Tom Lochner | Bay Area News Group

Plans are underway to completely rebuild the Metro Center on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz. (Dan Coyro -- Santa Cruz Sentinel)A study to evaluate mass transit alternatives to the automobile-saturated Interstate 80 corridor has been put out to bid by the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee.

The WCCTAC board unanimously approved a request for proposals earlier this month to evaluate several transit options, including express buses, ferries and wBART, an extension of BART to northwestern Contra Costa County. The goal is to come up with the best high-capacity alternative, or combination of alternatives, to automobiles along the I-80 corridor from the Alameda County line to the Carquinez Bridge, according to a WCCTAC staff report. That stretch includes parts of Richmond, El Cerrito, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Pinole, Hercules, Rodeo and Crockett.

I-80 between Highway 4 and the Bay Bridge has consistently placed in the top five most congested travel corridors in the region, but has not received a fair share of regional transit investments, BART District 7 Director Zakhary Mallett, who has championed a study since his successful election campaign in 2012, noted in a news release. Read more