EBART

Photo courtesy of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

Contra Costa County transportation leaders recently received a state grant to evaluate additional transit options between Antioch and Brentwood.

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) will use the $755,000 from the California Department of Transportation to craft a document that guides eventual “fast, frequent, high-capacity transit connections” that tie into existing services like Tri Delta Transit and the Antioch BART Station.

“We are trying to think ahead,” said CCTA Executive Director Randell Iwasaki. “What I think East County wants is sustainable transit service that will give the public options.”

The two-year study that’s slated to commence in October is also expected to explore improved future connections to Capitol Corridor and ACE rail services, along with future ferry service between Antioch and Martinez.

“Now that Highway 4 has been modernized to improve access to Eastern Contra Costa, I am pleased that we were successful in obtaining these funds to plan for a future that provides more transportation options to support economic growth and mobility for our residents,” said California Assemblymember Jim Frazier in a press release.

Leaders envision that an intermodal transit center will one day be built near the intersection of the multi-use Mokelumne Trail and State Highway 4 in Brentwood, including a range of potential transportation options, including BART with associated bus rapid transit service; bike share programs; and scooters and on-demand shuttles, near a mixed-use development blending high-density housing with retail options and restaurants around the transit centers.

CCTA officials said the study should yield cost estimates for endeavors such as an eBART extension between Antioch and Brentwood or rapid-transit bus project, associated vehicle prices of each and financial estimates for ongoing operations of both.

It could also help officials flesh out the specifics for other associated projects, such as a pedestrian and bicycle overcrossing near the Mokelumne Trail at Highway 4.

“We are trying to make sure we have a comprehensive look at the options,” said Iwasaki. “That is what the study will do, and we’ll make sure we do it right the first time.”

Officials noted that current Highway 4 medians are wide enough to accommodate an eBART extension from Antioch to Brentwood. But that project is expected to cost a great deal more than other options, such as an expanded bus system.

No firm timeline for the development of the options has been established, CCTA officials said.

“There will be recommendations with different costs, and based on the money that is available at the time, and what the public is asking for at the time, and what the studies show, we’ll try to select the most appropriate technology to get you from Antioch to Brentwood,” said Matt Kelly, a CCTA associate transportation planner.

The study is also expected to involve an integration study ensuring future transportation options’ arrival and departure times will be generally aligned, to cut down on wait times for passengers.

CCTA officials plan to develop the study’s official scope of work soon, before choosing an outside consultant to carry it out. The designated consultant will then need to be approved by the full CCTA board before work on the study can begin.

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