There Will Be No Bus Rapid Transit in the Silicon Valley

Local politicians and the public had years to review a proposal that would create dedicated lanes for bus service along El Camino as it cuts through the region. The project found very little support.

1 minute read

February 6, 2018, 8:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

"After years of spinning its wheels, the controversial proposal to build dedicated bus lanes along El Camino Real appears to be dead," reports Mark Noack.

Valley Transportation Authority announced that they are "pulling the plug" on the $223 million bus rapid transit proposal after receiving insufficient support from local politicians. The most recent setback was a letter written by Los Altos Councilmember Jeannie Bruins, who chairs the project's advisory committee. In December, the Sunnyvale City Council also rejected the proposal. The project provoked resistance from local politicians for years due to concerns over the project's effect on travel times and spillover into surrounding neighborhoods. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority released a draft Environmental Impact Review for the project in late 2014.

"The original idea for Bus Rapid Transit called for an elaborate series of new bus stops and infrastructure that would dedicate two of El Camino's six traffic lanes primarily for bus traffic," explains Noack. "Once completed, the project would have streamlined bus service, potentially making it a viable transit option for more commuters."

According to planners, the bus rapid transit lane would have improved bus travel times by 40 minutes, though members of the public found that claim hard to believe.

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