VTA's BART Phase II Transit Oriented Communities Strategy Study

A Once In a Century Opportunity

VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II extension through Downtown San José and Santa Clara provides an extraordinary opportunity to sustainably organize Silicon Valley's future growth around BART. Silicon Valley is in need of more well-designed, affordable, and diverse...

A Once In a Century Opportunity

VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II extension through Downtown San José and Santa Clara provides an extraordinary opportunity to sustainably organize Silicon Valley's future growth around BART. Silicon Valley is in need of more well-designed, affordable, and diverse communities that promote healthy lifestyles, improve access to a variety of jobs and economic opportunities, and offer a mix of housing options.

Enhancing station areas with transit oriented communities (TOCs) means creating walkable places to live, work, shop, play, and learn. By design, TOCs make access and use of transit easy and convenient, resulting in less driving. All of this can help realize community, city, and regional goals.

Live, Work, Play, Travel: Coming to a Future Station Near You!

Each future station area is planned to house a transit oriented community. Currently, efforts are ongoing as to studying the best path forward to encourage policies that will produce vibrant and walkable transit oriented communities that will allow for active ground floor usage, office space and housing units. 

Construction of each transit oriented community will take place near the end of station construction.  While still in the planning stages, integration of the future station entrances is envisioned, as well as additional efforts to provide easy access to transit for riders, no matter how they arrive at the station.

As planning efforts continue, VTA will have more specific information about transit oriented communities at each station, including what the development will look like, partnerships, and how it integrates into the station. 

Making Transit Oriented Communities a Reality

Making sure that each station area is developed to its full potential requires thoughtful planning as well as looking at examples from around the world. 

Currently, VTA is leading a study to identify paths to achieving TOCs at the Alum Rock/28th Street, Downtown San José, and Santa Clara BART station areas. The study complements the Diridon Station Area Plan update and the Diridon Integrated Station Concept Plan process being done in a parallel coordinated effort.

Opportunity Sites and Diridon image map

With VTA’s BART Phase II TOC Strategy Study (the Study), VTA seeks to build upon existing transportation and land use strategies and policies, and provide advanced analysis and recommendations to inform future Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)policy adoption and implementation, including land use, development, and transportation mobility. 
Working with the cities of San José and Santa Clara, as well as BART, the study that began in February 2018, focuses on feasible and implementable land use strategies and financing tools to maximize transit ridership and TOCs at the three future BART Stations (Alum Rock/28th Street Station, Downtown San José Station, and Santa Clara Station), as well as the corridor between them. The Study will also provide specific recommendations to enhance access to the stations and TOCs in and around the station corridor. 
The Study is comprised of three major tasks: Background Conditions, Corridor Opportunities and Constraints, and Implementation Strategies and Tools. The resulting information and proposed strategies will be compiled into three separate station area strategy documents as well as a Final Report, all available in the fall of 2019. 

The Transit Oriented Communities Strategy Study builds on existing city and community plans to secure the future of TOCs. The Study will identify strategies and recommend tools to proactively catalyze and enable TOCs in Santa Clara County in advance of VTA's BART Silicon Valley Phase II operations. VTA’s BART Silicon Valley and the Cities of San José and Santa Clara staff teams will work in close coordination to execute the TOC strategies identified in the Study.

What the Strategy Study Does

Builds Upon and Advances Community Visions and Plans

  • Leverages Silicon Valley’s strong real estate market and organizes future growth along the BART alignment, while reflecting community values and culture, and enhancing community livability.

Secures the Future of TOCs

  • Makes TOCs a priority for growth and affordable housing.
  • Makes a clear case for the broad benefits and requirements of TOCs.
  • Analyzes and mitigates for potential impacts, such as displacement.
  • Prevents the need for retroactive planning.

Provides a “Path to TOCs Playbook” for the Cities to Implement

  • Accelerates coordinated and cooperative TOC planning efforts.
  • Enables strategies and policies to protect existing residents and businesses.
  • Provides paths to secure funding and implementation for TOCs.

How to Get Involved

This study sets the stage for an ongoing and collaborative planning process with the cities as well as local, regional, state, and federal government to secure the future of TOCs in Silicon Valley. VTA will present the study’s recommendations to City Councils and at other community events this fall. We need your participation and support to realize the TOC vision!

Smarter growth around transit  makes sense for Phase II. With the construction of the Phase II Project, VTA sees a once in a lifetime opportunity to help organize urban growth near the future station areas.   

Transit Oriented Communities refers to smart, dense growth near reliable transit. Office, retail, residential and public space create walkable communities and job centers that are easily accessible via many types of transportation. Additionally, transit oriented communities support the transit system, add housing supply without increasing sprawl and help relieve traffic congestion. 

Study Reports


Background Conditions Report

Opportunities and Constraints Report


Draft Station Profiles

Alum Rock/28th Street Station

Downtown Station

Santa Clara Station​


City of Santa Clara City Council Study Session

VTA Board Briefing

City of Santa Clara Planning Commission Study Session

April 2019 Transit Oriented Communities Workshops

Alum Rock/28th Street

Downtown San Jose

Santa Clara

Workshop Summaries

Next Steps
  • The TOC Strategy Study will deliver a playbook on implementing transit oriented communities for the City of San Jose, City of Santa Clara and VTA. 
  • VTA will work to advance these strategies wherever possible.
  • As construction begins on tunnel and station areas along the corridor, development partners and community needs will be identified. 
  • After or near when heavy civil construction is complete along the alignment, transit oriented community construction will commence. 


Environmental Clearance
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Study Development
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Implementation Preparation
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