Earlier this year, the State of California awarded $375 million to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) for its BART extension into Downtown San Jose and Santa Clara.
This new award brings the state’s total commitment through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) to $1.125 billion. This infusion of funds is an important step for VTA to qualify for a federal contribution of roughly $4.6 billion, approximately 50% of the estimated project cost.
“We are grateful for the allocation of TIRCP funds, and we celebrate the other transit agencies whose projects will also benefit from TIRCP resources,” said VTA General Manager/CEO Carolyn Gonot. “This award brings VTA $375 million closer to securing a historic federal investment in Silicon Valley mobility.”
In addition to vast mobility and environmental benefits, the investment in the 6-mile, four station extension of the regional BART commuter rail system brings a robust return on investment through stimulating the regional economy with direct and indirect creation of some 75,000 jobs and by increasing the Gross State Product (GSP) through additional spending and wages.
“Increasing transit options and improving mobility for all Santa Clara County and Bay Area residents and employees is a primary objective of the extension of BART service into the heart of Silicon Valley,” said San Jose Mayor and VTA Board Member Matt Mahan. “I look forward to working with our state and federal partners to secure the remaining resources need to fulfill the immense promise of this once-in-a-generation infrastructure investment.”
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) Plan Bay Area 2040 long-range plan identifies the extension of BART service to San Jose and Santa Clara as the number one priority of the region for improving mobility.
The Federal Government has authorized VTA to advance design on the project and begin certain activities. Early pre-construction activities on the BART Silicon Valley Extension are planned to start this Spring with major construction beginning next year.