BART Delays Expected in San Jose

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The aggressive timetable to bring BART service to the heart of San Jose may no longer be realistic, according to BART officials. While “Silicon Valley Phase I”  BART service is still on track to open the Berryessa Station in North San Jose in December 0f 2019, the “Phase II” part of the project, which includes Diridon Station and Downtown San Jose Station, among other stops, may miss the 2026 target dates.

As a joint venture between BART and Valley Transportation Agency, the scope of project was intended to extend BART service from Alameda County to Santa Clara, San Jose, and Milpitas. The project is funded through various revenue streams, including a sales tax hike that was approved in 2000, implemented in 2006, and extends through 2036. State and federal funding, as well as bridge tolls and other taxes, make up the remainder of the funding.

According to a recent report in San Jose Mercury News,  the engineering and design phase was intended to be completed in 2022, with construction completion on Phase II in 2026. Bernice Alaniz, BART’s Silicon Valley business operations and communications director, indicates that the a more realistic target is 2029 or 2030.

“It would be fair to say that we are looking at a construction timetable that would be later than the original schedule,” says Alaniz.

Image Credit: Matthew Black via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

At present, around 2% of the engineering and design phase is complete, making it uncertain if construction can begin as scheduled in 2022.

Diridon Station is the lynch pin for major downtown San Jose development, providing the back drop for Google’s transit village. Many other groups have announced investment in the downtown area, as well, in hopes of gaining synergy with Google’s financial commitment to the area.

The expected delay in completion of Diridon Station is not expected to impact the downtown developments, at least according to what we currently know. Only time will tell if there will be additional impacts once the engineering and design phase is complete, and a clearer picture of the construction timetable is released.

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