West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station opens to much fanfare—and talk

2-hours of speeches lead off a ribbon-cutting ceremony at $106-million facility

Trains are stopping today at the $106-million West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station that was officially dedicated Friday with a bevy of speeches and patriotic ceremonies inside the spacious second level waiting area.

The agency's 44th station opening was celebrated by military color guards, the "Pledge of Allegiance," the National Anthem sung by Katelyn West and bagpipe music by the Prince Charles Caledonian Band. Then came the speeches--15 of them--by local, regional, transportation and BART representatives.

Service started Saturday with trains operating on a holiday schedule today. The first crunch of passengers to board trains that are often filled at the East Dublin/Pleasanton station, which is located 1.6 miles east of the new facility, will come Tuesday morning. The new station includes a parking garage with 468 spaces on Stoneridge Mall Road on the Pleasanton side and another garage with 721 spaces on the Dublin side.

Commuters can walk from the garages directly to the second level of the station to process their tickets, and then down a flight of stairs to the I-580 freeway level to board trains.

John McPartland, vice president of the BART board of directors, said the new station is expected to serve 4,300 riders daily on weekdays, with the trip to BART's four downtown San Francisco stations costing $5.50 one way.

Commuter counts in the coming weeks will determine how many of the 7,500 daily passengers who use the existing station will use the new station instead where parking may be more abundant and more weather-friendly. As it is, parking at the Dublin/Pleasanton station can be scarce early in the morning rush hour even with nearly 3,000 spaces on both sides of the freeway.

The East BART station was opened May 10, 1997 and quickly became a major transit hub for buses and cabs, serving the Tri-Valley. Cabs, Wheels and AC Transit buses and a number of shuttle buses to various Tri-Valley corporations and business parks congregate at the station, which is BART's end-of-the-line station. Transit service is available to San Joaquin County and cities as far east as Modesto, over 55 miles away.

Although some transit service is expected to serve the new West BART station, its location near more congested Stoneridge Mall Road and Dublin Boulevard may keep most of the services at the station farther east.

But with easier access from I-680, the new station and its garages may also attract new riders to BART from among commuters from San Ramon and Danville on the north and even from Fremont on the south as a quicker way of reaching Oakland, San Francisco and Peninsula destinations.

McPartland led the grand opening celebration Friday, a cold, rainy day with about 200 filling the unheated upper level assembly area. In the audience were BART representatives, employees, state and county leaders, council members from Dublin, Pleasanton and San Ramon, firefighters, police, school board members and scores of residents who said they've been waiting for this new station to open.

With skywalks connecting both sides of the freeway, pedestrians and bicyclists can now walk, jog and cycle between Pleasanton and Dublin without having to use the Foothill Road/San Ramon Boulevard overpass.

"This station's been nine years in the making," McPartland said, "and today's the day. It's another step in BART's commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of a crowded freeway. It also represents the success of a public-private partnership in building a transit center."

Quentin Kopp, a retired San Mateo Superior Court judge who worked tirelessly as a State Senator to campaign for the Bay Area Rapid Transit System and its service extensions, including to San Francisco International Airport, praised BART for adding the new West Dublin/Pleasanton station. He told those assembled Friday that it was to the credit of voters and taxpayers in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties who voted to fund a $792 million bond issue that enabled BART to be established, with the first section of rail placed in 1973.

"Think about what the Bay Area would be like today if these voters had not agreed to pay for BART?" Kopp asked. "Forever the shame of San Mateo County for not going along."

Pete Snyder, the first mayor of Dublin and a former BART board member, recalled the early days of Dublin when part of the acreage on which the new West BART station and parking garages occupy was undeveloped, although eyed for retail and other businesses when BART acquired it in 1982.

He worked with BART, the city of Dublin and investment firms Jones Lang LaSalle and Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors to create the public-private partnership that enabled BART to pay for the new station.

"This was first major public-private partnership in transportation in this area," Snyder said.

Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty called the new BART station opening "a great day for the economic future of this area."

"When you see a station alike this, you know BART is alive and well," he added. "Of course, I wish this celebration was at a new BART station in Livermore, but that will come."

Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti said the station is a catalyst for his city's downtown development plan. Plans call for construction of a transit village on the Dublin side of the station that could include a 150-room hotel, a 210-unit apartment complex and retail/office space. He also talked about how the BART station fits into Dublin's effort to curb greenhouse gases.

"We are one of only a few cities in the Bay Area that has actually adopted a climate action plan," Sbranti said. "We're concerned about greenhouse gas emissions in the East Bay and one of the key elements in our plan talks about increasing BART's capacity here in the city of Dublin."

Pleasanton's Vice-Mayor Cheryl Cook-Kallio said the new station fits into her city's plan for more transit oriented developments (TODs) that can also help the environment. She said Pleasanton just approved an 850-unit TOD in the Hacienda Business Park and plans call for a 350-unit apartment complex adjacent to the new station.

