Why Altamont ? - Bay Area Benefits
Rail Transportation in the Bay Area is still in the development state. Major systems too often do not connect with each other, leading to an unnecessary and expensive duplication of services. This is nowhere more evident than in the Tri Cities area, where BART crosses the ACE Railway, the Capitol Corridor, and the potential Dumbarton Caltrain line. There are no plans for a station to join all of these services in one place!
An Altamont HSR alignment can solve this. Rather than duplicating service, an Altamont alignment will expand the region's rail system in the I-580/I-680 corridor and from the East Bay into the South Bay and Peninsula. The ability to operate regional rail service over the infrastructure of the statewide network will allow planners to focus local spending on local projects.
With a new rail corridor devoted to passenger service built from San Jose and the Peninsula, joining together in Fremont, and running east to Pleasanton and Livermore, over the Altamont Pass to the San Joaquin Valley, the regional rail system in the Southern and Central Bay Area will be complete. Seamless transfers will exist between BART and the new trains in the Amador Valley, Fremont, and Millbrae, all three Bay Area airports will be linked to the system, and the VTA's network of light rail will interconnect at the Great America station and San Jose Diridon station.
Local and express trains traveling from the Bay Area to Los Angeles and regional trains running out to the Central Valley will all make use of the new railway, maximizing the investment in the system. Two short BART extensions will finalize the connections in the region's rail system, and modern ticketing can allow travelers to switch trains without barriers
The region cannot allow the short-sighted decision to drop the Altamont alignment from consideration to handicap the region's transportation.