Extend BART, Benefit Entire Bay Area
James Boudreau and Caroline Golden
April 23, 2010
Filed under Opinion
Plans to extend Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) current Fremont line will create needed jobs and environmentally friendly public transportation.
Extending BART would benefit the entire traveling population of the Bay Area. Gas prices fluctuate and with the increased danger to our environment that automobiles pose, public transportation is becoming a more preferred way to get around the Bay Area. An extension of BART will give the entire Bay Area the means to travel safely and efficiently.
While many students at Miramonte have drivers’ licenses and cars, California’s one-year rule prevents carpooling, which makes driving alone more expensive and detrimental to the environment. Students especially need legal and affordable forms of transportation such as BART.
“This year we had to go down to San Jose twice for Latin,” said junior Benjamin Breen. “BART would be really useful for the Latin Club.”
The project’s $890 million budget seems unrealistic in the poor state of California’s economy, but the current construction to add BART tracks to Warm Springs, a community south of Fremont, is providing numerous construction jobs to help get Californians back on their feet again. In addition to these jobs, easier access to the Silicon Valley will increase the job pool throughout the Bay Area, as people are more able to get to the many large companies located in the South Bay.
The construction will create at least 2,400 temporary jobs, and nearly 7,000 permanent jobs for California residents. Local economies will have a chance to grow and improve with more convenient and cheaper transportation.
Traffic congestion on I-880, which connects Alameda, Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties, will decrease, along with the amount of pollution emitted and the dependence on non-renewable resources from foreign countries.
The goal of the project is to extend coverage of the 104-mile BART system to San Jose and Santa Clara. The Warm Springs extension will add 5.4 miles to the existing Fremont line, and six stations will be added to the line towards Santa Clara.
California needs the benefits that the Warm Springs BART extension would provide, and now is the time to show support for this project.