VTA is using innovation to minimize impact to small businesses. VTA and BART chose the single-bore tunnel construction methodology to reduce street-level impacts that historically impacted businesses during large scale transit construction projects. Single-bore tunneling methodology avoids the traditional cut-and-cover construction that disturbs streets for months to years and instead confines most construction to off-street parcels. The Phase II Project will more closely resemble traditional building construction since most work will take place off-street with temporary lane and sidewalk closures anticipated.
Even with the single-bore tunnel in place, some impacts are unavoidable. VTA is creating a Small Business Program to create a conduit for small businesses through the life of the project. In order to better understand potential construction effects, the current health of businesses near station areas, and business operations and needs, VTA is conducting a Small Business Resource Study. As part of the study, best practices and lessons learned from other transit projects, as well as similar Santa Clara County development projects, will be reviewed in case studies to help assess whether businesses may be vulnerable to construction impacts.
VTA is also ensuring businesses near the project have a voice leading up to and during construction. Since fall 2019 and continuing through project construction, VTA is convening a Small Business Task Force, who will also inform VTA's Small Business Program. Findings from the study and feedback from the task force will inform recommendations for VTA's Small Business Program.