A long-awaited extension of the Bay Area’s regional rail transit system is finally coming into view, with an expected completion date of 2030.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) officials recently announced log-awaited plans to commence construction on Phase II of the BART extension into the Silicon Vallley.
Phase II has already been in the works for years, first making the Planetizen newsfeed in 2016, and Phase I wrapped up in 2020, when service started rolling into Milpitas and San Jose. Phase II will build a six-mile route serving three underground stations, “one at 28th Street in San Jose's Little Portugal, another near the intersection of Santa Clara and Market streets in downtown San Jose, yet another at the San Jose Diridon rail depot,” according to an article by Erin Copp for KALW. A fourth and final station will be built at ground-level station near PayPal Park in Santa Clara.
“Connecting BART to Diridon station will allow riders to transfer to Caltrain and Amtrak lines. Eventually, Diridon will also be a transfer point for the planned high-speed rail connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles,” adds Copp.
The last time Planetizen checked in with Phase II, the project was reportedly over budget and behind schedule—with costs rising to $9.9 billion and project completion pushed to 2034. In a paywalled San Francisco Chronicle article by Rachel Swan on the recent announcement, however, 2030 is cited as the expected completion, and a $9.1 billion budget is considered as a “contingency” (the project is currently budgeted for $6.9 billion).
The design for the 28th Street station was the subject of some online ridicule in May 2021 for what some online commentators argued was an unnecessarily complex design is one of the contingencies in play, according to Swan. “Among the tweaks being considered is a center boarding platform for the three underground stations: 28th Street/Little Portugal, downtown San Jose and Diridon. This configuration would allow tracks to run side by side for 6 miles — rather than stacked in the style of a double-decker freeway — within the single-bore tunneling method to which both agencies agreed.”
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