|Phase I||Phase II|
|Frequently Asked Questions|
What is the 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 2018. Phase II of the extension is the remaining 6-mile, four-station project extending south into Santa Clara County, with stations in Milpitas, San Jose 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 Jose). 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.
What are the benefits of BART Silicon Valley?
During the five most active years of construction, BART Silicon Valley is anticipated to support approximately 2500 jobs annually. Over 18,000 direct and indirect jobs are attributed to completing the project. In addition to creating jobs, the project will help the local economy, enhance regional connectivity, alleviate traffic congestion, and improve access to employment, education, medical, and retail centers. Opening day ridership for the Berryessa Extension is estimated at 23,000 and that number is projected to double after 15 years.
What is VTA?
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent special district responsible for bus, light rail and paratransit operations; congestion management; highway improvements; transit capital improvement projects; and countywide transportation planning for Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County).
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 of 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 is the projected ridership?
The projected 2035 daily ridership for the Phase II extension 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.
What is the process moving forward for Phase II of VTA’s BART Silicon Valley?
VTA is currently developing a supplemental Federal/State environmental document that began in January 2015. The State document is under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process and the Federal document is under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). For purposes related to the environmental process, the VTA Board of Directors will define a project to include in a final environmental document after public meetings and circulation of a draft environmental document. A Recommended Project will be adopted when the state environmental document is certified by VTA’s Board of Directors and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issues a Record of Decision on the federal document. VTA submitted a New Starts Project Development application to FTA for entry into the New Starts funding program in 2018. Once a Recommended Project is selected, VTA intends to enter into the New Starts Engineering phase of the funding program.
How will the community be engaged in the environmental process?
There will be several opportunities for public engagement in the environmental process. Scoping meetings took place in early 2015 to discuss project options and environmental impacts that were analyzed during the environmental impact evaluation. A draft document was circulated for review in December 2016 and public meetings were held in January 2017. Upon completion of the circulation period, a final document was completed with a Recommended Project. The final document was publicly circulated in February 2018 and certified by VTA’s Board of Directors in April 2018 and receive a Record of Decision by FTA.
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, federal grants including the New Starts program at approximately $1.5 billion, the 2016 Measure B, half-cent sales tax at $1.5 billion, and a maximum of $750 million from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). VTA submitted an application to enter into New Starts Project Development for Phase II in 2018.
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 the environmental process and engineering and construction. VTA has also established Community Working Groups (CWGs) for each of the Phase II stations – Alum Rock/28th Street, Downtown, Diridion and Santa Clara – to better engage members of the community and inform the project planning and delivery processes.
How can I learn more about the project?
VTA intends to engage the community throughout the environmental and New Starts funding process. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.