In 2005, ACTA conducted an analysis of the air quality benefits of the Alameda Corridor since its opening in 2002. The comprehensive study also projected the Alameda Corridor’s air quality benefits through 2012, considering such factors as growth of port-related cargo volume and the capacity of the Alameda Corridor.
The Air Quality Benefits Analysis identified the following major positive impacts from the operation of the Alameda Corridor:
- From 2002-2004, the Alameda Corridor has eliminated 3,863 total tons of pollutants from the study area.
- Of this amount, 1,169 tons of nitrous oxide (NOx) and 49 tons of particulate matter (PM) have been eliminated. These two pollutants are considered to have some of the more severe impacts on air quality and pose the highest risks to public health.
- Because trains generate significantly less pollution than the equivalent number of trucks they replace, the growth in use of the Alameda Corridor will continue to have positive impacts on air quality. A train emits significantly less pollutants than the 250-280 trucks it replaces.
In addition to the air quality and associated health benefits of the Alameda Corridor emissions reductions, there are also safety and travel time benefits that were identified in the analysis, including:
- Reduced chance of vehicular and pedestrian accidents at rail crossings.
- Improved emergency response times for fire and life safety authorities.
- Better ability to control hazardous spills in the trench section of the Alameda Corridor.
- Improvements to transit times and ridership for buses and passenger trains.