Open main menu

Silicon Valley BART extension

The Silicon Valley BART Extension will expand service by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) into Santa Clara County, from its former terminus at the Fremont station in Alameda County. Planned since at least 1981,[1] the project has seven stations in three sequential phases.[2] The first phase was the Warm Springs BART extension, built by BART at a cost of $790 million, terminating at the new Warm Springs/South Fremont station that opened in 2017.[3] The Warm Springs extension broke ground in 2009, and was originally scheduled for completion in 2014.

Warm Springs/Silicon Valley BART Extension
Statusrevenue service (to Warm Springs)
testing (to Berryessa)
preliminary design (to Santa Clara)
Localesouthern Alameda County and Santa Clara County
Santa Clara
Stations7 + 2 potential infill
CommencedOctober 1, 2009 (2009-10-01)
Planned opening2020 (2020) (to Berryessa)
2029 (2029)–2030 (2030) (to Santa Clara)
OpenedMarch 25, 2017 (2017-03-25) (to Warm Springs)
Rolling stockBay Area Rapid Transit rolling stock
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
ElectrificationThird rail, 1000 V DC
Route map

Warm Springs / South Fremont
Alameda County
Santa Clara County
Santa Clara VTA Handicapped/disabled access Parking
Valley Transportation Authority
Down arrow to downtown San Jose │ to Alum Rock LowerRight arrow
Berryessa/North San Jose
Alum Rock
Downtown San Jose
Santa Clara VTA
Altamont Corridor ExpressAmtrakCaltrainCAHSRSanta Clara VTA
Altamont Corridor Express
Amtrak & Caltrain
Newhall Maintenance
Santa Clara
Altamont Corridor ExpressAmtrakCaltrain Handicapped/disabled access Parking
to San Francisco

The $2.3-billion second phase, known as phase I of Silicon Valley BART Extension or the Berryessa extension, includes two new stations, the Milpitas and Berryessa/North San Jose stations. Both stations are expected to open sometime in 2020.[4][5] The Berryessa extension broke ground in 2012, and was originally scheduled for completion in 2016.[6][5]

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is building the Berryessa extension, while BART will operate and maintain the entire extension.[5] The two agencies have had differing timelines for the start of service, with VTA's being more optimistic.[7] BART has expressed caution as to the timeline.[8]

The $5.6-billion third phase to downtown San Jose remains unfunded.[9][10][11][12] Targeted for completion in 2029–2030,[13][14] it would add three new subway stations south of Berryessa: Alum Rock/28th Street, Downtown San Jose—West Option, Diridon—North Option, and a surface station in Santa Clara. Initial testing and preliminary construction activities began in January 2019.


Santa Clara County was originally planned to be part of the BART system, but local governments did not approve. Minor service at Palo Alto near San Mateo County had also been planned originally.

In 2000, Santa Clara County voters approved a 30-year half-cent sales tax increase to fund BART,[15] which took effect in 2006. To make up for a shortfall in projected federal funding, an increase in the sales tax by 0.125 percent was proposed if additional federal funding were secured.[15][16]

The economy worsened in 2009, and the 2000 sales tax was projected to generate $7 billion—short of the originally expected $11 billion. As a consequence, the number of planned stations was reduced.[15][16] In addition, the line from Berryessa to downtown San Jose was delayed until 2026.[17][18][19][20] pushed back from 2025.[21][22]

VTA awarded $770 million to Skanska-Shimmick-Herzog in 2011 for the first phase of the Berryessa Extension (Milpitas and Berryessa/North San Jose Stations), and the federal government granted $900 million for the project in 2012. Construction began the same year.[23] It was scheduled to open in 2016.[6][24][25][26]

For phase II, VTA sought funding from the federal New Starts program in 2016.[25][22] A half-cent 30-year sales tax passed in the 2016 elections, to raise $6.0 to $6.5 billion with up to 25% of this (or $1.6 billion) for BART.[27] VTA also sought $1.5 billion from New Starts, and $750 million from the California Cap and Trade program.[28][29][30]

In 2018, VTA was awarded $2.6 billion for the project from the state's Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program funded by the 2017 gas tax bill.[31] VTA anticipates receiving a Full Funding Agreement from the FTA in late 2021.[32] In August 2019, the VTA received $125 million from the FTA under a new accelerated funding program.[33]


The project is broken into three phases.

