Contra Costa to get Super-BART Extension

By Matt Baume
|  Monday, Nov 1, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 PM PDT
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Contra Costa to get Super-BART Extension

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BART's just at the start of a growth spurt, with two major projects breaking ground in recent days.

The most recent project to stick a shovel into dirt is the eBART extension into Contra Costa. Costing about a half-billion dollars, the 10-mile line will create 600 jobs during construction, as well as around 50 permanent jobs when it's complete. The line will extend the Pittsburg/Bay Point line out along Highway 4, establishing stops at Railroad Avenue and Hillcrest Avenue.

Observers estimate that 10,000 people will ride the line every day when it opens. About a hundred million vehicle miles will be saved by the project.

And it's not just the stations that are new: the trains will be unique as well. They're a bit smaller than traditional BART trains, but they're comfortable and bright and very popular in Europe. Riders will be able to transfer from the eBART trains to the older ones at the Pittsburg station, and arrivals will be times to coincide.

At some point in the future, the eBART trains may be replaces by traditional models. But they're more expensive, so a transition would probably be many years off, it it happens at all.

The project is being funded by the Metropolitan Transit Commission, Caltrans, and Contra Costa taxpayers. Construction will be quick: now that ground has been broken, highway 4's widening can begin later this year. Trans should start running in 2015.

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