VTA Breaks Ground on BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension


The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), San José, CA, has broken ground on the BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project. Celebrations were held recently at the future Santa Clara Station and Newhall Yard & Maintenance Facility located in San José and Santa Clara.

VTA’s extension of the regional BART system is the largest transportation infrastructure project in the history of Santa Clara County. The project will integrate Santa Clara County with the greater Bay Area BART system, enhancing regional connectivity and providing numerous economic, environmental, and social benefits.

“VTA has been unwavering in its commitment to this project,” said Carolyn Gonot, general manager and CEO. “Our goal is to provide efficient, sustainable transit solutions that serve the needs of our growing communities.”

The groundbreaking took place at the site where a tunnel boring machine will be launched, carving the five-mile tunnel from Santa Clara and through downtown San José. Early construction work at the site will include building a factory to produce concrete tunnel liners, constructing the boring machine launch shaft, a grout plant to seal tunnel liners, and soil storage bins to hold excavated materials before transport.

“Connecting people to the heart of Silicon Valley will create opportunity for the future,” said Matt Mahan, mayor, City of San José. “We have the responsibility to make decisions that will be transformative for not just us, but for generations to come.”

VTA collaborated with community groups, stakeholders, and local businesses, forming community working groups, design review committees, and a small business task force, to ensure the project and elements of station design meet community needs. The project promotes inclusive, transit-oriented communities spurring 60 million square feet of development, including affordable housing and walkable neighborhoods. The project will connect 1.7 million transit-dependent riders annually to high-quality transit.

“By prioritizing equitable access and affordable housing, the Phase II Project reflects Santa Clara’s commitment to inclusive growth and social equity,” said Lisa Gilmore, mayor, City of Santa Clara.

Santa Clara County commuters traveling north will realize an average saving of 30 minutes for a 50-mile commute. Bay Area commuters will gain access to one million jobs in Silicon Valley, and two million people will gain access to 3.5 million bay area jobs in Santa Clara County. Getting commuters out of their cars and on to BART is also estimated to reduce annual CO emissions by 50.0 tons and annual greenhouse gas emissions by 19,500 tons by 2040.

Passenger service is planned to commence in 2037.