Other speakers included Bob Franklin, president of the BART board of directors, from District 3; Thomas Blalock, BART Director from District 6; Bijan Sartipi, Director, District 4 of the California Department of Transportation; Arthur Dao, executive director of the Alameda County Transportation Commission; Jim Gallagher, vice president of Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers; Robert Russell, senior vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle; Karl Schroeder, president, Northern California division of Safeway, Inc., and Dorothy Dugger, BART General Manager.

Because the House of Representatives was in session Friday debating budget issues, Congressmen Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) and John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek) were unable to attend the opening day ceremonies although their local staff representatives were there.

The long morning celebration ended at noon Friday with the ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the entry gates that took about two minutes.


Posted by Chris Dubrovnik, a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:12 am

Interesting the new BART station article did not mention the concern of many in the tri-valley area which is the possible increase in crime from the riff-raff coming in from the Hayward side. The Pleasanton police are concerned as is Stoneridge Mall. Time will tell now, won't it? Hopefully, saggy pants, who my daddy strollers, and cussing teens won't "enhance" our shopping centers.

Posted by Dana Johnston, a resident of Danville
on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:21 am

I completely agree with Chris. My brother is a policeman in Pleasanton and the concern of an increase in crime/assaults at the mall is r e a l. Time will tell. Hopefully we don't turn into the Southland---Eastridge---Newark---Hilltop type malls.

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

THIS is why I come here -- for the unintentional comedy!

Why, it's The Invasion of the Brown People, coming soon to a theatre near a mall, near a BART station ... near YOU!

Or is it the tragedy of miser-able lives so flush with possessory opulence that the holders subsist in mortal fear of losing it? That's a mighty deep, if hermetically sterile, void you've created for yourselves.

Maybe you can find some brown people from over-the-hill to help dig you out.

Posted by DDP, a resident of Danville
on Feb 21, 2011 at 10:33 am

Cardinal, you must be one of the PC ("politically correct") police. It's true that the earlier comments are not politically correct. But the potential for increased crime is real. I hope the fear is misplaced - we'll know soon enough.

Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 21, 2011 at 10:57 am

Cardinal... Let it be know you are a very NAIVE person.

"Build it and they will come".

They always have and they will do it again...I am not talking about only black folks...I'm talking about Thugs.

Open your eyes...I hope the PPD keep their finger on the situation.

Thank you, Julia From Alamo

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 21, 2011 at 11:37 am

The hits -- they just keep on comin'.

Posted by Rick ellisington, a resident of Danville
on Feb 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm

AMAZING!!!! Cardinal immediately played the "race card" although prior postings steered clear of any racial comments! Goes to prove people, the racist is usually the one screaming "racist" first and the loudest AKA PC liberals!!

Posted by Ann Travero, a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Thank you, Rick----my sentiments exactly!

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I see.

We Leebruls are not supposed to be hip to the code -- that "riffraff from the Hayward side" and "saggy pants" and especially "who my daddy strollers" don't refer to "brown people?" Or that a "Hilltop-type mall" might involve contact with apparently-dreaded knee-grows?

I would note that the glee with which you claim I 'played the race-card' on the oh-so-innocent descriptors above, suggests that ridiculous racial fear doesn't lie very deep beneath the placidly homogenized surface of our only-subtly Xenophobic little burgs.

Posted by Scud Malice, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Feb 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

With that said, Jessica, and without consideration for terms of use, one must wonder if anyone actually used the new station and its parking facilities or even enjoyed a ride. Does it bear consideration that Walnut Creek's shopping has suffered nothing from the diversity of shopping brought by rapid transit including BART and the courtesy Green Trolleys.

Is there something quite southern about the southern reach into the tri-valley area? Has there been any cause for what has been said above. Does any stores in the Dublin/Pleasanton area sell baggie pants?

It is quite curious!


Posted by Dan Gianotti, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Feb 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Too bad "Cardinal" from Diablo no less (lol) is not living among the riff-raff from Hayward etc. Very revealing the red bird (hmm Stanford perhaps?) does not choose a "brown" (his label) area to live so he could experience the fullness of diversity.

Posted by Treebeard, a resident of Danville
on Feb 22, 2011 at 7:53 am

Just in passing, the rather strange letters - — - in the headline are not gibberish. They are in actuality HTML code for a special character to displayed in the this case the long dash or em dash. The reason the em dash is not displayed is that someone forgot to put a space character after the word fanfare.

There are scads of special character codes such as the symbol for pi and the ampersand symbol & .

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 22, 2011 at 7:58 am

Oh, Dan, Dan, Dan -- this is the internets, where everybody can live in Diablo, and root for Stanford (wrong reference, btw, and it's not baseball, either -- but feel free to keep guessing), and we can all be any color--red, white, yellow, brown:

Truth (honest!) is, I located here to be near work, and later chose not to uproot my kids from their schools. I Have lived in the innerest of cities back east, and yes indeed, I enjoyed the mixture of communities there -- I never even got burgled or robbed, and if I did, my stuff's insured, and just stuff.

I also enjoy Danville, for other reasons -- and undoubtedly more so than certain of my paranoid Danvillain neighbors. The switching costs keep me hereabouts for the time being. I certainly wouldn't rule out moving closer-in and /involuntary gasp/ "browner."

