Valley Link Board approves environmental report for rail project

May 13, 2021
The approval of the FEIR allows the rail authority to proceed with design and continue seeking funding for the project.

The Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority Board of Directors approved the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Valley Link project, a proposed 42-mile rail connection linking Bay Area Rapid Transit to Altamont Corridor Express.

Tracy Mayor Pro Tem and Chair of the Valley Link Board Veronica Vargas noted her pride in reaching the milestone that will deliver congestion relief to more than 97,900 commuters who travel over the Altamont Pass daily.

“People continue to suffer in their daily lives with anguishing super commutes. This hurts our environment. It hurts our economy. But importantly, it translates to the loss of 28 days per year on average for each individual commuter – and this hurts our communities and our families,” said Vargas.

In addition to approving the FEIR, the board also adopted a preferred alternative for the project, as well as approved a Mitigation Monitoring Plan for the project that includes a range of measure aimed at minimizing potential environmental impacts.

The project will provide 74 daily round trips and is expected to carry more than 33,000 daily riders by 2040. The FEIR finds that the project will result in the reduction of approximately 141 million vehicle miles traveled per year by 2040, which will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first Valley Link trains could be placed into service in 2028.

“I am pleased we are making these important commitments to support the environment and proud that we are continuing to move the project forward. Valley Link will connect people to work but also create jobs – an estimated 22,000 during construction and when operational support 400 jobs per year. It is vital to our economy given the recovery needs we are now facing,” said Dublin Mayor and Valley Link Board Vice Chair Melissa Hernandez.

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