NEWARK (CBS SF) — Facebook is trying to lay the groundwork for construction of a new commuter line with a plan that includes refurbishing an old rail bridge.
The social media giant says it wants to cover a big chunk of the cost.
With a potential $1 billion investment, Facebook has jump started a much-discussed but long dormant plan to bring train service from the East Bay to the peninsula.
“I could spend my time reading or doing work. Anything but being stressed out by the cars around me,” mused commuter Anabella Gonzalez.
Gonzalez says she typically spend three hours each day inching along in traffic from her home in the East Bay to her job on the peninsula and back. She says she grateful the social media giant is considering investing into own money to bring train service to the peninsula.
“I am a little impressed that Facebook was willing to put in some money to make the commute better. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone who works here and lives in the city,” Gonzalez said.
Facebook has already paid for Samtrans to conduct a feasibility study, examining plans to use a now defunct set of railroad tracks south of the Dumbarton bridge.
“We have very high concentrations of jobs in areas where we don’t have housing,” said Asha Weinstein Agrawal, a researcher with the Mineta Transportation Institute.
Facebook is in the middle of negotiations with Samtrans which owns the tracks. If everything goes according to plan, construction on the project could begin as soon as 2022.
“I think it is a viable option given the amount of traffic in the Bay Area, especially along that corridor,” said commuter Karim Michael Tahir.