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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)
The 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.
TDA 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