Phase Name Length Stations Start Complete Cost ($ billions) Ref  
1 Warm Springs (WSX) 5.4 mi (8.7 km) Irvington[a] September 30, 2009[b] March 25, 2017 0.79 [35][36][37]
Warm Springs
2 Berryessa (SVX Phase 1) 10 mi (16 km) Calaveras[a] April 12, 2012 2020 (planned) 2.4 [38][2][39][40]
Berryessa/​North San José
3 Downtown San Jose/ Santa Clara (SVX Phase 2) 6 mi (9.7 km) Alum Rock 2020 (planned)[c] 20292030 (planned) 5.6 [2][40][41][12]
Downtown San Jose
Santa Clara
  1. ^ a b Future infill station
  2. ^ Groundbreaking for the construction of the Fremont subway section occurred in 2009. Preliminary site preparation work for the Paseo Padre/Washington grade separation project began in June 2005.[34]
  3. ^ Preliminary subsurface exploration started in late January 2019.

Warm Springs extensionEdit

Map of the Warm Springs Extension.

The 5.4-mile-long (8.7 km) extension to Warm Springs was constructed by BART south from the existing Fremont station (opened in 1972) to the new Warm Springs/South Fremont station; revenue service began in March 2017.[37] The original estimate was $890 million,[42] but the cost of the subway segment under the lake in Fremont was reduced by 45% from the original estimate of $249 million to $136 million, bringing the total cost to $790 million.[43]

Construction on the Warm Springs extension underway in Fremont, September 12, 2012

The Warm Springs/South Fremont station opened on March 25, 2017.[44] The extension broke ground in 2009,[45] and was originally scheduled for completion in 2014.[45][46] Construction of the station began in 2011,[47] and was expected to take three and a half years.[45] However, the opening was delayed repeatedly, and ultimately pushed back to spring 2017.[48]

The Berryessa Extension (itself divided into two phases) extends south from the Warm Springs/South Fremont station.[2]

Berryessa extensionEdit

Map of Berryessa and downtown San Jose/Santa Clara extensions from Warm Springs

The 10-mile-long (16 km) Berryessa extension to north San Jose encompasses the Milpitas station and the Berryessa station. A proposed infill station at Calaveras Boulevard in downtown Milpitas has been deferred until the city secures funding.[15] Milpitas Station connects to VTA's Montague light rail station near the Great Mall of the Bay Area via a pedestrian bridge.

Originally the entire Silicon Valley Extension from Fremont to Santa Clara was proposed as one megaproject, but lower than expected federal funding and sales tax revenue eliminated some stations from the original project and caused the division into two phases. Phase 1 extends to Berryessa, and Phase 2 will extend through downtown San Jose to Santa Clara.[15] The Phase 1 scope was set by what VTA could afford.[15] A local industrial park sued in 2011, without success, on environmental grounds claiming that the extension would reduce vehicular access.[49]

As of November 2019, Milpitas and Berryessa/North San Jose stations are planned to open sometime in 2020.[4][50][7][38] The project has been beset by delays,[4] and completion has been pushed back many times from the originally-planned 2016,[6] to late 2017, June 2018,[51][52] fall 2018,[53][54] January–March 2019,[55] October 2019,[56], November 2019,[57] and December 2019.[58][59][38]

Downtown San Jose/Santa Clara extensionEdit

Site for planned Santa Clara BART station and Newhall Yard, taken in 2017 from the island platform of the Santa Clara Caltrain station. Avaya Stadium can be seen in the background.

