tlonbart.jpgRelated: BART This Weekend: New Station, Chinese New Year’s Parade And Presidents’ Day Service Changes

BART will open its 44th station early Saturday morning when service begins at the long-delayed West Dublin/Pleasanton station, which cost $106 million to build.

BART officials held a grand opening ceremony at the station today but the station won’t open until 5:45 a.m. Saturday and the first train is scheduled to depart at 6:03 a.m.

The station is located near the interchange of Interstate Highways 580 and 680, the Stoneridge Shopping Center and Safeway Inc.’s corporate headquarters.

It was initially slated to open in the late 1990s, when BART built its extension to the Dublin/Pleasanton station, which is several miles to the east, but there wasn’t enough money to build the West Dublin/Pleasanton station at that time.

Postponing the building of the station created the longest uninterrupted stretch of track in BART’s system: 10 miles from the Castro Valley station to the Dublin/Pleasanton station.
BART officials say the new station will add 1,200 new parking spots, more racks for bicyclists and eventually a transit village where people who prefer not to own a vehicle will be able to live, work, commute, shop and play within walking distance of BART.

BART Board President Bob Franklin said in a statement that the new station “represents smart growth by adding BART’s first infill station instead of expanding outwards and by increasing mixed-use development around the station to give people additional reasons to take public transportation.”

Board Vice President John McPartland, whose district includes the Dublin-Pleasanton area, said, “I see this station as a key new hub in Northern California’s transportation network.”

The one-way fare from the West Dublin/Pleasanton station to downtown San Francisco is $5.50 and the one-way fare to the 12th St./Oakland City Center station is $3.85.

BART says that building the station created 2,500 direct and indirect jobs.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

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