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UPDATE – WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH BART’S EXTENSION INTO SILICON VALLEY?


BART Silicon Valley – the extension of Bay Area Rapid Transit into Santa Clara County — continues to move forward. On Wednesday, June 14, VTA invited community partners to get an up-close and personal look at the progress. In short, things are moving along.  Four members of the OED Business Development team donned sturdy boots and joined the tour.

In March, BART opened its Warm Springs/South Fremont station. Now the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is working to finish the next two stations – at the Milpitas Great Mall and San Jose’s Berryessa district, near the San Jose Flea Market. BART believes the stations could be complete as early as this winter.

Eventual plans call for BART to extend into Downtown San Jose and Santa Clara University by 2025. But even this initial phase will be transformational. Travelers will be able to get from San Jose’s Berryessa station to San Francisco in about an hour. And both the Milpitas and Berryessa stations will offer important connections to key San Jose employment areas through local transit. For instance, a commuter could hop off the Milpitas BART station and be at Samsung Semiconductor’s new San Jose campus in just 13 minutes using VTA’s light rail. Berryessa will offer bus service that whisks travelers to downtown.

The tour was the first time I had visited the new Warm Springs station, snuggled up next to the Tesla Motors plant. It’s thrilling to see this investment into regional transit infrastructure, and the early reception has been strong, with about 6,000 trips per day, according to BART. That will grow as the area develops and the line continues to progress. For instance, VTA expects 25,000 daily passengers at Berryessa by 2030.

At Berryessa, trains will arrive about every 7.5 minutes. A massive parking garage will be available for “park and ride,” and “kiss and ride” loading and private-shuttle areas are also being constructed. (Bike riders, you’ll be able to use an indoor bike storage area.) Plans call for the eventual redevelopment of the San Jose Flea Market, potentially adding thousands of new homes and jobs.
There’s lots more stats and tidbits on the VTA BART project page. And if you’d like to know how your business could plan for transit opportunities, we’d love to connect with you.  Contact me at nathan.donato-weinstein@sanjoseca.gov.