The final Downtown San Jose/Santa Clara leg has been planned through downtown San Jose to Santa Clara at an estimated cost of $5.6 billion. The third phase, 6 miles (9.7 km) long, is largely underground, featuring a 5-mile-long (8.0 km) tunnel.[12] It would continue south from Berryessa, entering a tunnel to cross the Bayshore Freeway before continuing to the proposed Alum Rock/28th Street subway station on the city's "east side". From Alum Rock, the tunneled extension would continue west under Santa Clara Street to a proposed Downtown San Jose subway station, which would be an interchange station to VTA light rail lines on the surface at Santa Clara.[15] The original proposal had additional subway stations between Alum Rock and Downtown at Civic Plaza/SJSU and Plaza de César Chávez, but these were consolidated into a single station to cut costs.[15] The line would continue underground to the San Jose Diridon station, a transfer point to Amtrak, Caltrain, Altamont Corridor Express, VTA Light rail and bus, and the planned California High Speed Rail system. The proposed BART subway station would be named "Diridon" to match. The extension would then surface and continue to the proposed Santa Clara Caltrain Station.[2] A 40-acre (16 ha) BART maintenance yard would also be created at Newhall as part of this phase, using land just south of Santa Clara station that was purchased by VTA from Union Pacific.[60] Like the Berryessa Extension, it would be built by VTA, but operated by BART.

After funding was secured for Berryessa (the first phase of the Silicon Valley Extension) in March 2012, VTA began looking for additional funding to complete the $5.6 billion second phase.[61][12] Completion is expected in 2029–2030.[14][13]

In late 2017, a disagreement arose between VTA and BART, over whether the tunnel design should have a single bore or dual bores. VTA favored a single-bore, 45-foot-wide (14 m), configured as a double-deck stack, with one track on the upper level and one on the lower level. VTA preferred a single bore to shorten the construction schedule and avoid cut and cover construction in Santa Clara Street for station sites. City officials believed cut and cover construction would be disruptive to streets and businesses, citing the construction of the Market Street Subway as evidence.[62][63][64] The single-bore design is newer, but less tested in the United States. However, BART preferred dual bores used elsewhere in its system, to cut construction cost and standardize the procedure for emergency evacuations. The twin bores would each be 20 feet (6.1 m) wide, and separated horizontally.[65][66] Local businesses, cities and VTA were lobbying for a single bore in 2018.[62] The design decision was postponed for three months;[67] in March, BART and VTA reached agreement on a single bore.[68][69] The $125 million contract for engineering the single bore tunnel was awarded to a joint venture bid placed by London-based Mott MacDonald and San Francisco-based PGH Wong Engineering.[70]

