Great News for Port of Oakland, Regional Trade and Employment
One of the Council’s lead priorities got a big boost that will spur new jobs and support the region’s valuable trade industry. The Port of Oakland on June 19 was awarded a $15 million federal grant to improve rail access to and from the Port and expand the Port’s rail capacity, leading to faster and cleaner goods movement, while also providing vital rail access for the proposed Oakland Army Base development. The Council pushed this project with letters, testimony and strategic phone calls urging federal and local officials to give the green light. The project means the Oakland seaport can accommodate more goods by rail rather than by truck, resulting in less truck traffic, congestion, and emissions, while lowering costs for trade-dependent businesses, especially the Port’s vital agricultural export partners. Also on June 19, the Port won approval from the Oakland City Council to move ahead with a $1 billion project to transform the Oakland Army Base into a warehouse, trade and logistics center. The project would add nearly 5,000 jobs and increase the capacity of the port.