BART spokesman Linton Johnson said that there would be an $80-100 million cash flow crunch around the year 2014, but he added that the eBART project from Bay Point to Hillcrest Avenue would not be delayed as a result.
"Right now we're working on that," said Johnson. "We are not letting any contracts before the cash is in place. Clearly we're concerned about the cash flow. That's why we are sitting down with the elected officials, trying to figure out a better schedule to build all these projects. It's not the most pressing problem right now."
"This is a very important milestone," Joel Keller, BART director from Antioch declared after the committee's unanimous vote to send eBART down the median to Antioch.
He said in an interview last week that an initially feared $77 million deficit had been wiped out with more money from other BART sources and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
The good news is that eBART officials do have the money to begin planning the 10-mile route up the Highway 4 median from the Bay Point BART station to a station that will be built at Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch, Smith said in an interview this week.
The first station will be located at Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg. The exact location of the Hillcrest station has yet to be determined. Planners are performing environmental studies to see if putting the station in the Highway 4 median is better than somewhere north of the freeway, such as the BART Park and Ride lot.
The cars will burn clean diesel fuel and hold about 100 passengers. Initially there will be two cars on the tracks, ultimately expanding to three.
Bob Allen, who served on the BART Board from 1974 to 1988, argued at the Aug. 23 meeting that instead of eBART, the planners should extend classic BART from Bay Point to Pittsburg and then Antioch. "Planners should talk 'pre-BART' and not 'eBART,'" he said in a letter he distributed to the committee and various other transit planning agencies.