The first step to establish a long-planned new train station on the Hercules shoreline took place earlier this month.
On Feb. 12, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) voted to grant the city “candidate station status.” The designation marks the first stage of approval for the project and will allow Hercules to request funding and to pursue other aspects of developing a station, according to CCJPA, which governs Amtrak-operated Capitol Corridor rail service between Sacramento and San Jose.
The proposed would be located between the existing Richmond and Martinez stations and would become the 19th station served by the Capitol Corridor.
Capitol Corridor currently operates 30 daily weekday trains and 15 weekend trains.
The City of Hercules is working to create a transit hub at the station site with not only train service but also infrastructure and connections for bicycles, pedestrians, buses, carpool and future ferry service. A station would provide connectivity to the Richmond BART, as well.
“The Center would also be located within walking distance to both jobs and housing,” the city said in a statement.
The project aims to improve transportation options and alleviate traffic congestion at the junction of I-80 and Highway 4. Construction to date has been completed with federal, state and local funds, the city said.
Mayor Roland Esquivias said city officials were “thrilled” to hear about the candidate station status designation.
“Our community has worked hard to make this happen for years, and today marks a hallmark day when we can say we are well on our way to a new train station,” Mayor Esquivias said in a statement.
Adding a train stop in Hercules “would provide an easy, near-term, low-cost option to driving on I-80,” the mayor added.
“The train already goes up and down the I-80 corridor,” Esquivias said. “It just doesn’t stop where most of the congestion starts, particularly in the a.m. and p.m. peak periods.”