The feasibility of advancing the Dumbarton Transportation Corridor will be explored thanks to an agreement between the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans) Board of Directors; Facebook, Inc., and Plenary Group.
Officials say the increased number of workers commuting from the growing East Bay residential communities to areas on the Peninsula has resulted in east-west commuter that have become significantly more challenging.
SamTrans explains that the agreement is an opportunity to address this growing traffic congestion by advancing improvements recommended in the Dumbarton Transportation Corridor Study, which was funded by Facebook in January 2016 and adopted by the Transit District Board of Directors in December 2017. The study recommended a multimodal approach to the improvements including: establishing new rail service along a rebuilt Dumbarton Rail Bridge with connections to existing commuter and intercity rail services; enhancing and expanding bus and shared-ride commute options on the Dumbarton Highway Bridge; and further exploration of complementary bicycle and pedestrian connections.
"As the local economy continues to boom, the unfortunate side effect is that traffic congestion has become one of the top issues facing our residents," said Charles Stone, Chair of the Transit District Board of Directors. "We are very fortunate to have private sector partners like these that are actively engaged in developing solutions and are also willing to explore investing directly in those solutions."
SamTrans says this agreement is the product of discussions exploring the concept of a potential public-private partnership and it also facilitates a path for Facebook and Plenary Group to invest resources in a full evaluation of the potential for a public-private partnership that could deliver transportation improvements to relieve congestion along the corridor, by providing more transportation commute options.
In approving the agreement, the Board also outlined a set of goals that they expect will be accomplished through any future public-private partnership. The goals include:Enhance mobility and alleviation of congestion Facilitate cost-effective improvements with a return on investment Minimize environmental impacts and maximize safety Ensure that local communities benefit and are protected from adverse impacts
The agreement comes on the heels of Tuesday's voter approval of Regional Measure 3, a bridge toll increase that provides $130 million toward Dumbarton Corridor improvements.