Special Note to the BART and CCJPA Boards, Directors Powers and Padgette and the Link 21 Team

Subject:  Golden Opportunity for Early Link 21 Action

The purpose of this letter is to ask that your two Boards and the Link 21 team become champions of linking the Salesforce Transit Center to Market Street and the Embarcadero Station via a subsurface moving-ramp pedestrian connection.

At the September 9, 2021 BART Board meeting your Link 21 Team made an excellent presentation outlining its progress to date. During the meeting there was much enthusiasm expressed by all concerned for developing a truly integrated rail and bus network such as those commonly found in other advanced countries.

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The Question is Why?

On May 26, 2021, a disgruntled Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) employee went on a shooting rampage at the agency’s main Guadalupe light rail yard, fatally striking nine co-workers with bullets before killing himself. There was and is universal agreement that this senseless slaughter of innocent people was horrifying and that every conceivable effort should be made to provide optimal care to the victims and their families.

But why, as a result, did the Authority shut down VTA light rail service for over three months?

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Caltrain Extension (DTX)…. Side-tracked…. Again

Instead of moving the project forward, the Region backpedals. The recently-formed “Executive Steering Committee” is comprised of staff representatives from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Transbay Joint Powers Authority, SF County Transportation Authority, SF Mayor’s Office, Peninsula Joint Powers Authority (Caltrain) and the California High Speed Rail Authority. questionsThey and their consultants have returned to reviewing such long-settled matters as the routing of the extension, an ill-conceived and unneeded Pennsylvania Avenue subway, the number of tracks leading into the Salesforce Transit Center (already studied and resolved twice) and the possible interface in the distant future between the Salesforce terminal and a second subaqueous rail tube, if one is ever built.

All this for a project approved by all relevant local, regional, State and federal agencies and jurisdictions over 12 years ago that received its State and federal environmental clearance in 2009.

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Unscrambling Politically-Inspired Entanglements

As reported in the May 22, 2018 BATWG Newsletter (click on Newsletter Archive in www.batwgblog.com), the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority has developed a creative and forward-looking plan that would cut over 20 minutes off the time it now takes a Capitol Corridor train to travel between Oakland Jack London Square and San Jose’s Diridon Station. See https://www.southbayconnect.com/

The Capitol Corridor system affords a comfortable and reliable way of getting from Auburn via Sacramento, Davis, Martinez, Richmond, Oakland and Newark all the way into Silicon Valley. However, Capitol Corridor trains are currently detoured from the main Coast Starlight route through eastern Hayward and Union City and then along 5 miles of east-west track to rejoin the main line in Newark and for the remainder of the trip to Silicon Valley. Since the East Hayward/Union City route closely parallels BART the detour never did make much sense. And now, with BART being extended through downtown San Jose and all the way to the Diridon Station, it makes even less sense.

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