Silicon Valley BART extension

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Silicon Valley extension
Warm Springs/​South Fremont
Alameda County
Santa Clara County
Santa Clara VTA Handicapped/disabled access Parking
Valley Transportation Authority
Down arrow to downtown San Jose │ to Alum Rock LowerRight arrow
Berryessa/​North San José
Alum Rock
Downtown San Jose
Santa Clara VTA
Altamont Corridor ExpressAmtrakCaltrainCAHSRSanta Clara VTA
Altamont Corridor Express
Amtrak & Caltrain
Santa Clara
Maintenance Facility
Santa Clara
Altamont Corridor ExpressAmtrakCaltrain Handicapped/disabled access Parking
to San Francisco

The Silicon Valley BART Extension will expand service by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) into Santa Clara County, from its former terminus at the Fremont station in Alameda County. The overall project has seven stations in three sequential phases.[1] The first phase was the Warm Springs BART extension, with the $790-million Warm Springs/South Fremont station that opened in March 2017.[2] It broke ground in 2009, and was originally scheduled for completion in 2014.

The $2.3-billion second phase, known as phase I of VTA's BART Extension or the Berryessa extension, consists of the Milpitas and Berryessa/North San Jose stations. Both are expected to open in March–September 2019.[3] The extension broke ground in 2012, originally scheduled for completion in 2016.[4] A partnership between BART and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is building the Berryessa extension, while BART will operate and maintain the entire extension.

The $4.7-billion third phase to downtown San Jose remains unfunded. Targeted for completion in 2026, it would add three new subway stations west of Berryessa: Alum Rock/28th Street, Downtown San Jose—West Option, Diridon—North Option, and a surface station in Santa Clara.


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

Santa Clara County was originally planned to be part of the BART system, but local governments did not approve. Minor service at Palo Alto near San Mateo County had also been planned originally.

In 2000, Santa Clara County voters approved a 30-year half-cent sales tax increase to fund BART,[5] which took effect in 2006. To make up for a shortfall in projected federal funding, an increase in the sales tax by 0.125 percent was proposed if additional federal funding were secured.[5][6]

The economy worsened in 2009, and the 2000 sales tax was projected to generate $7 billion—short of the originally expected $11 billion. As a consequence, the number of planned stations was reduced.[5][6] In addition, the line from Berryessa to downtown San Jose was delayed until 2026.[7]

VTA awarded $770 million to Skanska-Shimmick-Herzog in 2011 for the first phase of the Berryessa Extension (Milpitas and Berryessa/North San Jose Stations), and the federal government granted $900 million for the project in 2012. Construction began the same year.[8] It was scheduled to open in 2016.[9][10][11]

For phase II, VTA sought funding from the federal New Starts program in 2016.[10][12] A half-cent 30-year sales tax passed in the 2016 elections, to raise $6.0 to $6.5 billion with up to 25% of this (or $1.6 billion) for BART.[13] VTA also sought $1.5 billion from New Starts, and $750 million from the California Cap and Trade program.[14][15][16]

In 2018, VTA was awarded $2.6 billion for the project from the state's Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program funded by the 2017 gas tax bill.[17]

Warm Springs Extension[edit]

Map of the Warm Springs Extension.

As part of a separate extension by BART, the $790 million extension to Warm Springs is five miles long.[18] The original estimate was $890 million.[19] The cost of the subway segment under the lake in Fremont was reduced by 45% from the original estimate of $249 million to $136 million.[20] From south of Paseo Padre Parkway to Warm Springs station, the extension used the former right-of-way of the Western Pacific Railroad San Jose Branch, with the Union Pacific Railroad Warm Springs Subdivision running parallel.

