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Valley Link train seeks $450 million in Biden infrastructure fund

A commuter rail project that would connect the San Joaquin Valley to East Bay is vying to receive about $450 million from President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill, the Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional announced this week. Rail Authority.

The project – called Valley Link – aims to relieve congestion on the I-580/Altamont corridor, according to a brief from the Rail Authority. It also aims to improve air quality by offering commuters an alternative to the car, according to Wil Ridder, deputy director of the rail authority.

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Valley Link would consist of seven stations spanning 42 miles east of the Bay Area, starting at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station and ending north of Lathrop.

In the race

The Federal Transit Administration said Valley Link can compete for some of the $18 billion the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has set aside for certain transit projects, according to the Rail Authority.

Securing $450 million of that money is key to building the first phase of Valley Link, which would connect Dublin/Pleasanton BART to Mountain House, Ridder says.

Then Valley Link must detail its costs, environmental impacts and design plans to the Transit Authority, Ridder said.

How long would trips in the Bay Area take on Valley Link?

It depends on your route – but if your route takes you over Altamont Pass, Valley Link would likely shorten it, according to Railway Authority Executive Director Kevin Sheridan.

“This project allows people to get out of their car in the Mountain House area, or on I-205 or I-580, and take a train that will take 25 minutes to get to Dublin/Pleasanton BART,” says Sheridan.

“For most commuters driving there now, it’s more like 45 minutes for them. So that gives them at least 40 minutes to an hour back for their lives,” Sheridan said, when you count the time. saved both ways.

Will Valley Link reduce traffic?

The I-580/Altamont corridor receives more than 105,000 commuters a day, according to a brief from the Rail Authority.

Valley Link would carry around 33,000 people every day by 2040, according to a report from the authority. It is expected to reduce vehicle travel by more than 140 million kilometers that year, according to the report.

Taking a significant number of drivers off the road would likely mean a shorter rush-hour window, Sheridan said.

“When you start adding rail and transit into the mix, it [peak commute] the window starts to shrink…you’re building capacity, so the amount of congestion spread over the peak hour is less.”

Will the train bring more “transplants” to the Bay Area?

“They’re kind of already there, aren’t they?” Sheridan talked about the Bay Area “transplants.”

One of the issues the project aims to address is the high cost of housing in the Bay Area. For six jobs in the Bay Area, there is only one home, according to a brief from the Rail Authority.

The authority has adopted policies supporting the construction of new housing near the Valley Link corridor.

And while it’s hard to say how accessible the housing market will be for residents when Valley Link opens, currently the market favors buyers with big money.

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“There is our population that was born and raised in and around Stockton (area) … but what we find is that when developers go to build new developments or to meet regional housing needs, this are not necessarily the residents … who are buying these homes.”

Record journalist Aaron Leathley covers business, housing and land use. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @LeathleyAaron. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at