The long-anticipated, longer-needed BART connection to Silicon Valley is on-track. Better than that, it is barreling down the tracks with the first 10-mile segment of the planned 16-mile extension now estimated for completion before the end of 2016.
Yes, that is 18 months ahead of schedule and it’s also $75 million under budget.
Ridership projections just for the first 10-mile extension is estimated at 46,000 daily trips. To put that into context, our popular Caltrain commuter rail system that runs 79-miles from Gilroy to San Francisco carries 41,000 daily trips.
The full 16-mile BART extension from Fremont – with stations in Milpitas, San Jose and Santa Clara – is estimated to carry 90,000 daily passenger trips.
BART will not only help us get to our jobs, but the extension also creates jobs. In a down economy, with regional unemployment still hovering around 9 percent, the BART extension provides 13,000 construction-related jobs over the next four years alone.
In addition to its positive economic impacts, when the line is completed, the positive environmental impacts are equally significant – as the BART extension means 13,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions will not be emitted into our atmosphere.
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group praises the 12-member VTA board for its unanimous vote on Dec. 8 in awarding the construction contract to move BART down the tracks. Yet even more important, our hat is off to the visionary voters of Santa Clara County who voted not once, but twice, to tax themselves to make the BART extension a reality.