The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) have unveiled Link21, a rail improvement program, and a new website that outlines the program’s objectives. Link21 will connect BART and Regional Rail (including intercity, commuter and high-speed passenger rail) while also connecting people sustainably to employment opportunities and affordable housing throughout the 21-county northern California Megaregion.
Link21, formerly known as the New Transbay Rail Crossing, is a program of various projects that will provide more services, faster connections, and better access to jobs for the Megaregion’s travelers.
One major project within the Link21 Program is a new transbay rail crossing between Oakland and San Francisco. The new crossing will increase capacity for the overcrowded corridor and will bring new passenger rail connections and services to the Megaregion, including potential for a direct, one-seat ride between Sacramento and San Francisco. It is included in the regional Plan Bay Area 2050 Final Blueprint as a key strategy for building a next-generation transit system.
“As we continue to offer vital services to our passengers during these challenging times, we are also looking ahead to the future” said BART General Manager Bob Powers. “Link21 will connect passengers to the places they want to go throughout the Megaregion.”
In addition to the new website, a new report prepared by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI) has been released Jan. 27, 2021. The report highlights the benefits of a new transbay rail crossing to the entire Megaregion.
Major findings from the report, “The Megaregional Case for a New Transbay Rail Crossing,” will be presented during an hour-long webinar sponsored by the Bay Area Council on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, at 11 a.m. To register to the webinar, please visit here. For more information about the webinar, please visit the Bay Area Council’s website.
Link21 is a transformative program of national significance in northern California. When completed, a modern, fully connected rail network will:
- Enable fast, frequent, reliable, safe, and accessible rail service;
- Increaseconnections between affordable housing and high-quality jobs;
- Improve air quality by creating viable alternatives to driving;
- Enhancenorthern California’s livability, economic competitiveness, and environment; and
- Meet the future travel demands of northern California’s growing, diverse population.
The northern California Megaregion is a 21-county area covering the Sacramento, San Francisco Bay, Northern San Joaquin Valley, and the Monterey Bay areas. These 21 counties increasingly face shared transportation, housing, environmental, and economic challenges, as well as opportunities.
“Link21 will help shape northern California’s rail system for future generations,” said Rob Padgette, managing director of the Capitol Corridor. “For example, our most popular travel itinerary is between Sacramento and San Francisco, but that trip currently requires a transfer to either BART at the Richmond Station or to one of our connecting buses at the Emeryville Station. By providing a direct rail connection across the Bay that avoids the need for a transfer and traffic on I-80, this program will dramatically improve how our riders get to and from the San Francisco Bay Area.”
Link21 is backed by voters who approved BART’s Measure RR bond and Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Regional Measure 3. These funds and others will help support the development of the new transbay crossing. The Link21 Program will host a series of public meetings in 2021 to inform the public and gather feedback about possible program alternatives. An online survey about the program’s goals and objectives is now open for comment. For more information about Link21 or to take the online survey, please visit the new Link21 website.
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