BREAKING NEWS: Construction of the first phase of the BART Silicon Valley is underway! The BART Extension’s $900 million grant agreement with the Federal government was conveyed on Monday, March 12th, 2012. Check out BART: A day to celebrate jobs well done, written by two Silicon Valley Leadership Group members who helped lead the BART sales tax campaigns, Mike Splinter, CEO of Applied Materials, and Godfrey Sullivan, CEO of Splunk.
In other recent news, on December 8, 2011, the VTA Board awarded a nearly $800 million contract for design and construction of the extension – roughly $75 million below cost estimates and 18 months ahead of schedule! Read more.
About BART Silicon Valley
The 16.1-mile Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) extension from Fremont into Santa Clara County has been a popular topic for Bay Area residents and commuters ever since BART began service in 1972. The BART Silicon Valley extension is a vital regional transit project providing an alternative transportation mode that will reduce travel time along congested corridors and offer convenient connections to the Mineta San Jose International Airport, light rail, and bus/shuttle services. BART will also connect to Caltrain, Amtrak, and the planned High Speed Rail services at San Jose’s Diridon Station. Moreover, the extension will support the local economy with new jobs and housing built around the stations throughout the South Bay.
Recognizing the BART Silicon Valley extension is a crucial transportation, environmental, and economic asset, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has taken the lead in several major advocacy campaigns to raise funding for the project. In 2000, the Leadership Group lead Santa Clara County’s campaign for Measure A, a 30-year, half-cent sales tax for BART and other transit capital improvements. Measure A passed with the support of 70.3% of voters. By 2008, it had become clear that the extension project would need a permanent funding source for operations and maintenance. The Leadership Group once again led the advocacy efforts for Santa Clara County, this time with Measure B – a 30-year, one-eighth-cent sales tax to cover operations of the future Silicon Valley BART line. Voters passed Measure B with 66.7% support.
Construction for Phase 1 (a 10-mile stretch from Fremont to the Berryessa area of San Jose) of the BART extension is expected to commence by late 2012 with service to San Jose by 2017. Once the full, 16-mile project is complete, the BART extension is projected to carry 90,000 riders per day and will create nearly 2,400 temporary jobs and about 7,000 permanent jobs per year. The project is also expected to generate between $4.4 billion and $6.9 billion in economic activity in Santa Clara County over 25 years. For more information on the BART Silicon Valley extension, please check out VTA-BART.