An economic analysis of the construction phase of the Valley Link light rail system has projected that it has the potential of creating 22,000 jobs.

The Tri-Valley–San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority board reviewed the report at its May meeting in Livermore. The analysis was prepared by PGH Wong Engineering Inc. using a tool created by the American Public Transportation Association.

Results of the analysis included both the immediate impact of the construction aspect of the project and the long-range impact of ongoing operations and maintenance in terms of employment, labor income and value added.

Key findings of the analysis were:

• The construction phase would create 22,000 jobs with worker income of $1.35 billion.

• The construction phase would also generate $3.5 billion in local business sales.

• When operational, Valley Link would support 400 jobs per year with labor income of over $19 million per year.

• Valley Link would also generate $69 million in business sales annually.

Tracy City Councilwoman Veronica Vargas, vice chair of the regional rail authority, said the value of Valley Link “cannot be overstated.”

“As a transportation option, it will provide nearly 30,000 rides a day to commuters eager to have relief from congestion on the I-580,” she said. “And, in a time of economic stress with the COVID-19 pandemic, Valley Link can provide a significant job stimulus in the region.”

Phase 1 of the proposed Valley Link rail service would cover 42 miles connecting the existing Dublin-Pleasanton BART Station to the proposed ACE North Lathrop Station. Other stations in this area would be at Mountain House, downtown Tracy and River Islands.

A second phase would extend service from the North Lathrop Station to the ACE and Amtrak Stockton Station. Trains would be scheduled to allow transfers to BART.

The first Valley Link trains could be in service as early as 2027.

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Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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