DUBLIN, Calif. (KCBS/BCN) – BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger showed a positive face during the grand opening of the West Dublin/Pleasanton Station Friday as questions swirled about her future with the transit agency.
Service on the long-delayed station officially begins Saturday.
Dugger made no mention of recent reports that the Bay Area Rapid Transit Agency board of directors had voted to fire her the week before. That action was rescinded because the vote was taken without appropriate advance notice in violation of opening meeting laws.
Instead her brief remarks focused on the completion of a $106 million project that was a year late in opening because of a design flaw in a walkway over the freeway.
“We worked hard to solve those problems, mitigate that risk and are here today to celebrate this accomplishment,” she said.
KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:
The new station is located near the interchange of Interstate Highways 580 and 680, the Stoneridge Shopping Center and Safeway Inc.’s corporate headquarters.
It was initially slated to open in the late 1990s, when BART built its extension to the Dublin/Pleasanton station, which is several miles to the east, but there wasn’t enough money to build the West Dublin/Pleasanton station at that time.
Postponing the building of the station created the longest uninterrupted stretch of track in BART’s system: 10 miles from the Castro Valley station to the Dublin/Pleasanton station.
Dublin Mayor Tom Sbranti said the corridor sorely needed an additional station on the 10-mile stretch between Castro Valley and Dublin Pleasanton.
BART officials say the new station will add 1,200 new parking spots, more racks for bicyclists and eventually a transit village where people who prefer not to own a vehicle will be able to live, work, commute, shop and play within walking distance of BART.
The new parking spaces are expected to alleviate pressure at the end-of-the-line Dublin/Pleasanton Station where the parking lot is normally full by 7:30 a.m. on weekdays.
BART Board President Bob Franklin said in a statement that the new station “represents smart growth by adding BART’s first infill station instead of expanding outwards and by increasing mixed-use development around the station to give people additional reasons to take public transportation.”
Board Vice President John McPartland, whose district includes the Dublin-Pleasanton area, said, “I see this station as a key new hub in Northern California’s transportation network.”
The one-way fare from the West Dublin/Pleasanton station to downtown San Francisco is $5.50 and the one-way fare to the 12th St./Oakland City Center station is $3.85.
BART says that building the station created 2,500 direct and indirect jobs.
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