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Transit Plans Underway for Stevens Creek and West San Jose Urban Villages


The San Jose City Council is moving forward with plans for “urban village” development along Stevens Creek and Winchester Boulevards.  Urban villages are walkable, bicycle-friendly, transit-oriented, mixed use settings that provide both housing and jobs, supporting the City’s General Plan goals.

In the meantime, The Valley Transportation Authority is deeply entrenched in planning for the future of solutions that move you along the same corridors.

There are a number of ongoing transportation improvements or studies in and near Stevens Creek which VTA is pursuing in partnership with San Jose, Santa Clara, Cupertino, and, in some cases, Caltrans.

Currently, we’re upgrading transit service along Stevens Creek Boulevard from the limited-stop bus line 323 to Rapid 523, which is designed to travel across the Stevens Creek corridor with fewer stops, faster travel times, and connect to the new Berryessa BART station. The Rapid 523 improvements include increased span of service on weekdays and weekends, Transit Signal Priority, enhanced passenger waiting areas, and an upgraded bus facility on Stelling Road near De Anza College. Route 60 along Winchester Boulevard will also run more frequently on weekdays and weekends, providing better connections to Rapid 523, and new connections to Mineta San Jose Airport and the new Milpitas BART station.

These changes come out of extensive studies that VTA conducted over the past few years in an effort to better match service to demand. Land use comes into play for these plans as well, providing more hours of service where people live and work and where growth is occurring.

Here’s a list of some of the other projects we’re currently working on:   

  •  Improvements to the frequency of north/south bus routes including Winchester Blvd (noted above) and Kiely Blvd, and extending the Rapid 523 on Stelling Road up to Sunnyvale Caltrain.
  •  Bus stop improvements around Valley Fair/Santana Row triggered by recent development in the area.
  •  I-280 Corridor Study to identify transportation improvements for all modes along the 22-mile corridor.
  •  280/Winchester Off-Ramp Design to improve traffic operations and the pedestrian and bicycle environment in the vicinity.
  •  280/Wolfe Interchange Redesign to improve traffic operations and the pedestrian and bicycle environment crossing I-280.
  •  SR 85 Transit Guideway Study initiated June 2017.

​Several of these efforts, including the I-280 Corridor Study, 280/Winchester Off-Ramp Design, the 280/Wolfe Interchange Redesign and certain bus stop improvements have received funding from development projects in the area (This article has more information about how VTA works with cities and developers on funding.)  And the City of Cupertino has played a key role in advancing the I-280 Corridor Study and 280/Wolfe interchange project.

In addition, early next year VTA will initiate a new transit corridors study, which will examine the feasibility of implementing light rail transit, or other high capacity transit, in potential transit corridors around the county, which may include the Stevens Creek corridor. This study is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

These kinds of plans are all part of the larger picture VTA has been working on with its city partners to make it easier to move around Silicon Valley.  The plans are not unique to Santa Clara County; these “smart growth” planning practices are happening all over the country, to focus growth along established transportation corridors like Stevens Creek Boulevard. 

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