According to a press release from Congressmen John Garamendi, George Miller and Jerry McNerney, the eBART project recently received $641,250 from the California Department of Transportation for Tri-Delta Transit to purchase the land needed for park-and-ride and bus services for the planned station.
Park-and-ride stations will allow commuters to leave their car in a lot while a Tri-Delta Transit bus takes them to the eBART station. According to City Councilmember Gary Agopian, the new park-and-ride lot would be located on Auto Center Drive near the Babe Ruth baseball fields.
“I’m glad our work and the hard work of Tri-Valley Transit, BART, and other regional leaders succeeded in securing this desperately needed investment,” Garamendi said in the press release. “Connecting Antioch to BART through eBART will help thousands of residents in East Contra Costa and beyond get to work and have easier access to locations throughout Northern California. The Antioch eBART station and park-and-ride will serve as a hub to BART and also be available for express bus service, better connecting Antioch to its neighbors.”
This is one of the latest developments on the eBART front after Antioch City Councilmembers approved the station’s design in June. The eBART station will cost roughly $462 million and likely be operational in five years.
Currently, Tri-Delta Transit operates a park-and-ride lot that connects East County to BART through buses at Sunset Drive, right by the Highway 4 exit for Hillcrest Avenue. Agopian feels that BART’s use of the lot as second park-and-ride facility wouldn’t be the most apt use of taxpayer dollars. He said BART might close the Hillcrest park-and-ride, which would likely be torn up during the widening of Highway 4. If it’s being used as a replacement, he’s fine with that, but he hopes the Hillcrest park-and-ride will be phased out when the new eBART station opens.
Agopian also noted that a park-and-ride lot could be in the works in Oakley.
“If it’s replacing the Hillcrest park-and-ride temporarily while that’s being torn up, to me that makes a lot of sense,” Agopian said. “When the station opens up, that land can be utilized. To have two park-and-rides, to me, makes absolutely no sense.”
The planned eBART station would link East County to the rest of the Bay Area. There would be a transfer point at the Pittsburg/Bay Point station, a stop at Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg and an end-of-the-line station at Hillcrest Avenue. Trains would run in sync with the traditional BART schedule, namely 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekdays and in 15-minute intervals. Ric Rattray, the eBART project manager, previously noted that the diesel, multiple-unit cars running between Hillcrest and Pittsburg/Bay Point can reach speeds of 75 miles per hour, similar to a traditional BART train.
“I’ve worked hard to secure funding that will improve transportation options in Eastern Contra Costa County,” said McNerney in the press release. “I’m glad funding for this important project is moving forward, and I’ll keep working with local leaders to improve transportation infrastructure and create good jobs in our community.”