Funds roll in for BART extension

The future of BART’s planned extension into East Contra Costa County is looking brighter.

Pittsburg just set aside $1.3 million for a station to be built near Railroad Avenue. This is just the start of the new eBART project, BART’s extension from Pittsburg-Bay Point out to Antioch, running down the median of Highway 4.

The BART board also approved a $23.6 million contract to build a parking lot and maintenance facility at the new Antioch station.

The eBART extension, which will cost a hefty $462 million, is expected to be completed by 2016.

So far, only Antioch has the green light for a shiny new station, but BART planners are looking around for potential sites for other stations.

Pittsburg also ponied up $800,000 to BART to build at least the foundation of a station, according to City Manager Joe Sbranti. This way, when more funding is obtained, they won’t have to start construction from scratch.

The city will pay another $500,000 as an incentive to BART if the station is built by the end of 2020.

The distance between the Pittsburg-Bay Point station to Railroad Avenue has seemed even larger to commuters because of the often-gridlocked traffic in between. This project is meant to alleviate congestion and reduce reliance upon cars in the corridor.

Despite the new funds, not everything is taken care of. The Contra Costa Transportation Authority and other regional transit agencies are looking to make up the funding gap to complete the extension.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has told BART evidence of demand for at least 10,000 daily trips from a proposed Hillcrest station in Antioch will be required before more funding is approved, BART Director Joel Keller told Inside Bay Area.