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Phase I Phase II
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the VTA BART Silicon Valley Extension Project?
VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Extension is a planned 16-mile, six-station extension of the existing San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) system into Silicon Valley. VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Extension Project also includes other related projects and activities required to prepare the rail corridor for BART, such as relocation of existing UPRR tracks and utilities, drainage improvements, and grade separation projects within the alignment that are funded through other sources. VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Extension is being managed by VTA in cooperation with BART. The extension is being implemented with a phased construction approach. Phase I, the Berryessa Extension Project, is a 10-mile, two–station project currently under construction and anticipated to open for revenue service in 2019. Phase II of the extension is the remaining 6-mile, four-station project extending south into the Cities of San José and Santa Clara, with stations at Alum Rock/28th Street, Downtown San José, Diridon, and Santa Clara. The 16-mile alignment will travel at-grade, above-grade, and below-grade (in trenched segments and in a subway through downtown San José). The project includes six stations, a new BART maintenance and storage facility in the City of Santa Clara, and the purchase of rail cars needed to operate the extension once it is built.

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Why is VTA building a BART Extension?
When the BART District was originally formed in the 1960s, Santa Clara County opted out. Recent studies showed that an extension of the BART system was the best transit solution on the east side of the bay to provide an alternative to the congested I-880 and I-680 commute corridors. As the Congestion Management Agency for Santa Clara County, VTA is responsible for transit planning, construction and operations in Santa Clara County, thus VTA is responsible for designing and constructing the BART Silicon Valley Project. VTA will own all the property, facilities and equipment related to the project. When the project is completed, BART will operate and maintain the system under an agreement executed with VTA.

What are the benefits of VTA's BART Silicon Valley Phase II Project?
VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II project will be the largest infrastructure project in Santa Clara County. What type of benefits can the community expect to see once construction is complete?

  • Connectivity: Fast and reliable train service will link new BART service to VTA light rail and buses, Amtrak, ACE, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, and intercity bus service
  • Complete a “Ring around the Bay”: Rapid rail will connect the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara
  • Expanded Travel Options: Improved transit hubs will accommodate rail, bus, bicycle, and pedestrian travel modes
  • Community Vision: Create community partnerships to deliver a project that realizes the surrounding community’s vision for each station area
  • Access: Increased access to jobs, housing, and education from transit-oriented communities built as part of the Phase II project developments will surround station areas
  • Job Creation: New jobs during and after construction will be created that support the local economy and increase economic growth
  • Increased Local Revenue: Higher sales tax and property tax revenues from new commercial, retail, and residential development will allow for continued local government investment

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What is the projected ridership for Phase II?
The projected 2035 daily ridership for the Phase II project is approximately 52,000. This projection is based on 2012 travel demand model that includes Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) 2009 land-use data. Ridership estimates will continue to evolve as the travel demand model is updated with new land-use data.

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What is the process moving forward for Phase II?
VTA received Board approval of its California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) document (Subsequent Environmental Impact Report) in April 2018 and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a Record of Decision on its federal environmental document (Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement) in June 2018. VTA submitted an Expression of Interest to the FTA for entry into the Expedited Project Delivery (EPD) Pilot Program in November 2018. In 2019, the FTA will select eight pilot programs who can apply for project funding in mid-2020. If selected for funding, VTA expects to receive a Full Funding Grant Agreement in mid-2020. While VTA awaits FTA’s decision, Phase II engineering will be advanced to 30% by VTA’s General Engineering Consultant (GEC). In January 2019, VTA’s Board approved Mott MacDonald/PGH Wong Engineering Joint Venture to be VTA’s General Engineering Consultant.

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What are the project costs?
Phase II of VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Extension is anticipated to cost $4.7 billion (Year of Expenditure dollars). Project estimate and funding strategy will be updated as the project advances and after further coordination with FTA on assessment of project risks.

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What funding is anticipated for the project? If the project needs federal funding when will VTA submit an application?
Funding for this project is planned through multiple revenue streams including: the 2000 Measure A half-cent sales tax at $1.0 billion, the State of California and its Traffic Congestion Relief Program (TCRP) at $160 million, the State of California and its Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) at $750 million, Regional Measure 3 at $375 million, and federal grants including the Expedited Project Delivery (EPD) Pilot Program at approximately $1.5 billion. VTA submitted an application to enter into the EPD Pilot Program for Phase II in November 2018.

Will BART be above ground or in a subway?
BART tracks are always separated from streets. Approximately five miles of the six-mile Phase II Project will be in a single-bore subway tunnel.  The sections of the project alignment that are not in a tunnel will be built at-grade (ground level).

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How is VTA engaging with the cities and other stakeholders?
VTA has had a long-standing partnership with the cities. This includes coordination with city staff within the departments of Planning, Engineering and Public Works. This relationship and partnership will continue throughout engineering and construction. VTA has also established Community Working Groups (CWGs) for each of the Phase II station areas – Alum Rock/28th Street, Downtown San José-Diridon, and Santa Clara – to better engage members of the community and inform the project planning and delivery processes.

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How can I learn more about the project?
VTA intends to engage the community throughout the project. There will be several opportunities to attend public meetings on various aspects of the project. Additionally, you can contact VTA’s Community Outreach team with questions about the project. VTA strives to provide timely, pertinent project information and respond to project inquiries or concerns via the project hotline at (408) 321-7575 or email  vtabart@vta.org.

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