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Two-Item Tuesday: Oakland/Alameda Water Shuttle Almost Ready

...and time running out to participate in Link21 virtual open house

Work on Woodstock is complete and it’s back in the Jack London marina awaiting start of service. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

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Here are two stories of interest to the safe and livable streets community.

Oakland/Alameda water shuttle service getting tantalizingly close

Alameda Landing from Jack London Square, where Woodstock will dock. Photo: Streetsblog.

A little more news on the planned Woodstock water shuttle service between Jack London Square and Alameda Landing. From the Alameda city page:

Boat modifications are complete! Woodstock now has a new open floorplan with bike racks and some benches, along with wide folding gangways. ADA ramps have been purchased for the Alameda and Oakland docks. The service launch is still planned for this summer, and a specific date will be set and announced when external approvals are assured.

That last sentence seems to be the rub now, for a service that was supposed to start this month but now seems to be delayed until at least July. Streetsblog has requested more details, but the city's web post says that "final approvals from the U.S. Coast Guard and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)" remain pending.

When launched, the little yellow boat will run between Alameda Landing and the foot of Oakland's Broadway (see map). It's supposed to run Wednesdays through Sundays, for about twelve hours per day. It's a two-year pilot, but Streetsblog is hopeful that will be extended, and that the service will eventually run seven days a week for closer to 18 hours a day, so it can become a reliable, regular, always-on-call conveyance for people on bike and on foot connecting Western Alameda to Oakland, as well as BART and Amtrak.

Link21 virtual open house takes comment on the future of regional rail

A look at the Bay Area's possible rail futures. From the Link21 site

July 19 is the last day to participate in the Link21 virtual open house and make yourself heard about the future of regional rail. The biggest questions: where will a new Transbay crossing land? And will the tunnels be built to accommodate BART trains with their non-standard wide gauge tracks, or will they be built for standard-railway gauge for Caltrain and Amtrak? Or could it be some combination? From the Link 21 site:

...visit our Online Open House to learn more about our analysis findings of the different benefits that both train technologies — standard-gauge (Regional Rail) and broad-gauge (BART) — can provide, such as service, mobility, and equity. This important milestone is the first step toward defining a project that will provide riders with enhanced and more reliable train options for traveling throughout the Northern California Megaregion.

The crossing itself is projected to cost between $18 and $30 billion. "The costs associated with additional infrastructure improvements for standard-gauge are generally higher ($15-$25B) than those for BART ($5-$10B), given the region's lower historic investment in the standard-gauge train system," added the web page's authors.

For more on advocacy efforts towards shaping this plan, check out past coverage.

Note: an earlier version of this post indicated that the Link21 open house ended on June 19. It actually ends on *July* 19.

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