to San Jose- In a June , 2013 draft Vision Document the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority listed an possible alternate route for their service expansion plans for the Oakland to San Jose route. Instead of using the Oakland Subdivision from their trains they would use the Mulford/Coast Subdivision. This is still in discussion but the fact that they suggest it means that they are not fully committed to using the Oakland Subdivision route through Niles/Fremont which would also be Segment G of the DRCP. http://www.capitolcorridor.org/included/docs/board_meetings/ccjpa_supplemental_130612.pdf

 Included are either internet links and/or copies of documents supporting the “signals” listed above.  Stay tuned it hasn’t gone away yet!

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