Silicon Valley BART extension

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The Silicon Valley BART extension is a three-phase expansion of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) from its current terminus in Fremont to Santa Clara County. Extensions to the Warm Springs District and Berryessa District are under construction, while funding arrangements for the proposed extension to Downtown San Jose and Santa Clara are incomplete.[1][2][3]


Construction on the Warm Springs extension underway in Fremont, September 12, 2012

Santa Clara County was originally going to have been part of the BART system, but local governments did not approve. Minor service at Palo Alto right over the border from San Mateo County was also planned originally.

In the late 1990s, planners and community leaders planned to extend BART to San Jose to connect Silicon Valley to the rest of the Bay Area.[citation needed] In 2000, Santa Clara County voters approved a 30-year half-cent sales tax increase to fund BART,[1] which took effect in 2006. To make up for a shortfall in projected federal funding, an increase in the sales tax by ⅛ of 1% was proposed if additional federal funding were secured.[1][3]

The economy worsened in 2009, and the 2000 sales tax was projected to generate $7 billion which was short of the originally expected $11 billion. As a consequence, the number of planned stations was reduced.[1][3] In addition, the line from Berryessa to downtown San Jose was delayed until 2025. This line may or may not include Santa Clara.[1][3]

Construction of the Warm Springs extension began in 2009.[4]

VTA awarded $770 million to Skanska-Shimmick-Herzog in 2011 for the first phase of the Berryessa extension. The federal government granted $900 million in 2012, and construction began the same year.[5] It was scheduled to open in 2016.[6][7] Despite substantial incentives if the opening were pulled in by 18 months (from an earlier schedule) to 2016,[8] the Milpitas and Berryessa stations are expected to open in fall 2017 or 2018.[9][10][11][12]

VTA began to seek funding from the federal New Starts program in early 2016.[10][13] In June 2016, VTA proposed an additional half-cent 30-year sales tax for the 2016 elections, which would raise a projected $6.0 to $6.5 billion with up to 25% of this for BART. VTA also sought $1.5 billion from New Starts, and $750 million from the California Cap and Trade program.[14][14][15]

Warm Springs Extension[edit]

Map of the Warm Springs Extension.

The Warm Springs extension will extend the existing track south from Fremont by 5 miles, and is the first part of BART's Silicon Valley extension.[16]

The Warm Springs / South Fremont BART station is targeted to open in fall 2016.[17] However, the opening has been delayed from the original target of 2014,[18] and further delays are possible.[19]

The extension broke ground in 2009.[18] Construction of the station began in 2011,[20] and was expected to take three and a half years.[18] However, the opening was pushed back from the originally projected date of 2014,[18][21] to fall 2015,[22][23][24] to early 2016,[25] to spring 2016,[26] to summer 2016,[27] and most recently to fall 2016.[17][28]

BART did not confirm that the station would open in early fall 2016, though two BART board directors pointed to October 22,[29][30] while another director expected it to open in the weeks before the November 8 election.[31] Some observers saw the unconfirmed opening as an "October surprise," a news event for the November vote on a BART bond measure.[30]

Berryessa Extension[edit]

Map of Phase I and II extensions from Warm Springs to San Jose and Santa Clara.

Construction of the $2.3 billion Berryessa extension started in 2012, and it had been scheduled to open in 2016.[6][7] While the opening has been delayed to fall 2017,[9] or 2018,[10][11][12] transit officials claimed that the project was "ahead of schedule" as of 2016.[32]

This line extends south from Warm Springs to Milpitas station (originally to be called "Montague Station"), connected by pedestrian bridge to the VTA's Montague light rail station near the Great Mall of the Bay Area, and then on to Berryessa station. A proposed infill station in downtown Milpitas, Calaveras station, has been deferred until the city secures funding.[1]

In 2009, VTA proposed to extend the line as far as they could afford (Berryessa) until further funding could be obtained.[1] In 2009, the MTC also changed its rules allowing bridge and HOT lanes tolls to be used for transit projects, such as BART expansion, VTA light rail extensions, bus or ferry operations.[1]

A local industrial park sued in 2011 (without success) on environmental grounds claiming that the extension would reduce vehicular access.[33]

Proposed San Jose/Santa Clara extension[edit]

A final leg is proposed to the urban core of San Jose, first to the proposed Alum Rock station on the city's "east side", connected by a tunnel under Santa Clara Street to a proposed Downtown San Jose Station, which would be an interchange station to VTA lines.[1] The original proposal had separate Civic Plaza/SJSU and Plaza de César Chávez stations, but these were consolidated into a single station to save money.[1] The line would continue to the San Jose Diridon station (transfer point to Amtrak, Caltrain, Altamont Corridor Express and the planned California High Speed Rail system), and the proposed BART subway station would be called "Diridon/Arena" (SAP Center). It would either terminate there, allowing for a future extension to the proposed Santa Clara Caltrain Station, or go all the way to that station in the same phase of construction.[1] Project details are expected to be finalized by the fourth quarter of 2016.[34]