The Warm Springs/South Fremont station opened on March 25, 2017.[21] The extension broke ground in 2009,[22] scheduled for completion in 2014.[22][23] Construction of the station began in 2011,[24] and was expected to take three and a half years.[22] However, the opening was pushed back to fall 2015,[25][26][27] to early 2016,[28] to spring 2016,[29] to summer 2016,[30] to fall 2016,[31][32] to late fall 2016,[33] to winter 2017,[34] and to spring 2017.[35] VTA's BART Silicon Valley Extension connects to the Warm Springs/South Fremont station.[1]

Berryessa Extension[edit]

Map of Phase I and II extensions from Warm Springs to San Jose and Santa Clara.
Planned extension of BART into Silicon Valley

The Milpitas and Berryessa/North San Jose Stations are expected to open in March–September 2019. As of 2018, the project had been delayed three years.[3] The opening was pushed back from 2016,[4] to late 2017, June 2018,[36][37] fall 2018,[38][39] and January–March 2019.[40]

The line extends south from Warm Springs to Milpitas station (originally to be called "Montague Station"), with a 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.[5] Like the Warm Springs Extension, the Berryessa Extension uses the former San Jose Branch, with the Warm Springs Subdivision running parallel for part of the length.

In 2009, VTA proposed to extend the line as far as they could afford (Berryessa) until further funding could be obtained.[5] 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.[5]

A local industrial park sued in 2011, without success, on environmental grounds claiming that the extension would reduce vehicular access.[41]

The capacity of existing rolling stock is not adequate for full service on the extension. Full service depends on the on-time delivery of 35 new train cars, but the delivery has been delayed.[42]

Downtown San Jose/Santa Clara extension[edit]

A $4.7-billion final leg is proposed to downtown San Jose, first to the proposed Alum Rock/28th Street 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 lightrail lines.[5] Like the Berryessa Extension, it would be built by VTA, but operated by BART. The original proposal had separate Civic Plaza/SJSU and Plaza de César Chávez stations, but these were consolidated into a single station to cut costs.[5] The line would continue to the San Jose Diridon station (transfer point to Amtrak, Caltrain, Altamont Corridor Express, VTA Light rail and bus, and the planned California High Speed Rail system), and the proposed BART subway station would be called "Diridon". It would then continue to the proposed Santa Clara Caltrain Station.[1]

Originally the entire extension from Fremont to Santa Clara was proposed as one megaproject, but lower than expected federal funding and sales tax revenue reduced the scope of the project. It was divided into two phases, to Berryessa and downtown.[5] 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.[43] Completion is expected in 2026,[44][45][46] pushed back from 2025.[47][12]

