The newly signed California state budget represents an historic funding opportunity for public transit operators like the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. VTA hopes to see tremendous benefits for major transportation infrastructure projects especially the BART Silicon Valley Phase 2 Project.
Governor Gavin Newson signed a $308 billion state spending plan June 30, that includes $3.65 billion for transit capital projects across the State of California.
Of the allocations for transit, $1.5 billion is dedicated to projects in Northern California. The budget sets aside no less than $900 million for projects like VTA’s BART extension which previously received state Cap and Trade funding.
“Earlier state investment in the largest transportation infrastructure project in Santa Clara County history demonstrates that VTA is instrumental in achieving California’s environmental goals. We are encouraged by this significant commitment to public transportation,” said VTA Chair and San Jose Vice Mayor Charles “Chappie” Jones.
This additional funding is key to securing a significant federal investment in the project that will extend BART further into Silicon Valley adding three stations in San José and one in Santa Clara.
“I’m grateful to Governor Newsom and state leadership for their ongoing commitment to critical transit projects. This funding will bring San Jose one step closer to completing a world class regional transit system, drastically reducing our GHG emissions and providing transportation options to those that need it most, said San Jose Mayor and VTA Board member Sam Liccardo, a steadfast supporter of the BART Silicon Valley Project.
If successful in securing an additional state grant through the budget allocation, VTA will be able to complete the funding plan for the BART extension and begin construction. VTA must complete the funding plan to secure the $2.3 billion committed by the Federal Transit Administration in October 2021. .
“VTA is encouraged to see state leaders coming out strong for public transit and we are optimistic our important projects like BART phase 2 will benefit from that support,” said VTA General Manager/CEO Carolyn Gonot, who, earlier in her career, headed the BART Silicon Valley Project for VTA.
The budget package also provides critical support for other types of transportation projects, including the Active Transportation Program, created to encourage walking and biking; significant investment in zero emission transit vehicles and fueling infrastructure; and “Major Project Development Reserve" to provide for multiyear grants for capital projects and programs in earlier stages of the federal project development process.