Originally the entire extension was proposed as one megaproject, but lower than expected federal funding and sales tax revenue reduced the scope of the project and broke it up into separate phases.[1] After funding was secured for the first phase in March 2012, VTA began looking for $2.4 billion to close the remaining funding gap for the projected $4.7 billion cost of the second phase of the proposed extension to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara.[35] While some sources target completion in 2025,[36][37] others target mid 2026.[13][34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Gary Richards (May 8, 2009). "BART extension to San Jose moving ahead". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  2. ^ Michale Cabanatuan (April 14, 2011). "BART San Jose extension's first phase OKd". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gary Richards (December 11, 2008). "The VTA priority: BART — and everything else will have to wait". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  4. ^ "On schedule and under budget". August 20, 2010. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  5. ^ Michael Cabanatuan (January 11, 2012). "BART's San Jose extension closer to funding OK". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  6. ^ a b Gary Richards (March 12, 2012). "Next target: Extending BART under downtown San Jose". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved July 10, 2016. … the $2.3 billion Berryessa extension, scheduled to open in 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Michale Cabanatuan (March 13, 2012). "San Jose BART extension starts work in April". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  8. ^ Gary Richards (December 8, 2011). "BART-to-San Jose extension could open 18 months ahead of schedule". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Richards, Gary (July 27, 2016). "Roadshow: BART may start running to San Jose in late 2017". San Jose Mercury News. Can we really expect BART to San Jose by next year? … A That's what the Valley Transportation Authority insists, even though its website lists 2018. 
  10. ^ a b c "Phase II of VTA's BART Silicon Valley Project Gets FTA Green Light" (PDF). VTA. March 11, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Timeline - Berryessa Extension Project Timeline". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  12. ^ a b Gary Richards (December 18, 2015). "Roadshow: BART down I-680 not a consideration". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved August 1, 2016. 2018: Extend BART 10 miles from Warm Springs to the Berryessa area of San Jose. 
  13. ^ a b "BART Silicon Valley Phase II – Extension to San Jose and Santa Clara" (PDF). Federal Transit Administration. February 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b "VTA Board Memorandum" (PDF). VTA. June 2, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  15. ^ Kurhi, Eric (June 3, 2016). "Silicon Valley: Half-cent transit tax going to voters". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  16. ^ "BART - Warm Springs Extension Project Overview". Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). June 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  17. ^ a b Richards, Gary (July 27, 2016). "Roadshow: BART may start running to San Jose in late 2017". San Jose Mercury News. Warm Springs, BART … will open this fall ... 
  18. ^ a b c d Bowers, Wes (October 2, 2009). "Warm Springs BART link breaks ground in Fremont". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved July 10, 2016. Construction on the second phase, which includes track work, the station, line and systems, is anticipated to start next year. BART officials believe construction will last about three and a half years, and the new station to be named South Fremont should be open in 2014. 
  19. ^ "Warm Springs Extension Construction Schedule". BART. Retrieved June 1, 2016. Opening date is dependent on testing and is subject to change 
  20. ^ "Warm Springs Extension Construction Schedule". BART. Archived from the original on July 28, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016. Construction of the design-build Line, Track, Station and Systems (LTSS) contract, which began in October of 2011, is expected to be physically completed in summer 2016. 
  21. ^ "Warm Springs Extension Project Overview". BART. May 5, 2011. Archived from the original on May 30, 2011. Retrieved 2015-08-12. Commencement of revenue service to Warm Springs Target Late 2014 
  22. ^ "Warm Springs Extension Project Overview". BART. August 24, 2011. Archived from the original on August 24, 2011. Retrieved 2015-10-08. The Warm Springs Extension is expected to open for revenue service in the fall of 2015. 
  23. ^ "Warm Springs Extension Project Overview". BART. September 18, 2015. Archived from the original on September 18, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-08. The Warm Springs Extension is expected to open for revenue service in the fall of 2015. 
  24. ^ Richards, Gary (August 14, 2015). "2015 Opening for Fremont BART station still on track". San Jose Mercury News. p. A2. BART says that late this year remains the target. 
  25. ^ "BART trains to get longer under $1.6 billion budget plan". June 11, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-12. An additional train will be added to the Fremont line when the line is extended to its new end point in Warm Springs. That long-awaited station is now expected to open early next year, a BART spokeswoman said. 
  26. ^ Parr, Rebecca (February 5, 2016). "Fremont Approves Bart Bridge Project". Retrieved February 7, 2016. The Warm Springs/South Fremont BART station is scheduled to open this spring. 
  27. ^ Ramos, Julian (March 10, 2016). "Fremont: Warm Springs BART station opening expected in summer". Retrieved June 1, 2016. 
  28. ^ Marshak, William (May 31, 2016). "Public Works — what do they do and how can they reduce traffic congestion?". Retrieved June 1, 2016. the Warm Springs station opens near the end of this year 
  29. ^ "Still no date set for opening of Warm Springs station". East Bay Times. September 16, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  30. ^ a b "BART's October surprise for bond vote: Opening a new station". September 12, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  31. ^ "BART director: New Warm Springs station expected to open before Election Day". October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  32. ^ Kiet Do (October 11, 2016). "BART Silicon Valley Expansion Plan Roars Forward". Retrieved October 12, 2016. The BART extension into San Jose is ahead of schedule and under budget 
  33. ^ Mike Rosenberg (April 8, 2011). "Milpitas industrial park sues to halt BART extension to Silicon Valley". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  34. ^ a b Kurimoto, Kevin (January 20, 2016). "BART Phase II Funding Strategies" (PDF). VTA. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Financial". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Project Schedule by Phase" (PDF). 2011-06-27. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  37. ^ Gary Richards (2015-12-18). "Roadshow: BART down I-680 not a consideration". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 

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