Report: BART will reach capacity within decade unless second Transbay Tube is added


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — An urban planning think tank released a new report that said BART will reach capacity on the system in less than a decade unless a second Transbay Tube is added.

Anyone who rides BART during commute hours knows how crowded the trains can get, and the urban planning group, SPUR, said things are going to get worse unless another tube is installed. During the commute hours, trains are packed with riders shoulder to shoulder.

SPUR said a new tube is needed to keep up with the growth of the Bay Area commuters.

Most BART riders agree that something needs to be done. BART officials said more near-term goals need to be accomplished.

MTC spokesman John Goodwin told KRON that SPUR’s report is “well-done, well-considered.” And he added that SPUR is “certainly to be commended” for their work.

Goodwin also said that the report provides “valid and compelling reasons” for pursuing a second Transbay crossing. He said that a second Transbay crossing would definitely address both the aging pains and growing pains facing BART.

But identifying and securing funding sources for a project of this magnitude, which would be in the billions of dollars, is as daunting as the actual engineering, construction, and staffing demands, Goodwin said.

The current budget that the MTC has for the Bay Area transit systems goes to taking care of the existing infrastructure, called Fix it First, according to Goodwin.

Below is a snippet of SPUR’s report:

Our region has benefited tremendously from the transportation investments of the previous generation. But at some point we stopped investing in the future, and now we are paying the price. Since the BART Transbay Tube opened in 1974, the Bay Area has grown from 4.3 million to 7.6 million people, yet we have added no new capacity through the tube or on the Bay Bridge. As a result, it’s getting more and more difficult to make trips across the Bay, which threatens the region’s quality of life and its ability to grow. We are succeeding in generating transit demand, but we are failing to add new infrastructure to support our success. A second transbay rail crossing is not inevitable; it’s a commitment today’s leaders must make for the future of the Bay Area. We offer seven recommendations for how to get started now.

You can see the full report here:

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