BART considering 2nd Transbay Tube, 24 hour service

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A second Transbay Tube and 24-hour service could be in BART's future. A new rail connection discussed Thursday at BART's board meeting would allow other existing trains, like Amtrak, for example, to use a proposed crossing. It would allow people to have a one-seat ride from a city like San Francisco to Sacramento. Changing trains could be a thing of the past.

"We're taking the beginning steps of making a second rail crossing a priority," said BART Spokeswoman Alicia Trost.

BART believes it's too soon to say if the crossing would be a tube. For now, they are calling it the second Transbay Rail Crossing.

"I think that's exciting and easy and good for the commuters," Karen Lynn, an Orinda BART commuter said.

The plan would add addition track to streamline the rail system so you can ride one train to your destination.

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It would double BART's bay crossing capacity and provide major relief to stations along Market Street. It also plans to tie together the mega region which includes Sacramento, Central Valley Communities, the Peninsula, Silicon Valley, San Francisco and the East Bay.

The catch is, it would be somewhere around 10 years before construction would start.

"That opens up the doors to so many possibilities and funding partners," Trost said. "That's what's key here is, 'How do we get enough stakeholders to make sure this actually happens?'"

"Even if it's ten years down the line I think it will be used. There's really no other good option," said Heather Dale, Orinda BART commuter.

"I mean it's better than never," Lynn said.

In the short term, BART hopes to award a feasibility study contract by mid-2019.

"Community outreach and equity issues," Trost said. "We want to make sure we're doing this in a way that doesn't impact low income people and if anything make it better for them."

The feasibility study should result in a short list of two to four options for the second crossing.

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