Certain regulations set out by cities and counties in California on construction, zoning and other matters will no longer apply to the Tri-Valley / San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law designating the authority as rail transit. neighborhood last week.
In addition to clarifying that the authority may operate the Valley Link project, Senate Bill 548 also decides that the project can be scheduled to connect to the Altamont Corridor Express rail system “at its most optimal location,” said officials in a press release. The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate and the State Assembly before being promulgated on September 22.
Dublin Mayor Melissa Hernandez, who is also vice-chairman of the board of the Regional Rail Authority, called SB 548 “really an important step towards streamlining project delivery”.
“Valley Link will not only connect people to work, but also create jobs – around 22,000 during construction and, when operational, support 400 jobs per year,” Hernandez said. “This is vital for our economy given the recovery needs we are currently facing.”
The bill was also co-authored by State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) and Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), both as Tracy Mayor and Chair of the Council directors Veronica Vargas publicly thanked last week for their efforts, along with several other elected officials, including lead author, State Senator Susan Eggman (D-Stockton).
“The legislation will allow for the quick and efficient delivery of an urgent project that will fundamentally change the lives of the more than 98,000 Bay Area workers who now commute daily through the Altamont Pass,” Vargas said on the 22nd. September.
According to Vargas, so-called “super commuters” can spend more than three hours commuting each day “as they travel from affordable housing in San Joaquin County to the paid jobs that are in effect throughout the San Joaquin County area. the Bay “.
In turn, Vargas said this harms the environment, the economy and “it harms our communities and our families.”
The Valley Link commuter light rail project is expected to close a “critical gap” by connecting these San Joaquin Valley commuters to BART in the Bay Area, as well as nearly 500 miles of commuter and intercity rail, and “fairly serving” households and communities experiencing some of California’s highest poverty rates by connecting them to well-paying jobs in the Bay Area.
It is estimated that 33,000 daily passengers are expected to be served by Valley Link’s 74 daily round trips by 2040, eliminating 141 million vehicle kilometers traveled per year and up to 42,650 metric tonnes of GHG emissions.