Initial construction and soil sampling began in January 2019.[71] Warnings of delayed construction started in September,[72] It was announced that the project would be delayed three to four years, with revenue service to begin in 2029–2030.[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Bay Area Rapid Transit District short range transit plan 1982". BART. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "VTA BART Silicon Valley - BART Silicon Valley". (Press release). Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  3. ^ "Warm Springs Extension Project Overview |". Archived from the original on December 8, 2016. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Angst, Maggie (November 18, 2019). "Delays on Delays: Milpitas and Berryessa BART stations definitely will not open in 2019; Officials won't say when they expect the stations to open in 2020". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Milpitas, Berryessa BART Stations Won't Open This Year". November 19, 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2019. The long-anticipated Berryessa and Milpitas BART stations will not open this year. When construction began, the stations were supposed to open in 2016, but delays have pushed back the opening dates. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is building the BART extension into the South Bay and BART will operate the system.
  6. ^ a b c "BART-to-San Jose construction to start in April". Associated Press. March 13, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2017. Transportation leaders on Monday signed final documents pledging $900 million in federal funds for the $2.3 billion Berryessa extension, scheduled to open in 2016.
  7. ^ a b Meacham, Jody (November 18, 2019). "BART service to Santa Clara County isn't going to happen this year". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  8. ^ "San Jose BART delay: Milpitas, Berryessa stations likely to miss 2019 opening; Officials had hoped to open the stations by the end of the year". October 1, 2019. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  9. ^ "BART & VTA Silicon Valley Program Update". (Press release). October 25, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  10. ^ "Federal Grant A Boon For Bart To San Jose Extension" (Press release). August 30, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019. The project will extend BART to the new Diridon Station in downtown San Jose…[with] overall $5.6 billion project costs…
  11. ^ "Federal government readies to give BART's San Jose extension first installment…for the $5.6 billion project…". August 28, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019. the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)…is designing and building the $5.6 billion extension…
  12. ^ a b c d "U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $125 Million Funding Allocation to Santa Clara VTA for BART Silicon Valley Phase 2 Project" (Press release). August 28, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019. The BART Silicon Valley Phase II project is a 6.5-mile extension…from the Berryessa Station through downtown San Jose…The total estimated project cost is $5.58 billion…
  13. ^ a b "BART delays loom for downtown San Jose: BART timetable for downtown San Jose service now seen as 2030". San Jose Mercury News. September 24, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019. At one point, political and business leaders had anticipated BART service beginning in 2026 in downtown San Jose, but the new estimates from VTA point to a service launch more in the 2029 or 2030 time frame…
  14. ^ a b c Handa, Robert (September 25, 2019). "New Design on BART Extension to San Jose Pushes Back Completion Date to 2030". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Gary Richards (May 8, 2009). "BART extension to San Jose moving ahead". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Gary Richards (December 11, 2008). "The VTA priority: BART — and everything else will have to wait". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  17. ^ "VTA's BART Silicon Valley Extension - Timeline". (Press release). Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  18. ^ Meacham, Jody (January 23, 2017). "Are you ready for a subway? Digging for BART begins in two years". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  19. ^ "Project Schedule by Phase" (PDF). June 27, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  20. ^ "Berryessa extension project timeline" (Press release). Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  21. ^ Kurimoto, Kevin (January 20, 2016). "BART Phase II Funding Strategies" (PDF). VTA. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  22. ^ a b "BART Silicon Valley Phase II – Extension to San Jose and Santa Clara" (PDF). Federal Transit Administration. February 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  23. ^ Michael Cabanatuan (January 11, 2012). "BART's San Jose extension closer to funding OK". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  24. ^ Richards, Gary (July 27, 2016). "Roadshow: BART may start running to San Jose in late 2017". San Jose Mercury News. Can we really expect BART to San Jose by next year? … A That's what the Valley Transportation Authority insists, even though its website lists 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Phase II of VTA's BART Silicon Valley Project Gets FTA Green Light" (PDF). VTA. March 11, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  26. ^ Michale Cabanatuan (March 13, 2012). "San Jose BART extension starts work in April". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  27. ^ Petermann, Felix (November 7, 2016). "Santa Clara County to vote on sales tax increase for transportation projects as traffic worsens". Peninsula Press. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  28. ^ "VTA Board Memorandum" (PDF). VTA. June 2, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  29. ^ Kurhi, Eric (June 3, 2016). "Silicon Valley: Half-cent transit tax going to voters". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  30. ^ Richards, Gary (November 14, 2016). "Roadshow: What the passage of Measure B means". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  31. ^ Curry, Melanie (April 26, 2018). "Gas Tax Funding Announced for Transit, Highway, and Local Priority Projects". Streetsblog Cal. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  32. ^ "VTA's BART Silicon Valley Phase II" (Press release). Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  33. ^ Alaniz, Bernice (August 28, 2019). "VTA Receives First of Its Kind Federal Funding Allocation" (Press release). Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
