Special to the Post
Local elected officials who make up the West Contra Costa Transportation Committee recently decided to not study a possible BART extension along the I-80 Corridor from the El Cerrito Del Norte Station.
Transportation committee member Zachary Mallett, who is a member of the BART board, supported the study, but other committee members felt there have already been enough studies.
Earlier this year, the transportation committee decided to study four alternative solutions that include increased express bus service, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a BART extension from the Richmond BART Station and a fare revision on Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor.
Oddly enough a possible solution in their own back yard has not been included for consideration.
According to Ultra Light Rail Transit (ULRT) developer CyberTran International’s (CTI) Board Chairman Neil Sinclair, “Everyone wants to be second, nobody wants to be first. Therefore, transit innovation doesn’t move forward unless you’re some conglomerate like Tesla or Google. Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.”
Transit officials are very conservative and will not take chances on their reputations.
In 2008, BART did a comprehensive study on the ULRT technology. It’s a system that has already been built and tested. BART concluded in comparison to their system, the ULRT system is approximately a quarter the cost to build and half the cost to operate and maintain.
CyberTran would not allow the study to be made public because the study included proprietary information. However, the study has been reviewed by federal officials at the US Department of Transportation, and a federal program has been developed to possibly fund final demonstration of the technology.
CyberTran President Dexter Vizinau says there should be not further extensions of the BART technology. Ultra light rail is less costly to build, less costly to operate and maintain, can go more places and give the public more for their tax dollars. The system also generates its own energy and will not tax the grid as BART does. he said, noting that BART is PG&E’s biggest customer.
When it comes to the four alternatives of the WCCTAC study Vizinau states, “You’ll never be able to get from Richmond to Sacramento in 40 minutes on a bus, or driverless car. Our system is designed to reach speeds over 100 mph and is non-stop no matter where you get on and no matter where you are going within the system.”
CyberTran Board Chairman Sinclair said, “If we really want to relieve traffic congestion on Highway 80 from Sacramento to the Bay Area ULRT is the best viable solution. Ultra light rail can be installed on the existing medium without having to widen the highway. The problem is our system is disruptive technology and the status quo does not want to see it move forward.”