San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) introduced Link21, a transformational rail improvement program, and a new website that outlines the program’s objectives.
Link21, formerly known as the New Transbay Rail Crossing, will connect BART and regional rail, including intercity, commuter, and high-speed passenger rail, while also improving access to jobs and affordable housing throughout the 21-county region.
One major project within the Link21 program is a new transbay rail crossing between Oakland and San Francisco designed to increase capacity along the corridor by bringing new passenger rail connections and services, including potential for a direct, one-seat ride between Sacramento and San Francisco.
“Link21 will help shape Northern California’s rail system for future generations,” said Rob Padgette, managing director of the CCJPA. “For example, our most popular travel itinerary is between Sacramento and San Francisco, but that trip currently requires a transfer to either BART at the Richmond Station or to one of our connecting buses at the Emeryville Station. By providing a direct rail connection across the Bay that avoids traffic on I-80 and the need for a transfer, this program will dramatically improve how our riders get to and from the San Francisco Bay Area.”
A new report conducted by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI), “The Megaregional Case for a New Transbay Rail Crossing” details the economic and environmental benefits of a new transbay rail crossing to the region.
Link21 is backed by voters who approved BART’s Measure RR bond and Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Regional Measure 3. These funds and others will help support the development of the new transbay crossing.
The Link21 program will host a series of public meetings in 2021 to inform the public and gather feedback about possible program alternatives. Additionally, an online survey about the program’s goals and objectives is now open for comment.