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Home>Projects and Programs>Transit>El Camino Real BRT Project

El Camino Real BRT Project

El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

The El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Project would upgrade the 522 Rapid Bus Route on El Camino Real to Bus Rapid Transit status. Transit improvements could include conversion of two lanes of El Camino Real (one lane in each direction, adjacent to the median) into dedicated BRT lanes that would use median stations or to install curb bulbout stations at BRT stops, in which case, the BRT vehicle would operate in the right lane, with auto traffic. Existing 522 stations would be upgraded to more substantial, rail-like stations that feature weather protection, real-time next bus information and Clipper card tap stations. The project could also install bicycle lanes on El Camino Real in areas where there are dedicated BRT lanes, provided that the cities wish to do so.

As the 522 Rapid Bus does today, the 522 BRT route would travel from the Palo Alto Transit Center to the Eastridge Transit Center, traveling through Downtown San Jose. Around 26 BRT stations would be served along the way. The line 22 local bus, which makes all local stops, would continue to operate in the right lane, as it does today.

El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Corridor

When/How is a project alternative selected?

After the DEIR is released, VTA's Board of Directors will select a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA)—that is, which version of the project they want to pursue, if they want to pursue the project at all. While this will be a VTA decision, it will be influenced by the cities along the corridor and Caltrans, the agency that owns El Camino Real north of I-880. As the owner of the street, Caltrans must approve any changes made by the BRT Project.

Project Schedule

Planning

May 2010 - September 2015

VTA Board Decision on Project Alternative

Late 2015

Project Engineering

2016 - 2017

Construction

2018 - 2020

Project Cost and Funding

The funding for the selected alternative for El Camino Real BRT will come from the Measure A Transit Improvement Program and FTA’s Small Starts Program.

Project Fact Sheet

English | Spanish | Vietnamese | Korean | Tagalog | Chinese

El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Project

Independent Third Party Review

​VTA initiated an independent third party review to evaluate VTA’s and its contractors’ environmental analysis of ridership forecasting and traffic impact for the El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Project. This independent third party review focused specifically on the traffic operations analysis, including the scope, methodology, data quality, and recommendations.

Download: The Independent Third Party Review memo from Steeting Committee and Report

Due to feedback from the public that involved some skepticism related to ridership forecasts and transportation impacts presented in the DEIR/EA, VTA initiated an independent third party review to evaluate this analysis.

The independent third party review was led by a Steering Committee consisting of distinguished researchers from the Mineta Transportation Institute, Cal Poly, and other industry academics. The Committee retained the private consulting firm, Iteris, to undertake a technical review of the Transportation Operations Analysis Report.  Specifically, Iteris’ analysis focused on:

  • Methodologies for study area selection, traffic diversion, travel forecasting and traffic analysis;
  • Calculations regarding level-of-service (LOS), operations analysis, traffic diversion, traffic forecasting and queuing; and
  • Review of the travel demand model outputs used for vehicular and ridership forecasts.

The report from Iteris as well as a memo from the Steering Committee can be viewed here.

View: VTA Media Release

Response to Agency Comments Submitted on DEIR/EA 

This document is VTA’s preliminary response to comments from local public agencies, in order for such agencies to indicate a preference for the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). This information will help public agencies provide further input to the VTA Board of Directors as the next steps for this project are considered. The provision of responses in advance of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Assessment (EA) is not common practice but VTA wanted to be considerate of the collaboration with its partners along the corridor. Although this is not the Final EIR/EA, responses in this report will be consistent with the responses in that document, with the only variation being recognition of the features of the specific alternative, the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA), selected in the Final EIR/EA.

 

El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Meetings

Project Update Meetings

The release of the Draft Environmental Impact Report and the subsequent public meetings as well as the hundreds of comments received will help VTA select a project alternative to complete the environmental process. Below are the locations where the project was discussed.

August 26, 2015
VTA El Camino Real Rapid Transit Policy Advisory Board
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: VTA Conference Room B-104
(3331 North First Street, San Jose, CA)

June 30, 2015
VTA El Camino Real Rapid Transit Policy Advisory Board (Meeting Agenda)
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: VTA Conference Room B-104
(3331 North First Street, San Jose, CA)

April 21, 2015 
Mountain View City Council Meeting
Time: 6:30 p.m. (meeting agenda from City website)
Location: 500 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

April 22, 2015
VTA Advisory Committees Joint Workshop (Meeting Agenda)
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: VTA Auditorium (3331 North First Street, San Jose, CA)

VTA Joint Advisory Committee Meeting Presentation

April 24, 2015 
VTA El Camino Real Rapid Transit Policy Advisory Board (Meeting Agenda)
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium County Government Center (70 West Hedding Street San Jose, CA 95110)

May 1, 2015
VTA Board Workshop (Meeting Agenda)
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Location: Board of Supervisors’ Chambers, County Government Center (70 W. Hedding Street, San Jose, CA)
* First portion of meeting will discuss VTA Budget.

VTA Board Workshop Presentation

 

  • Overview
  • El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

    The El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Project would upgrade the 522 Rapid Bus Route on El Camino Real to Bus Rapid Transit status. Transit improvements could include conversion of two lanes of El Camino Real (one lane in each direction, adjacent to the median) into dedicated BRT lanes that would use median stations or to install curb bulbout stations at BRT stops, in which case, the BRT vehicle would operate in the right lane, with auto traffic. Existing 522 stations would be upgraded to more substantial, rail-like stations that feature weather protection, real-time next bus information and Clipper card tap stations. The project could also install bicycle lanes on El Camino Real in areas where there are dedicated BRT lanes, provided that the cities wish to do so.

