ANTIOCH -- A third eBART station in East Contra Costa County should be located in Brentwood where the Mokelumne Trail crosses Highway 4, local transportation officials decided last week.
While work continues to bring eBART service into the region, officials with the public transit agency have spent the better part of a year gathering input on where to build a third station, holding several public meetings and visits to local city councils.
The six locations explored along Highway 4 were: Laurel Road in Oakley; Lone Tree Way on the Antioch-Brentwood border; the Mokelumne Trail; Sand Creek Road in Brentwood; Balfour Road in Brentwood; and a Discovery Bay-Byron option at Marsh Creek Road south of Brentwood.
The Mokelumne station "hit the sweet spot" as far as adding the most riders for the least amount of money, said Ellen Smith, an eBART planning manager. It also lends itself to transit-oriented development on both sides of the freeway, she said.
Adding Mokelumne to the other two planned stations at Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg and Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch would increase eBART's ridership to 14,000 by 2035, Smith said. BART studies project 10,100 daily riders with just the two stations and 8,400 with the Hillcrest station alone.
Extending the line the roughly five more miles to Mokelumne would cost about $284 million, BART officials said. There is no funding in line for any environmental studies, station planning or construction, BART director Joel Keller said.
Through public comments, it became clear that Brentwood locations by Balfour and Sand Creek were too close to residential neighborhoods and would be too noisy, Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor said. A Mokelumne station would also benefit residents in southeast Antioch and Oakley, he said.
On the flip side, the Laurel station was too close to the Hillcrest station, and there were some issues about its elevation, said Oakley Mayor Kevin Romick.
Board members and BART officials said Lone Tree had too many shopping center driveways, and Marsh Creek was too far away.
"Because of the accessibility and having all that land there, (Mokelumne) makes the most sense," said Romick, Oakley's transportation representative.
Parking concerns dominated the questions from local representatives Thursday.
"I've always said I don't want it built if they don't have a place for people to park," said Taylor, who represents Brentwood on transportation issues.
The station would need about 10 acres, mostly for the parking lot. It would also require Heidorn Ranch Road and Jeffery Way to be extended to the south.
Given Thursday's consensus from the eBART Partnership Policy Advisory Committee, the next steps are to give further presentations to local agencies about the decision and pursue funds to conduct environmental studies, Smith said.
Smith estimated the study and the related engineering would likely cost about $5 million to $6 million.
The 10-mile, $462 million project from the Pittsburg-Bay Point BART Station to Hillcrest is scheduled for completion in 2017. Work continues on a transfer platform east of the Pittsburg-Bay Point station and a parking lot and maintenance facility east of the Antioch site.
eBART will use diesel-powered trains similar to those in San Diego County, which transit officials say are more fitting for the region's suburban terrain and ridership.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.