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Home > Environmental > Sustainability
Phase I Phase II

Map of project area with graphics overlaid on top of it. Click here to link to the Environmental Compliance page. Image of solar panels lined up in a row. Click here to link to the Sustainability page. Conceptual rendering of BART station near a creek with a fence. Click here to link to Environmental Compliance page.

Image of noise equipment in a field outside the city. Click here to link to the Residential Noise Insulation Program (RNIP) page.

VTA is committed to sustainability. The design of the 10-mile Berryessa extension is centered on the premise of saving energy and being environmentally friendly. Public transit projects like VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Extension are sustainable by nature because they reduce congestion on existing streets and freeways. The Project promotes accessing the stations by sustainable means, such as walking, bicycling, private shuttle, local bus, bus rapid transit, light rail, and carpools. Increasing public transportation use and getting people out of their cars is the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The design and operations of VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Extension incorporated sustainable project features that reduce energy, water and waste, and minimized resource consumption and improve indoor environmental quality.

Tire Derived Aggregate (TDA)

Cal Recycle LogoThe Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority was awarded a grant not to exceed $300,600 from CalRecycle – the State’s champion for waste reduction, recycling and reuse – for the installation of Tire Derived Aggregate (TDA) on the BART Silicon Valley Project.

photo of constructionTDA is a method of sustainable construction in which scrap vehicle tires are transformed into a vibration-reducing material. Approximately 3,008 tons of TDA was installed beneath the tracks in four locations along the BART Silicon Valley corridor to help reduce vibration from passing BART trains. That is equivalent to 300,800 California tires diverted from the waste stream by the project.

TDA is an environmentally-friendly construction material, which provides a permanent second use for recycled tires. This engineering method has a proven track record: in 2005, the material was installed on 3,000 feet of the Vasona light rail extension in the City of Campbell, making VTA the first public agency in the United States to do so. Over the past 10 years the material has reduced vibrations from light rail trains as intended. Using TDA is environmentally-friendly, minimizes noise and vibration and is cost-effective for the taxpayer.

Solar Energy – The San Jose/Berryessa BART Station garage has a photovoltaic power generation system (PV panels) that will provide electricity back to the grid to offset usage by the transit center. The solar power source is by photovoltaic modules that convert light directly to electricity PV panels differentiate from most and other decentralized solar power applications because they supply power at the utility level, rather than to a local user or users. Twenty-four, 220-volt electric vehicle charging stations on the 1st or 2nd level of the parking garage will also be at each station. In addition, there will be energy-efficient intermittent escalators that run with infrared motion sensors on each end. When a rider approaches the escalator it speeds up to a normal speed, but when no one is riding the escalator, it slows down. The New York Metro Transit Authority has been using the energy-efficient escalators since 2008, as a cost-saving upgrade to their stations that also requires less maintenance Electrical Charging Station

Construction MethodsProject design and construction were based on CALGreen 2013 State Standards that apply to open-air transit projects. This included both mandatory and voluntary green building measures in energy efficiency, water conservation, sustainable materials sourcing, occupant comfort, and site impact. Aggressive waste diversion goals, potable water reduction, recycled content in concrete, and a project-wide “carbon footprint” analysis are required during construction.

DaylightingEnergy efficient light emitting diodes (LED) are being considered for indoor and outdoor applications. LEDs use approximately 75 percent less energy and lasts 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. Stations are designed with skylights and other light-permeable surfaces to increase natural light levels and take advantage of daylight, thus reducing electrical power demands.

Renewable EnergyNew “Fleet of the Future” all-electric BART trains will provide up to seven percent energy efficiency compared to current trains, and over two-thirds of BART’s power comes from clean hydro and renewable sources.

Energy Efficiency from EscalatorsVariable speed escalators are being used for the Berryessa and Milpitas stations to reduce energy consumption. Escalator speeds could be reduced during non-peak period and result in energy savings.

Multi-Modal Access Stations are designed with amenities such as pedestrian walkways, bike paths, bicycle storage rooms, bus-only lanes, bus transfer centers, private shuttle areas, and a direct connection to the existing Montague Light Rail Station in Milpitas to encourage station access by modes other than single-occupant vehicles.

Water ConservationStrategies to save water include using native and/or drought-tolerant plants, reclaimed water for landscaping, and low-flow fixtures, where available. State water quality standards require storm water runoff from the station areas to flow into shallow open basins or swales to remove oils and other contaminants that accumulate on the station roadways and other paved surfaces. Use of these bio-treatment areas will ensure that the water entering the surrounding creeks and streams will help protect the creek habitats.

Greenhouse Gas Reductions Projected daily BART ridership for the Project will reduce regional traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions by over tons per year. This is equivalent to over 1,100 full-grown elephants weighing an average of 3 tons each, or 1,700 households’ annual municipal garbage.

Low Impact DevelopmentThe project will have no net increase in storm water runoff from existing to developed conditions through the use of permeable and porous paving.

Indoor water useWater conserving fixtures will be installed in staff and public areas in the stations. These measures would result in a savings of of daily water use compared to standard fixtures, and an estimated million gallons of water will be saved annually.

RecyclingA minimum of 50 percent of nonhazardous construction and demolition debris will be recycled or salvaged.  In addition, 100 percent of trees, stumps, rocks, and associated vegetation and soils resulting primarily from land clearing will be reused or recycled. 



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