At Thursday’s TRANSPLAN meeting committee members received a report on eBART’s Hillcrest station design. The presentation started with a brief overview of eBART. The $462 million project will bring a transit rail system to Eastern Contra Costa County. The system, using Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) technology, will travel down the median of Highway 4. Each unit is 130 feet long and can carry 200 passengers, 3 DMUs can be coupled together for a total passenger capacity of 600.
eBART’s service hours will the same as BART’s, opening at 4am and closing at 1am during the weekdays. Passengers will pass through the fare gates at the Hillcrest Station using a “Clipper” pass. Clipper is an all-in-one transit “smart” card, which allows you to load passes and “electronic cash” value, for use on Bay Area transit systems. Transit system currently using the Clipper system include: Muni, BART, AC Transit, SamTrans, Caltrain, Golden Gate, and VTA. Tri Delta is currently evaluating this new fare system.
eBART trains will leave at regular intervals from the Hillcrest station, travel roughly 13 minutes, arriving at the Pittsburg/Bay Point station. Passengers will disembark, walk across the platform and board a waiting empty BART train. The now empty eBART train will wait until the next BART train arrives to take riders back to Hillcrest. Estimated one way fares for the ride – $2.25 to Pittsburg/BP; $3.65 to Walnut Creek, ride time – 31 minutes; $6.55 to Embarcadero, ride time – 1hr. 6 minutes; $11.95 to SFO, ride time – 1hr. 39 minutes.
The station, located just east of the Hillcrest exit in Antioch and on the north side of Highway 4, will have 1000 parking spaces in phase one. Three hundred will be covered with solar panels. There will be bike racks, lockers and 12 bus bays. Restrooms will be available during peak commute hours. Ticket vending and add-fare machines will also be onsite. Access to trains will be similar to the Pittsburg/BP station with a walkway over 4 lanes of newly widened Highway 4 to reach the median where trains are waiting.
Safety and security were concerns during initial discussions with BART. The station plans do not contain a Station Agent booth, nor is the Hillcrest eBART station planned to be staffed with a Station Agent. To address these concerns BART will have 39 CCTV cameras spread throughout the facility, including the parking lot. These cameras will be monitored by BART staff at the eBART Central Control, located ½ mile from the station. 9-1-1 phones will also be placed in various locations in the parking lot. A physical presence will be provided throughout operating hours. Community Service Officers, Operations Supervisor and intermittent BART police patrols, both in police cars and as eBART riders, will provide coverage between 70% and 80% of the time.
At the end of the discussion BART Board member Joel Keller announced that his is working to include in BART’s next budget the money necessary to conduct studies for the extension of the eBART system. Phase 2 of eBART would be a 3.1 mile extension to Laurel Road where it crosses from Oakley into Antioch.
Here is what eBART cars will look like