In late 2017, VTA and BART disagreed on the tunnel design, single- or dual-bore. A single bore, 45-foot-wide (14 m), has two tracks stacked above one other. The twin-bore design would have separated the tunnels horizontally, each 20 feet (6.1 m) wide. Although BART has dual bores in other parts of its system, VTA preferred a single bore to reduce construction-related disruption to city streets, shorten the construction schedule, and avoid cut and cover construction in Santa Clara Street for station boxes. BART preferred dual bores, to cut construction cost, and standardize the procedure for emergency evacuations. The single-bore design is newer, less tested in the US.[48][49] Local businesses, cities and VTA were lobbying for a single bore in 2018.[50] The design decision was postponed for three months;[51] at the end of March, BART and VTA reached agreement on a single bore.[52][53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "VTA BART Silicon Valley - BART Silicon Valley". Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  2. ^ "Warm Springs Extension Project Overview |". Archived from the original on 2016-12-08. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  3. ^ a b "BART to Berryessa, Milpitas may not happen until late 2019". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved June 11, 2018. The long-awaited opening of the BART extension from Fremont to San Jose might not occur until late September of 2019. . .And the extension to Berryessa will open nearly three years after officials first hoped, if it comes late next year.
  4. ^ a b "BART-to-San Jose construction to start in April". Associated Press. March 13, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2017. Transportation leaders on Monday signed final documents pledging $900 million in federal funds for the $2.3 billion Berryessa extension, scheduled to open in 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gary Richards (May 8, 2009). "BART extension to San Jose moving ahead". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  6. ^ a b Gary Richards (December 11, 2008). "The VTA priority: BART — and everything else will have to wait". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  7. ^ "VTA's BART Silicon Valley Extension - Timeline". Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  8. ^ Michael Cabanatuan (January 11, 2012). "BART's San Jose extension closer to funding OK". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  9. ^ 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 "Phase II of VTA's BART Silicon Valley Project Gets FTA Green Light" (PDF). VTA. March 11, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  11. ^ Michale Cabanatuan (March 13, 2012). "San Jose BART extension starts work in April". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  12. ^ a b "BART Silicon Valley Phase II – Extension to San Jose and Santa Clara" (PDF). Federal Transit Administration. February 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  13. ^ Petermann, Felix (7 November 2016). "Santa Clara County to vote on sales tax increase for transportation projects as traffic worsens". Peninsula Press. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  14. ^ "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. ^ Richards, Gary (November 14, 2016). "Roadshow: What the passage of Measure B means". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  17. ^ Curry, Melanie (2018-04-26). "Gas Tax Funding Announced for Transit, Highway, and Local Priority Projects". Streetsblog Cal. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  18. ^ "BART - Warm Springs Extension Project Overview". Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). June 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  19. ^ David Louie (March 24, 2017). "Warm Springs BART station could face funding hurdles". abc7. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  20. ^ Bay City News Service (August 24, 2009). "BART to allow contractors to begin work on Warm Springs extension". Mercury News. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  21. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (March 11, 2017). "BART's long-awaited Warm Springs extension to open March 25". SFGate. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  22. ^ a b c 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.
  23. ^ "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
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ "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.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ Ramos, Julian (March 10, 2016). "Fremont: Warm Springs BART station opening expected in summer". Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  31. ^ 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 ...
  32. ^ 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
  33. ^ "Warm Springs Extension Project Overview". November 7, 2016. Archived from the original on December 8, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2016. The Warm Springs Extension is expected to open for revenue (passenger) service in the late fall of 2016...Opening date is dependent on testing and is subject to change.
  34. ^ Geha, Joseph (December 10, 2016). "BART says Warm Springs/South Fremont won't open until winter 2017". East Bay Times. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  35. ^ "Software Snafu Delays BART's Warm Springs Station Project". Archived from the original on January 19, 2017. Software troubles could mean BART’s $900 million Warm Springs extension in Fremont will not be up and running until spring, officials acknowledge.
  36. ^ Senese, Kyra (February 5, 2018). "BART Phase 1 extension opening pushed back". Railway Age. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  37. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (August 22, 2017). "BART pulls forecast for early completion of Silicon Valley extension". SFGate. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  38. ^ Kurhi, Eric (August 22, 2017). "Milpitas, Berryessa stations won't open until June 2018". Mercury News. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  39. ^ Baldassari, Erin (January 19, 2018). "It's here! First train in BART's new fleet makes inaugural run". Mercury News. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  40. ^ "Milpitas, Berryessa BART stations may not open until 2019". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved March 2, 2018. VTA officials . . . are now saying the opening looks closer to January or even March next year.
  41. ^ Mike Rosenberg (April 8, 2011). "Milpitas industrial park sues to halt BART extension to Silicon Valley". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  42. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (April 4, 2017). "BART extension to San Jose on track, but new cars delayed". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  43. ^ "Financial". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  44. ^ Meacham, Jody (23 January 2017). "Are you ready for a subway? Digging for BART begins in two years". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  45. ^ "Project Schedule by Phase" (PDF). 2011-06-27. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
  46. ^ "Berryessa extension project timeline". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  47. ^ Kurimoto, Kevin (January 20, 2016). "BART Phase II Funding Strategies" (PDF). VTA. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  48. ^ Richards, Gary (October 2, 2017). "BART to San Jose: Is one subway tunnel cheaper, less disruptive to build?". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  49. ^ Childress, Brandi (November 20, 2017). "Peer Review Results on BART Phase II". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  50. ^ Ross; Matier (November 21, 2017). "BART's big dig leading to a big fight in Silicon Valley". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  51. ^ "FTA Extends BART Phase II Development Timeline". VTA. January 24, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  52. ^ Green, Jason (March 30, 2018). "VTA, BART agree on one-tunnel option for San Jose extension". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  53. ^ "VTA Board Approves Staff Recommendation for BART Silicon Valley Phase II Project". Retrieved 2018-04-13.

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