Maybe everybody needs somebody to disparage -- in the cases above it's the dreaded brown people. I prefer to avoid status offenses, and focus instead on The Silly -- like folks who fear a new BART station on an existing line will somehow lead the peasantry to follow it, like campesinos on an oil road in the western Amazon.

I happily disparage The Silly, and you can disparage me. Fire away!

Posted by Cindy, a resident of Danville
on Feb 22, 2011 at 8:48 am

Groups of 5-10 people walking around the mall creates a flow obstruction. When coming from the opposite direction, I have been pushed against a wall so this group can move forward. Add in a stroller or three and there is no way around this slow-moving roadblock. Dynamics are totally changed by these groups as compared to more average suburban shoppers. Nothing about color, baggy pants, whatever--I don't like being forced aside.

Posted by psmacintosh, a resident of Danville
on Feb 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

Nice to have more transportation options for our Tri-Valley area! I welcome the addition.
And super glad there is parking and access from BOTH sides of 680.

yes, I hope it doesn't increase crime (by any race), but I personaly doubt that it changes the situation by any significant amount (since there already is another station in Dublin).

I hope BART eventually becomes a true BAY AREA system--circling and connecting the entire Bay. Wish there were some way for BART to come up through the 680 valley.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Danville
on Feb 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I don't think that many thieves choose BART as their getaway vehicle. Hayward criminals--or criminals from Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon--typically choose automobiles as their getaway vehicle.

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Some folks will be relieved to learn that I drove past there this morning and, HOLEY SHISH KEBAB, the station appeared to be firmly in control of white folks.

They were everywhere.

Posted by Stick to the Facts, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 23, 2011 at 10:41 am

Cardinal, you are a typical liberal. Lacking in any factual basis for making your case, you must resort to playing the race card in order to demean and silence any opposition to your position. I suggest you talk to the husband and children of the woman that was murdered in Lafayette about a decade ago. The three murderers arrived in her neighborhood on the Lafayette Bart, then walked a short distance to her home. The murder was discovered hours later when she failed to pick up her children at school. The assailants were long gone.

Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Feb 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Cardinal a "Liberal"? Come on now, he may be a vodka swilling toad licking raconteur at times but to label him the EL word is beyond the pale. Let's try and be civil here and not incure the wrath of Lady Jessica...

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Thanks for your support, jrm -- but I prefer to swill Scotch. ;-) As to the rest, I'll cop to it.

Without minimizing the personal tragedy of the Daher murder, there were some 653 (count 'em) other murders in Contra Costa County alone during the decade following her killing (all three of Mrs. Daher's killers were convicted and imprisoned, so they didn't do it). Web Link

Do you factor All those into your decision about whether to leave the house, ever? If so, I won't bring up the 200K thefts, or that > 60% of murder victims are intimates of their assailants, out of concern that you'll be found quivering in the corner of your attic.

Life is risk -- you take precautions and insure your stuff. But if your life is ruled by a single random (per the police) data-point more than 13 years old, then you live in self-induced misery.

And I submit that that's silly.

Posted by Stick to the Facts, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 24, 2011 at 8:20 am

Cardinal, it appears that you are lacking in reason. Why do you think that property values per square foot in a high crime area are much lower than in a low crime area (all other aspects being equal)? Because rational people value living in an area where there is a lower risk of having a crime committed against their person or their property. Not considering crime rates in picking a place to live, or where to go, is "silly". Enjoy your childish delusions, cardinal.

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 24, 2011 at 6:14 pm

So, stick, you wanted facts but quoted only one, so I gave a whole chart of them to you, recommending precaution but not obsession. Then you come back, studiously ignoring my post and citing instead some unnamed, unrelated "childish delusions." Is that about it?

Well, okay. Since that puts us in the realm of random insults, here's one for you: are you an indictment of the educational system -- or did it just never stand a chance?

Posted by Stick to the Facts, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Cardinal: There are relevant facts and irrelevant facts. Relevant facts would be murders committed in Lafayette before the BART station was built and after it was built, and whether the murderers used BART. The stat for murders in all of Contra Costa is not relevant to the discussion.

Posted by bass, a resident of Blackhawk
on Feb 25, 2011 at 11:42 am

Web Link

Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Feb 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm

jrm is a registered user.

We got trouble, yes friends we got trouble..
That begins with "T"
Which rhymes with "C"
And that stands for Cardinal!

Dare I remind you all what color Cardinals are....
Coincidence? I think NOT....
I'm just sayin.....

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 26, 2011 at 8:08 am

Hmmm. Some blackhawk hornin' in on my weblinks racket? Looks fishy to me, too.

<img src="Web Link;

Posted by In Alamo, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:57 am

More scary than the BART station is what seems like extremely racist tone of many of the residents. I found the "who my daddy strollers" to be particulary offensive. I think you guys need to tone your hatred down. I live in the area and would surely like our area to be top target if/when the "revolution" comes.

Posted by In Alamo, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:59 am

Sorry -- typo in the last line -- it should read:
I live in the area and would surely NOT like our area to be top target if/when the "revolution" comes.

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