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January 4, 2011 > Proposed BART Hayward maintenance complex

Proposed BART Hayward maintenance complex

By Simon Wong
Images courtesy of BART

The Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) has proposed improvements, in two phases, to convert its Hayward Yard to a facility called the BART Hayward Maintenance Complex (HMC). The existing property extends south from Industrial Boulevard, Hayward, to south of Whipple Road, Union City, following the general alignment of BART tracks.

The project entails adding storage and transfer/access tracks on the undeveloped northeast portion of the existing BART property and acquisition of four industrial warehouse buildings on three parcels covering 28 acres to the west, just outside the HMC perimeter. This development will be used for an overhaul shop, component repairs, a central warehouse and an expanded shop and storage facility. HMC's boundary will be expanded to include projected real estate acquisitions.

The HMC, which opened in 1972, employs approximately 280 people around the clock and is the site for "scheduled maintenance" (planned, periodic overhaul of rolling stock) and storage of trains and parts/materials. Daily, routine and minor ad hoc repairs and maintenance occur at depots in Concord, Daly City and Richmond.

Improvement of the HMC is integral to BART's Strategic Maintenance Plan which aims to improve the efficiency of rolling stock maintenance, long-term car reliability and passenger service. Starting in 2017, the transit agency's fleet will expand from 669 cars to 1,000 vehicles to meet 30-year projections for Bay Area population growth and increased ridership associated with current and planned extensions to Warm Springs, San Jose, eBART in Contra Costa County, Livermore and the Oakland Airport Connector.

BART's four maintenance yards currently provide adequate storage for all rolling stock and storage tracks, but capacity to hold up to 250 vehicles on 13 acres is planned for the 20-acre northeast quadrant of the HMC and an enlarged fleet will require an enhanced vehicle inspection area on the east side of the yard.

Phase 1:
A priority, will consist of acquisition of the commercial buildings, removal of some trees on the west side and improvement of the vehicle inspection area.

Phase 2:
Will increase storage capacity and include the construction of northern and southern flyovers to position trains as required. The elevated tracks will be no higher than the Whipple Road Bridge. BART hopes to break ground for Phase 1 in 2013. At this stage, scheduling of Phase 2 is uncertain. Funding has yet to be arranged for both phases. Neither the City of Hayward nor the City of Union City is a funding partner.

Residents can expect possible increases in noise, vibration and traffic along Whipple Road during construction. BART staff indicates most Phase 1 improvements are likely to be transparent. Much of the noise and vibration in both phases will come from heavy machinery working on new tracks and switches.

Once the improved HMC is operational, additional noise and vibration is expected along with visual changes. BART has been able to mitigate these impacts to a "less than significant" level in its environmental analysis [an initial study mitigated negative declaration or IS/MND] which complies with Federal Transit Administration guidelines and the California Environmental Quality Act and was released in early December 2010.

Phase 1 funding is being sought and, according to staff, if full funding were available, construction could be completed within two years. However, securing financing intermittently could extend the timeline.

Completion of design is underway, pending the BART Board's consideration and approval of the project in April 2011. If approved, staff will proceed as directed by the Board and continue to seek funding for both phases. In the longer-term, acquisition of the industrial properties on the west side of the HMC is planned along with construction.

Public input was invited on October 21, 2010, at New Haven Adult School, Union City. Hayward City Council gave its feedback at a work session on December 14, 2010. Public comment on the IS/MND was sought on December 15, 2010, at the same Union City venue where turnout has been disappointing. BART has twice contacted 5,200 residential and business addresses, within a one-mile radius of the HMC, and 25 community organizations in Hayward and Union City in a total of five languages as part of the outreach process. The City of Hayward also conducted an email blast. Additionally, BART posted the project's executive summary online in five languages.

The IS/MND is available on the BART website ( and on CD by contacting Ellen Smith at or by calling (510) 287-4758.

Residents, businesses and other members of the public have until 5 p.m. on Friday, January 14, 2011, to comment on the IS/MND in writing at PO Box 12688, Attn: Ellen Smith, Oakland, CA 94604-2688, via fax to (510) 464-7673 or by email to

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