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Online Public Scoping Meeting

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    Welcome

    South Bay Connect – Virtual Engagement


    Thank you for your participation in our online Public Scoping Meeting for the proposed South Bay Connect Project! The entire session should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. We look forward to reviewing your input and continuing to work with you throughout the Project.


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    Participant Sign-In

    Sign-in so we know you attended. By doing so, you will also be added to the project contact list for future updates.

    Live Chat With Project Team

      Engage directly with key team members at the following events:

      Telephone Town Hall

      Wednesday, August 5, 2020
      Starting at 5:30 p.m. PST
      Dial in to hear project information and talk directly with project team members. Your feedback and participation is a key element to a successful public comment period and we look forward to hearing from you. To join the Telephone Town Hall meeting use a call-in number below:


    Three Ways to Navigate This Meeting

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    Use the navigation bar to the left of your screen to revisit any part of the meeting.

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    How to Participate

    • Click through all slides to learn about the project and provide feedback.
    • Note that we are currently within the project’s environmental scoping period where the project’s purpose and need, and potential alternative(s) are identified.
    • We want to hear from you about any concerns related to project, possible alternative (s), and potential mitigation measures.
    • You can provide comments at any point by clicking the “Comment” button at the top right of your screen. Once finished, please make sure to hit “Submit”.

    Project Introduction


    Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) and its partner agencies have begun preliminary design and environmental analysis on the South Bay Connect Project. The South Bay Connect project would create a shorter, more direct connection between Oakland and San Jose by relocating Capitol Corridor passenger rail service between the Oakland Coliseum and Newark from the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) Niles Subdivision to the UPRR Coast Subdivision. This relocation is expected to facilitate improved separation of passenger and freight rail operations in southern Alameda County and create new connections for transbay travelers between the East Bay and destinations on the Peninsula.

    The Capitol Corridor offers Northern California travelers a more reliable intercity passenger rail alternative to traveling on congested corridors such as Interstates 80, 680 and 880.

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    Oncoming CCJPA train

    Project Partners

    Caltrans logo

    Caltrans

    Union Pacific logo

    Union Pacific Railroad

    Alameda County Transportation Commission logo

    Alameda County
    Transportation Commission

    Metropolitan Transportation Commission logo

    Metropolitan
    Transportation Commission

    City of Hayward logo

    City of Hayward

    Union City logo

    Union City

    City of Fremont logo

    City of Fremont

    Newark California logo

    City of Newark

    Project Purpose and Study Area


    Project History and Goals

    This rail improvement project has been identified in several planning documents as a critical component to enhancing both passenger and freight rail operations:


    South Bay Connect aims to improve operations for both uses of rail in supporting the economic vitality of the Northern California Megaregion. Improvements to the rail infrastructure may also be included in the project to accommodate the shift of rail services.

    South Bay Connect includes a proposed new station in Fremont that will provide a much-needed intermodal transbay connection between the East Bay and Peninsula.

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    Project Area


    Explore the interactive map above.

    Project Benefits


    South Bay Connect can provide many benefits to Capitol Corridor travelers and the larger Northern California megaregional economy and environment, including:

    Travel time icon

    Reduce passenger rail travel time between Oakland and San Jose and throughout the larger Northern California megaregion to increase ridership on transit, ease congestion on the Bay Area’s stressed roadways, and reduce lengthy auto commutes.

    Network icon

    Diversify and enhance rail network integration by reducing duplicative capital investments and differentiating Capitol Corridor’s intercity rail service from commuter rail and other transit services, including BART’s extension to San Jose.

    Economy icon

    Support economic vitality by permitting enhanced rail movement and the preservation of freight rail capacity in the Northern California market through the reduction of conflicts between freight rail operations and passenger rail service.

    Markets icon

    Improve service between megaregional markets by enhancing connections between high demand destinations, overcoming existing geographic service gaps between job centers and affordable housing on the Peninsula and the Capitol Corridor route.

    Sustainability icon

    Promote environmental sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a result of potential transit ridership increase due to offering a shorter, more direct travel option with new transbay connections. A shift from cars to transit could lower vehicle miles traveled on area freeways and reduce emissions.

    Fast-moving train

     

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    Station Evaluation


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    CCJPA and their project partners identified and evaluated several station options through an early screening process to understand feasible location solutions for South Bay Connect. These station study areas included:

    Step 1Ardenwood at State Route 84 and the Coast Subdivision tracks

    Step 1Hayward at State Route 92 and the Coast Subdivision tracks

    Step 1Newark Junction (where Dumbarton Rail Corridor and Niles Subdivision crosses Coast Subdivision)

    Based on established criteria, Ardenwood was identified as the most feasible station location to serve communities and to create seamless connections with transbay bus routes. A detailed station design will be developed through project planning.

    Map showing Ardenwood location

    Evaluation Results

    Ardenwood results card Hayward results card Newark results card


    Click the cards to enlarge.

