Link21 – New Transbay Rail Crossing

The Northern California megaregion, consisting of the 21 counties between Monterey, San Francisco, Sacramento, and the northern San Joaquin Valley, is the 16th largest economy in the world. The San Francisco Bay Area and much of the Sacramento and Central Valley regions increasingly operate as an interconnected megaregion, with commerce and commutes crossing county lines.

The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) have partnered to advance Link21 (formerly called the New Transbay Rail Crossing program), a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will create benefits for generations to come.

CCJPA and BART are studying the future rail investments needed to better connect places and people throughout the Northern California megaregion. Link21 is a megaregional transit improvement program focused on connecting the region’s transit systems.

Crossing the Bay Links the Region

At the core of Link21 is a new San Francisco Bay rail crossing for the Capitol Corridor and possibly other regional rail partners (the San Joaquins and Caltrain, for example) and BART. Link21 will serve two main purposes:

  • Create a brand-new link for the Capitol Corridor and regional rail so that travelers can enjoy direct train trips between many Northern California locations.
  • Double BART’s transbay capacity so that overcrowding is reduced and future ridership – which is expected to double by 2050 – can be accommodated.

    CCJPA and BART are fully committed to integrating equity into all aspects of Link21. Equity is built into the program’s goals and objectives and will continue to be fostered as the project proceeds.

    Plans for the Future, Now

    Link21 will be the single most ambitious and transformative program in Northern California’s history. When completed, this modern, fully integrated transit network will serve to:

    • Connect People and Places. Link21 will connect transit hubs around the region, with a focus on enabling direct train trips between many Northern California locations, such as Sacramento and San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto, and Stockton and the San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
    • Improve Rider Experience. Link21 will create fast, frequent, reliable, and comfortable transit service while increasing access to BART, the Capitol Corridor, Caltrain, and the San Joaquins.
    • Maximize Existing Public Investments. By linking transit systems together, the crossing will maximize the full potential of existing infrastructure investments that the region has made over decades, including the Salesforce Transit Center, Caltrain modernization and California High-speed Rail.
    • Unlock Future Growth Potential. The proposed improvements will support Northern California’s future equity, prosperity and economic growth by improving connectivity and access between high-quality jobs, affordable housing, and high-demand destination centers.
    • Promote Sustainability. Improved transit service will provide a more convenient, environmentally friendly alternative to driving that will improve air quality.

    Where We Are Today

    Link21 is now in the early conceptual planning phase. CCJPA, BART, and their planning partners are working to further define and scope this project and evaluate a range of alternatives.

    The most promising alternative(s) will be considered during environmental review and conceptual design. From there, a preferred alternative will be chosen for final design refinement. Construction of the project will follow.

    Whether you’re a policy maker, resident, business owner or a commuter, we will want your input as we develop our plans. Look for announcements from CCJPA for ways to get involved and help us create a connected transit network that supports our thriving megaregion.