The several times delayed Warm Springs BART extension will not open this weekend as officials originally hoped. The Chronicle reports that the latest delay, due to unfinished testing, makes it significantly less likely the station will open ahead of the November election that has voters deciding on whether or not to support a proposed $3.5 billion BART bond.
The ribbon cutting photo-ops would have been quite the powerful image for voters, but it is not to be. “What I’m told is that they are achingly close, which is why they were looking at opening it this weekend, but they are not 100 percent certain that it would be reliable for opening,” BART board President Tom Radulovich told the paper.
If passed, the bond measure would not go to building new stations like Warm Springs — instead the money would be slated for upgrading essential system components. Regardless, it would have sent a very visceral message that BART can get big things done, and, perhaps, should consequently be trusted with more taxpayer money.
According to BART officials, the extension, which runs from Fremont to Warm Springs, is still expected to open in the late fall, but no exact date has been set.
Support for the bond measure, which requires a two-thirds majority to pass, has varied since it was first introduced. Last July we learned that polls showed only 61 percent of the population favored it, and in September the East Bay Times published an editorial asking voters to reject the measure.
"BART officials want voters to trust them with another $3.5 billion of taxpayer money," the editorial opined. "But they’ve done nothing to earn that trust."
Whether or not a shiny new station would have made the public trust BART enough to pass the measure is up for debate, but with the station's opening delayed we'll never know for sure one way or another.