BART is moving forward with plans to study the feasibility of a second tube beneath the Bay, the agency said Wednesday.
While the idea sounds great, it is a huge and costly endeavor. There has been talk of a second Transbay tube for years, but BART is now seriously looking into it
BART Spokeswoman Alicia Trost said the agency has $10 million to conduct a study of how a second tube would work, where it would be located, what markets it would serve, and who would govern it among other things.
There is no money to actually build the project which is estimated to cost anywhere from $12 billion to $15 billion.
CEO of Bay Area Council Jim Wunderman said there are many options of connecting the East Bay to San Francisco. One idea includes connecting Alameda to Mission Bay, while another could connect the future A’s stadium to AT&T Park in the city.
“The object is, how do we serve the most people by connecting best to their jobs and their housing and other uses for BART,” Wunderman said.
The study will also look at the bigger picture of possibly having other transit agencies use the new tube, like high speed rail, Capitol Corridor, or Caltrain.
“We want to have that larger discussion so we can really increase the mobility of the Bay Area,” Trost said.
Trost added that a second Transbay tube would double their capacity and give the agency the option to run trains 24 hours a day.
“It’s a project for the next century and it will be an absolutely needed project as more and more people use BART and depend on it every day,” Wunderman said.
The Bay Area Council said it is important to start talking about plans and cost of the project now because ridership is expected reach capacity in the current tunnel in the year 2030.