At the October 17 Contra Costa Transportation Authority meeting, the board voted to provided $5.01 million in funding that could allow Bay Area Rapid Transit to add more than 800 additional surface level parking spots at the Antioch BART Station.
During the presentation by BART to CCTA, they explained the Antioch service began in May 2018 and the demand for the new service has doubled the original forecast with around 3,050 daily exits at the Antioch Station. The success of the new service has resulted in full occupancy of the parking lot by 6:00 am on weekdays.
Upon completion of the added parking, the number of BART parking spots in Antioch would nearly double from the current 1,000 spots to 1,800. Currently, BART has more than 3,000 riders a day with only 1,000 spaces, BART explained twice as many riders that are driving, where original forecast 1,500 spaces.
Construction could begin next summer and finish a year later with $4.3 million being provided by BART, $3.65 from MTC, and $3.25 of Measure J eBART plus $1.9 of Measure J Access Funds and $3 million from ECCRFFA.
BART presented to the Board the outline of the project and had asked CCTA to appropriate $5.01 million in funds for the completion of the project to expand the project—estimated at $20,000 per space.
“People who are in the 1,000 that don’t get a space are going to ask why didn’t you plan better. I know stacked parking is more expensive, but did you look at what a 2-to-3 story building would cost,” said Mitchoff. “What is BART’s plan to tell people we only had this much land and can only build this many more parking spots. Is there an outreach? It is money more spent, but the public is being more critical when its not really solving the problem.”
BART Board Member Joel Keller explained by 2030 they anticipate 10,000 trips and will need 1,600 parking spots with some spots available for possible expansion, but there is no roadway at the moment over the train tracks while they are working with the city of Brentwood with the transit center to provide 1,000 parking spaces to connect with Tri Delta Transit on a straight shot bus from Brentwood to the BART station. He also noted Pittsburg is looking at a couple of hundred extra spaces around the courthouse.
“What happened was there was a shift east so there is spaces available in Concord and Martinez has the most spaces available than any of the stations. Your right, as this system continues to grow, and east county continues to grow, future parking is going to be an issue and we need to keep ahead of it as best we can,” said Keller.
Oakley Councilman Kevin Romick also pointed out that besides the Brentwood transit center, Tri Delta Transit has purchased two properties for Park and Ride in Oakey and Antioch and that the land is purchased and they are looking for funding to build it which would be about another 500 parking spaces.
Keller added that once parking is taken care of, BART will be working on purchasing additional cars to assist in overcrowding on trains.
Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor stated that Brentwood has issued 500-550 permits so that parking lot will fill up quickly and that Brentwood is working on pursuing a parking lot adjacent to a transit area for more spaces.
“The squeeze is out in East County because Oakley is building like crazy, Brentwood is doing the same,” said Taylor. “The parking issue is not going away and we are not waiting for it all to happen and this is a very small band aid.”
According to CCTA Executive Director Randy Iwasaki, this project is estimated $16.1 million and is BART project, but the money is being used from savings of the Highway 4 Projects along with other funding available.
“The BART extension has always been an integral part of modernizing Highway 4. The ridership on BART’s East County rail extension has far surpassed the ridership projections, which has created a parking issue at the Hillcrest station. The appropriation of Measure J funds will, hopefully, expedite a solution to encourage more transit ridership along Highway 4. CCTA is excited to be part of the solution,” said Iwasaki.
In addition to Measure J funds, funding partners include Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), BART, and East Contra Costa Regional Fee and Financing Authority (ECCRFFA). The project is currently in the environmental clearance and design phase.
Construction is targeted to begin in Summer of 2019 and end in Spring 2020.