Harder Leads Effort to Secure Valley Link Funding

May 9, 2019
Press Release
Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority Seeks $25 Million to Build New Stations, Maintenance Facility

WASHINGTON – Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) has led a letter to the Department of Transportation (DOT) in support of the Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority’s application for a federal investment through DOT’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program. The funding will support the construction of two Valley Link rail stations in Tracy and River Islands as well as a maintenance facility in Tracy. Rep. Harder is joined on the letter by Representatives Eric Swalwell (CA-15) Jerry McNerney (CA-9), and Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11).

“We all know the Altamont Pass is a mess. These long commutes mean we’re spending more time in the car and less time with our families. One of the best ways of shortening commutes is to give people more transportation choices,” said Rep. Harder. “Building these stations will create jobs and opportunities while cutting a lot of the headaches people have to deal with on a daily basis. We’re going to work together to get this done.”

“The Valley Link passenger rail project connects people with housing and jobs and the BUILD grant will fund the Operations and Maintenance facility in Tracy, as well as portions of the downtown Tracy and River Islands stations,” said Michael Tree, Executive Director, Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority. “The Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority is grateful for the leadership of Congressman Josh Harder in providing support for the grant.”

The Valley Link rail project will connect Northern San Joaquin County to the Tri-Valley and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) services. The BUILD program provides a unique opportunity for the DOT to invest in local infrastructure projects of national and regional importance.

The text of the letter is below and an original copy is available here.

 

Dear Secretary Chao:

Thank you for your leadership overseeing our nation’s transportation system. We write to express our support for the Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority’s application for the DOT’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant.

As you may know, the Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority has requested $25 million in BUILD funding to support the construction of two Valley Link rail stations in Downtown Tracy and River Islands, California as well as a maintenance facility. Congress enacted the BUILD grant program to support projects just like Valley Link, which is of key regional and national significance. The project will cut commute times and provide additional transportation options to more than 25,000 commuters across the Central Valley and Bay Area.

Valley Link will alleviate the state’s chronic traffic congestion, reduce pressure on crowded highways, and improve traffic flow by diversifying the region’s transportation options. Central Valley residents who commute to the Bay Area experience some of our nation’s longest commute times in the country. The average commute ranges from 90 minutes to three hours from Tracy to San Francisco. These times are untenable, especially given the region’s anticipated traffic growth of 60 percent by 2040.

This project also supports the Administration’s infrastructure efforts. You have stated that infrastructure is the foundation of our economy and a key to job growth. Valley Link’s innovative inter-regional structure will connect with the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in the City of Dublin and the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) lines, promoting regional connectivity and leading to economic growth.

Thank you again, Secretary Chao, for your full and fair consideration of this grant proposal, in accordance with all applicable laws, rules, and policies. We look forward to your response and working with you to support exceptional infrastructure projects in our region.