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RITC History & Chronology

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Bringing Rail & Ferry Service to Hercules

The City of Hercules was established at the site of the Hercules Powder Company manufacturing plant, on the edge of San Pablo Bay, where the railroad runs along the shore. The plant depended on deliveries of raw material to the site by rail to the Hercules train depot, and by boat to the Hercules pier that extended from the north end of Hercules Point. The manufacturing use of the property was abandoned in the 1960s. The land lay fallow for a time and then underwent substantial cleanup operations in the 1970s through the early 1990s. Through its General Plan and zoning regulations, the City has long intended that the site should be reborn as an urban downtown district, preserving certain historic structures of the original factory town. Beginning in the mid- to late-1990s, the City of Hercules initiated a multi-year planning process for these brownfield sites. The overall planning program focused on building a transit-oriented community around an intermodal transit center combining rail and ferry service and supplemented with bike, pedestrian, automobile, and local shuttle and bus access. 

Train Station Planning Chronology

  • March 1996: City Council adopted resolution supporting the Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s (BART) Capitol Corridor Service Plan to assume responsibility for operation of the Capitol Corridor Rail Service through a joint powers authority; the BART Management Plan Outline included plans for a Capitol Corridor station in Hercules. The resolution indicated that the City had been seriously pursuing a station site in Hercules dating back to 1991.
  • April 1996:  City Council authorized a pre-planned unit development process for the Gelsar, Penterra, and HPI properties (brownfield sites), including “…evaluation of the… properties in order to… site a park, a school, and commuter rail station…”
  • October 1996: City Council adopted a resolution declaring the City’s “…intent to pursue a passenger rail station and to begin efforts to establish a feasibility study for the station site and proposed strategy for funding.”
  • December 1996: City Council approved contract for Hercules Rail Station Feasibility Study.
  • June 1998: The City Council approved a resolution supporting the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Commission (WCCTAC) to recommend Hercules as the sub-regional site for a Capitol Corridor rail service train station.
  • September 1998: The City Council approved the Circulation Element of the General Plan, which included Policy 2e: “The City shall actively participate in cooperative efforts to provide effective public transit to the City and adjacent communities, including promoting a commuter rail extension of BART in the City and a train station along San Pablo Bay within the Lower Refugio Valley serving the Capitol Corridor to intercept through travelers on I-80.”
  • April 1999: The City Council endorsed the results of a study prepared by Korve Engineering that concluded Hercules is the preferred site for an additional West Contra Costa County train station.
  • August 1999: WCCTAC and Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority held first meeting and recommended that the City of Hercules prepare a detailed train station study.
  • March 2000: The City’s Redevelopment Agency (RDA) approved a contract for Korve Engineering to prepare the Hercules Rail Station Detailed Study.
  • July 2000: Council adopted ordinance establishing the Waterfront District Master Plan—featuring a future commuter rail station as the central focus of a transit-oriented development (TOD)—as the regulating document for development of the Hercules Waterfront.
  • August 2000: The city applied for and was awarded a $3M State Traffic Congestion Relief Program (TCRP) Grant for the construction of a rail station.
  • 2004: Union Pacific Railroad approved conceptual plans to construct a passenger station in Hercules.
  • February 2006: Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) and City of Hercules co-host Capitol Corridor train tour stop and presentation at Hercules Waterfront for Metropolitan Planning Commission officials and other local agency and stakeholder representatives.
  • January 2008: The City Council approved an Intercity Rail Passenger Facility Contract with the State of California Department of Transportation for the design of a train station (a requirement of the TCRP Grant).
  • 2010: California Department of Housing & Community Development designated the Hercules Bayfront Transit Village Project as a “California Catalyst Project,” one of only 13 such projects statewide recognized as models for sustainability.
  • April 2011: City Council and RDA adopted resolution reaffirming the City’s support for and commitment to building the Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC), reasserting City’s intention to secure additional funding necessary to complete entitlement and construction of the ITC project.
  • 2011: City completes and certifies the environmental compliance reviews (CEQA and NEPA) for the ITC project.
  • June 2012: The California Transportation Commission allocated an $8M State Transportation Improvement Program–Regional Improvement Program (STIP-RIP) grant for the ITC.
  • 2012: Contra Costa Transportation Authority appropriated $2,162,000 of Measure J funds for the City to acquire right-of-way required for the ITC station, and an additional $2,356,000 of Measure J funds towards construction of Phase 1A of the Project (Bay Trail).
  • February 2013: City Council adopts resolution “supporting the Hercules Intermodal Transit Center Project as the highest priority project for the City of Hercules.”