SAMCEDA 1999 proposal for BART via 101
to Menlo Park

In the Spring of 1999, a proposal was launched to extend BART 15 miles beyond the Millbrae station, currently under construction, to Menlo Park via U.S. 101, the Bayshore Freeway.

Proponents were Tom Huening, now San Mateo County Controller, former County Supervisor, and Denise de Ville, CEO of SAMCEDA, the San Mateo County Economic Development Association. (Note: SAMCEDA's web site offered no information on the proposal while SAMCEDA was advocating it.)

On Wednesday, July 14, local newspapers reported that the campaign had been called off to qualify two ballot measures advocating the proposed BART extension. The news followed a meeting held between campaign committee members and critics of the BART extension proposal, county Supervisors Mike Nevin and Jerry Hill.

The campaign had just begun circulating petitions to collect signatures to place two initiatives on the county's March 2000 ballot. One initiative would have increased the sales tax 1/2 cent to 8.75%, making it the highest in California. The other initiative would have advised the county to spend the revenue from this 1/2-cent tax on extending BART through San Mateo County. The language of the intiative was not specific about where a future BART extension should go.

Cost estimates for the extension ranged from $1.5 billion to well over $2 billion. (SamTrans officials contend that a $2.5 billion figure is more likely to be accurate. This is well over twice the cost of upgrading Caltrain all the way from San Francisco to San Jose to capacity and frequency comparable to BART.)

Extension proponents envisioned an elevated BART line along the median of the Bayshore Freeway with four stations south of Millbrae at the following locations along the freeway: San Mateo, Belmont/San Carlos, Redwood City, and Menlo Park near Willow Road or Marsh Road.

From Millbrae the 15-mile BART extension would have followed the Caltrain tracks to near Broadway in Burlingame. South of there the line would have followed the freeway. Proponents envisioned a connection to Caltrain just south of Marsh Road in Menlo Park, via a branch line off the Caltrain's line. No service is yet provided on this branch line which connects to the Dumbarton rail bridge to Fremont, as the map below shows. A Caltrain extension via this line to the East Bay was not included in the SAMCEDA proposal. Two alternative station sites in Menlo Park are shown on this map.

Opponents/critics of the proposal:
This BART extension proposal was opposed by BART directors James Fang and Dan Richard. The City of Menlo Park at the end of June passed a resolution against the proposal. San Mateo County Supervisors Mike Nevin and Jerry Hill were two leading critics of the proposal.

Recent newspaper articles on SAMCEDA's BART-to-Menlo proposal:
If you prefer to read one article only, "Plan dumped to extend BART," near the bottom of this list is recommended.

This proposal may have many flaws, and little chance of being funded or built. But there is a much cheaper, workable solution:
Upgrade Caltrain.

Detailed critique of the BART-to-Menlo proposal:

Last updated: June 27, 2004