Kate Bradshaw, The Almanac, March 14, 2019
“SamTrans has entered into an exclusive 18-month partnership with Cross Bay Transit Partners — a partnership formed between Facebook and the infrastructure investment company Plenary Group — to explore the feasibility of reinstating passenger rail transit along the Dumbarton corridor.
“The exclusive negotiation agreement with Cross Bay Transit Partners [begins] an analysis to determine if it’s feasible to build and operate the project [and to] seek environmental clearances for it. Other firms, chosen through competitive bidding, would do the engineering work and construction.
“ ‘That’s all we have — an exclusive right to take a look,’ said Plenary Group Executive Chairman Dale Bonner. Cross Bay Transit Partners may decide the project is not feasible, or the public may come out in force to say it’s not appropriate, he added.
“The project would have to win approval from a wide array of agencies. It must comply with CEQA and the National Environmental Protection Act, and gain support by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Altamont Corridor Express rail system, and others.
“If all goes according to an ambitious timeline, the feasibility analysis and environmental certification could be completed by the first quarter of 2021. If SamTrans approves the EIR around that time, then finalizing a longer-term contract between Cross Bay Transit Partners and SamTrans — and agreements to design, build, operate and maintain the project — might allow construction to start in 2022.”