I have been attending meetings on the Dumbarton Rail since late 2006. The project itself has been on the books since the early 1990's. A small number of rail aficionados have been promoting the project as a fix all for getting east bay and central valley employees to their workplaces in the more expensive peninsula communities. As a taxpayer I have held an abiding concern about the use of monies (Now upwards of $800M) to fund the Dumbarton Rail Corridor Project. Perhaps the following thoughts will generate initial comment /discussion on the DRCP as its draft EIS/EIR finally comes to the public for comment. Reviewing the Whitepaper provided on the webpage should be helpful in placing the thoughts in perspective.
- We are now on the 3rd or 4th project team for Dumbarton Rail since I began following it in 2006. For the most part the team members have been consultants. Maybe the project is really a jobs stimulus package in disguise.
- There is new thinking on ridership but it appears to be a stretch given the infrastructure hurdles that need be overcome and the additional funding that will be needed to make it work. All of it is computer models.
- Dumbarton is regularly represented as another option for transit riders. I have not however heard a voice from the public demanding it be built.
- The Project continues to be one that looking for a reason although the project staff explain that when the Draft EIS/EIR issues the Purpose and Needs statement will be robust.
- The new team appears to be thinking that it is their job to create a ridership market for Dumbarton rather than solve an existing ridership dilemma.