    Environmental Requirements


    Environmental Resource Areas

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    The proposed new service route and station alternatives will be analyzed in a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The EIR will assess potential environmental impacts of the project on the physical, human and natural environment.

    To identify potential impacts and establish clear mitigations, the environmental analysis will look at a wide range of resource areas including:

    • Aesthetics
    • Agriculture forestry
    • Air quality
    • Biological
    • Cultural
    • Energy
    • Geology/soils
    • Greenhouse gas emissions
    • Hazards & hazardous materials
    • Hydrology/water quality
    • Land use/planning
    • Minerals
    • Noise
    • Population/housing
    • Public services
    • Recreation
    • Transportation
    • Tribal culture
    • Utilities/service systems
    • Wildfire

    Agency Involvement

    Key activities during the environmental planning include close coordination with regulatory agencies including, but not limited to:

    USACE logo U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
    USFWS logo U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)
    CDFW logo CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW)
    CA Waterboards logo Bay Conservation & Development Commission (BCDC)
    OHP logo San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board (SFRWQCB)
    BCDC logo State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

    Measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate any potential adverse impacts will be identified in the EIR. A Draft EIR will be prepared and made available for public comment. Comments will be addressed in the Final EIR, which will be approved by the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Board, the governing entity of CCJPA.

    Environmental Process


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    Along with close coordination with project partners and regulatory agencies, local and regional community stakeholders, as well as the general public, also play key roles in the environmental planning process through ongoing participation and providing timely input. This valuable engagement helps define the best alternative to meet diverse regional transportation needs.

    Public Comment Periods

    There are three key public comment periods identified within the CEQA process where the public is asked to review information and provide formal input. These public comment periods occur:

    • Early during project scoping
    • At the draft environmental document stage
    • At the final environmental document stage prior to a project decision

    Along with these key input milestones, CCJPA will proactively communicate and engage the public throughout the planning of South Bay Connect.

    Photo of the area landscape

    California Environmental Quality Act Process

    Explore the steps of the CEQA process below. Please note: While the interested public will be engaged throughout the CEQA process, the yellow highlighted steps represent the formal Public Comment periods.

    CEQA process graphic


    Click the graphic to enlarge.

    Key Environmental Concerns


    While the proposed project will analyze the full suite of environmental issues, a couple of potential areas stand out.

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    Station Closures

    The relocation would result in discontinuing Capitol Corridor service at existing stations in the Cities of Fremont and Hayward.

    • Hayward Station: DISCONTINUED
    • Fremont Station: DISCONTINUED

    While the new route will include at least one new station location, the change in location will impact riders.

    • Ardenwood Station: NEW STATION

    Operational Changes

    Moving Capitol Corridor passenger rail services to the Coast Subdivision would separate it from a significant amount of freight rail traffic and improve operations for both uses of the railroad. However, this change is expected to impact hours of rail operation along the existing route on Niles Subdivision, as well as increase in trains on the Coast Subdivision, which could impact adjacent property owners, residents and the traveling public at road/rail crossings.

    CCJPA will be analyzing potential impacts as a result of the project around the existing and proposed future routes. These impacts and any identified mitigation measures will be highlighted within the draft environmental document.

    Project area map


    Click the map to enlarge.

    Public Scoping Comment Period


    As part of the environmental process, responsible and trustee agencies, involved federal agencies, interest groups and members of the public are invited to submit comments during the Public Scoping Period on the environmental review and proposed project.

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    45-Day Comment Period

    A 45-day scoping comment period has been established for the project between June 29 and August 13, 2020. During this time, interested parties are asked to review project information through this online public meeting forum as well as the project website and provide comments.

    Comments can be submitted through a number of ways.

    All comments concerning the proposed environmental scope of the project are to be submitted by 5 p.m. Pacific Time on August 13, 2020 via the following options:

    Email icon
    Mail icon
    Online Comment icon
    Phone icon

    E-Mail sent to:

    info@southbayconnect.com

    Letter sent to:

    Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority
    Attention: South Bay Connect
    300 Lakeside Drive
    14th Floor East
    Oakland, CA 94612

    Online comment card:

    Click “Leave a Comment” button in upper-right corner

    Voicemail recording:

    Call (510) 244-3667 to leave a voicemail message.

    Live Chat With The Project Team:

    Telephone Town Hall

    Wednesday, August 5, 2020
    6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    To join the Telephone Town Hall meeting use a call-in number below:

    Stay Informed


    Project Resources and Next Steps

    Thank you for your interest and input in the South Bay Connect project. All input received during the Public Scoping Period will be shared with the project team to support project development.

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    Share Your Thoughts

    We are interested in your feedback on the environmental issues, potential alternatives and mitigation measures for the proposed project. If you haven’t already submitted a comment, please do so by clicking the comment button in the top right corner of your screen, typing a question or comment in the area provided, and hitting submit. We appreciate your input!

    Project Contact Information

    To stay informed or sign-up to receive updates, visit the South Bay Connect website at www.southbayconnect.com. For additional information or questions, please contact (510) 244-3667 or info@southbayconnect.com.

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