    As the 522 Rapid Bus does today, the 522 BRT route would travel from the Palo Alto Transit Center to the Eastridge Transit Center, traveling through Downtown San Jose. Around 26 BRT stations would be served along the way. The line 22 local bus, which makes all local stops, would continue to operate in the right lane, as it does today.

    El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Corridor

    When/How is a project alternative selected?

    After the DEIR is released, VTA's Board of Directors will select a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA)—that is, which version of the project they want to pursue, if they want to pursue the project at all. While this will be a VTA decision, it will be influenced by the cities along the corridor and Caltrans, the agency that owns El Camino Real north of I-880. As the owner of the street, Caltrans must approve any changes made by the BRT Project.

    Project Schedule

    Planning

    May 2010 - September 2015

    VTA Board Decision on Project Alternative

    Late 2015

    Project Engineering

    2016 - 2017

    Construction

    2018 - 2020

    Project Cost and Funding

    The funding for the selected alternative for El Camino Real BRT will come from the Measure A Transit Improvement Program and FTA’s Small Starts Program.

    Project Fact Sheet

    English | Spanish | Vietnamese | Korean | Tagalog | Chinese

  • Updates
  • El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Project

    Independent Third Party Review

    ​VTA initiated an independent third party review to evaluate VTA’s and its contractors’ environmental analysis of ridership forecasting and traffic impact for the El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Project. This independent third party review focused specifically on the traffic operations analysis, including the scope, methodology, data quality, and recommendations.

    Download: The Independent Third Party Review memo from Steeting Committee and Report

    Due to feedback from the public that involved some skepticism related to ridership forecasts and transportation impacts presented in the DEIR/EA, VTA initiated an independent third party review to evaluate this analysis.

    The independent third party review was led by a Steering Committee consisting of distinguished researchers from the Mineta Transportation Institute, Cal Poly, and other industry academics. The Committee retained the private consulting firm, Iteris, to undertake a technical review of the Transportation Operations Analysis Report.  Specifically, Iteris’ analysis focused on:

    • Methodologies for study area selection, traffic diversion, travel forecasting and traffic analysis;
    • Calculations regarding level-of-service (LOS), operations analysis, traffic diversion, traffic forecasting and queuing; and
    • Review of the travel demand model outputs used for vehicular and ridership forecasts.

    The report from Iteris as well as a memo from the Steering Committee can be viewed here.

    View: VTA Media Release

    Response to Agency Comments Submitted on DEIR/EA 

    This document is VTA’s preliminary response to comments from local public agencies, in order for such agencies to indicate a preference for the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). This information will help public agencies provide further input to the VTA Board of Directors as the next steps for this project are considered. The provision of responses in advance of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Assessment (EA) is not common practice but VTA wanted to be considerate of the collaboration with its partners along the corridor. Although this is not the Final EIR/EA, responses in this report will be consistent with the responses in that document, with the only variation being recognition of the features of the specific alternative, the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA), selected in the Final EIR/EA.

     

  • Upcoming Meetings
  • El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Meetings

    Project Update Meetings

    The release of the Draft Environmental Impact Report and the subsequent public meetings as well as the hundreds of comments received will help VTA select a project alternative to complete the environmental process. Below are the locations where the project was discussed.

    August 26, 2015
    VTA El Camino Real Rapid Transit Policy Advisory Board
    Time: 3:00 p.m.
    Location: VTA Conference Room B-104
    (3331 North First Street, San Jose, CA)

    June 30, 2015
    VTA El Camino Real Rapid Transit Policy Advisory Board (Meeting Agenda)
    Time: 3:00 p.m.
    Location: VTA Conference Room B-104
    (3331 North First Street, San Jose, CA)

    April 21, 2015 
    Mountain View City Council Meeting
    Time: 6:30 p.m. (meeting agenda from City website)
    Location: 500 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

    April 22, 2015
    VTA Advisory Committees Joint Workshop (Meeting Agenda)
    Time: 4:00 p.m.
    Location: VTA Auditorium (3331 North First Street, San Jose, CA)

    VTA Joint Advisory Committee Meeting Presentation

    April 24, 2015 
    VTA El Camino Real Rapid Transit Policy Advisory Board (Meeting Agenda)
    Time: 10:00 a.m.
    Location: Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium County Government Center (70 West Hedding Street San Jose, CA 95110)

    May 1, 2015
    VTA Board Workshop (Meeting Agenda)
    Time: 8:30 a.m.
    Location: Board of Supervisors’ Chambers, County Government Center (70 W. Hedding Street, San Jose, CA)
    * First portion of meeting will discuss VTA Budget.

    VTA Board Workshop Presentation

     

  • Library
  • El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Document Library

     

    Independent Third Party Review

    The Independent Third Party Review memo from Steering Committee and Report

    Environmental Documents

    El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment

    DEIR/EA Public Meeting Presentation

    DEIR/EA Handouts and Posters

    Response to Agency Comments Submitted on DEIR/EA 

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