Social Media Critics Roast Plans for Downtown San Jose BART Station

Critics panned new renderings for the 28th Street/Little Portugal station on the planned BART extension into San Jose.

2 minute read

May 23, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

San Jose BART Station Plan

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority / 28th Street/Little Portugal station conceptual rendering.

"Public transit advocates are pillorying plans for the $6.9 billion extension of BART service through downtown San Jose over station designs that require passengers to descend up to 90 feet to get from the street to their trains," writes Nico Savidge.

"On Twitter, dozens of replies and quote-tweets have panned a Monday post from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority(VTA), which is building the BART extension, criticizing a rendering of the planned 28th Street/Little Portugal subway station," according to Savidge.

Here is the Twitter post in question, which includes a link to an article on the VTA website announcing two recent milestones for Phase II of the extension project:



Savidge also explains why the station was planned for such depths beneath the city:

One reason is that when VTA planned the extension, it faced a choice between shallower, more conventional stations that would require tearing up sections of Santa Clara Street for years at a time — which downtown businesses opposed — or a new subway building method pioneered in Spain that promised to minimize disruptions at ground level by tunneling deeper underground. VTA chose the latter.


VTA spokeswoman Bernice Alaniz emphasized that business disruptions weren’t the only factor, however — soil conditions, the need to work around underground utilities and a desire to avoid severing VTA’s light rail line also factored into the decision to tunnel deeper.

The article offers additional details of the thinking behind the station design, in addition to some of most scathing quips from the social media response to the renderings.

As for the Phase II milestones that were originally the purpose of the Twitter post, the aforementioned article on the VTA website, written by Bernine Alaniz, reports that Phase II "has advanced to the final step in the application process for the Federal Transit Administration’s Expedited Project Delivery Pilot Funding Program (EPD), and selected three joint ventures to submit proposals on the estimated $2 billion track and tunnel work contract." The VTA is seeking $1.735 billion in federal funds through the EPD Program to finalize funding for the project.

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