VTA will Offer First Bus Rapid Transit Service in Bay Area3/19/2014 2:48 PM |
San Jose, Calif. – On Friday, March 21, local elected and transit officials from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will commemorate the beginning of construction on the Santa Clara-Alum Rock Bus Rapid Transit Project – the first in the entire Bay Area and the first of three Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Projects planned for Santa Clara County. A ground breaking celebration will be held at the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose at 2 p.m.
“The Santa Clara-Alum Rock BRT Line will connect the culturally rich, east San Jose neighborhoods to downtown’s art, entertainment, retail, restaurants, business and residential districts. This upgraded transit service will enhance the economic viability, visual identity, and the pedestrian and business environment of the corridor,” states Ash Kalra, VTA Board Chairperson and San Jose City Council Member.
This state-of-the-art transit option will provide passengers with faster, more frequent service from the Eastridge Transit Center to the future Arena Station near the San Jose Diridon Transit Center in downtown San Jose. Limited-stops, 10-minute frequencies, all door boarding, traffic signal priority that holds green lights longer for approaching buses, and a dedicated median bus-only lane on Alum Rock east of 34th street will improve travel time for customers. New articulated hybrid vehicles with modern interiors and on board Wi-Fi will offer a comfortable, convenient and productive new way to travel.
The 7.2-mile project features 11 new, light rail-like stations along Capitol Expressway, Alum Rock Avenue, and Santa Clara Street with off-board ticketing machines, attractive shelters, enhanced lighting, and real-time information signage. In addition, pedestrian improvements, signal upgrades, new streetlights, new landscaping and roadway resurfacing will be implemented throughout the corridor.
“This is our opportunity to set the stage for bus rapid transit and the many benefits this service can offer other important transportation corridors like El Camino Real and Stevens Creek Boulevard,” said VTA General Manager Nuria Fernandez. “Let this be a shining example of our commitment to deliver innovative transit options for residents and visitors of Santa Clara County -- options that will help change the transportation landscape as we envision it for Silicon Valley.”
Over the last three years, VTA has delivered improvements along Capitol Expressway in East San Jose that are trailblazing the ultimate transformation of the corridor. The first phase of improvements was completed in fall 2012, providing better pedestrian access and safety along Capitol Expressway. New sidewalks, street lighting, and a landscaping buffer were installed from Capitol Avenue to Quimby Road. The second phase began in fall 2013 with the reconstruction of the Eastridge Transit Center now underway. Once complete, the new transit center will feature a central walkway; a bike and pedestrian path; landscaping; seating; new shelters with updated lighting; and real time information signage.
The vision is that by late 2015, VTA will be operating high-amenity rapid transit buses through downtown and east San Jose from the newly reconstructed Eastridge Transit Center, connecting passengers and the community to the regional transit system, future BART service and planned light rail service in the corridor once funding is identified.