  34. ^ "Construction Activities: Site Preparation". City of Fremont. Archived from the original on February 12, 2006.
  35. ^ "BART breaks ground on subway section of Warm Springs Extension" (Press release). Bay Area Rapid Transit District. September 30, 2009. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  36. ^ Ross, Stacey Hendler (March 22, 2017). "BART Warm Springs Opening for Service March 25" (Press release). Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  37. ^ a b "BART - Warm Springs Extension Project Overview". Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). June 19, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  38. ^ a b c "Are the Milpitas and Berryessa BART stations going to open on time? It's complicated". San Francisco Chronicle. October 1, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019. Revenue service will not start on Dec. 28, 2019 if VTA does not resolve the discrepancies necessary for BART to start pre-revenue testing by Oct. 21, 2019
  39. ^ "VTA Celebrates Historic Groundbreaking for BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Project: Largest Public Works Project in County's History" (Press release). Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. April 11, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  40. ^ a b Golem, Ron; Gibson, Jill (June 13, 2018). "VTA's BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project and TOD/Access Strategy" (PDF). Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  41. ^ "VTA's BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project" (Press release). Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  42. ^ David Louie (March 24, 2017). "Warm Springs BART station could face funding hurdles". abc7. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  43. ^ Bay City News Service (August 24, 2009). "BART to allow contractors to begin work on Warm Springs extension". Mercury News. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  44. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (March 11, 2017). "BART's long-awaited Warm Springs extension to open March 25". SFGate. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  45. ^ a b c Bowers, Wes (October 2, 2009). "Warm Springs BART link breaks ground in Fremont". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved July 10, 2016. Construction on the second phase, which includes track work, the station, line and systems, is anticipated to start next year. BART officials believe construction will last about three and a half years, and the new station to be named South Fremont should be open in 2014.
  46. ^ "Warm Springs Extension Project Overview". BART. May 5, 2011. Archived from the original on May 30, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2015. Commencement of revenue service to Warm Springs Target Late 2014
  47. ^ "Warm Springs Extension Construction Schedule". BART. Archived from the original on July 28, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016. Construction of the design-build Line, Track, Station and Systems (LTSS) contract, which began in October of 2011, is expected to be physically completed in summer 2016.
  48. ^ "Software Snafu Delays BART's Warm Springs Station Project". Archived from the original on January 19, 2017. Software troubles could mean BART’s $900 million Warm Springs extension in Fremont will not be up and running until spring, officials acknowledge.
  49. ^ Mike Rosenberg (April 8, 2011). "Milpitas industrial park sues to halt BART extension to Silicon Valley". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  50. ^ Alaniz, Bernice (November 15, 2019). "VTA and BART will Defer Operations on the Berryessa Extension". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (Press release). Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  51. ^ Senese, Kyra (February 5, 2018). "BART Phase 1 extension opening pushed back". Railway Age. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  52. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (August 22, 2017). "BART pulls forecast for early completion of Silicon Valley extension". SFGate. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  53. ^ Kurhi, Eric (August 22, 2017). "Milpitas, Berryessa stations won't open until June 2018". Mercury News. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  54. ^ Baldassari, Erin (January 19, 2018). "It's here! First train in BART's new fleet makes inaugural run". Mercury News. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  55. ^ "Milpitas, Berryessa BART stations may not open until 2019". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved March 2, 2018. VTA officials . . . are now saying the opening looks closer to January or even March next year.
  56. ^ Richards, Gary (November 9, 2018). "BART extension to San Jose still nearly a year away". Mercury News. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  57. ^ Richards, Gary (February 8, 2019). "BART testing to San Jose picks up; Nov. 1 opening tentatively set". Mercury News.
  58. ^ Swan, Rachel (June 6, 2019). "BART ready to test Silicon Valley extension, preparing to open it by year's end". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  59. ^ "BART ready to test Silicon Valley extension, preparing to open it by year's end -". June 7, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  60. ^ "Fact Sheet: VTA's BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project | Newhall Maintenance Facility" (PDF). Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. June 12, 2018.
  61. ^ "Financial". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  62. ^ a b Ross; Matier (November 21, 2017). "BART's big dig leading to a big fight in Silicon Valley". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  63. ^ "BART to Santa Clara Busts Budget". People Powered Press. September 3, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  64. ^ Childress, Brandi (November 20, 2017). "Peer Review Results on BART Phase II". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  65. ^ Richards, Gary (October 2, 2017). "BART to San Jose: Is one subway tunnel cheaper, less disruptive to build?". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  66. ^ Childress, Brandi (November 20, 2017). "Peer Review Results on BART Phase II". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  67. ^ "FTA Extends BART Phase II Development Timeline". VTA. January 24, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  68. ^ Green, Jason (March 30, 2018). "VTA, BART agree on one-tunnel option for San Jose extension". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  69. ^ "VTA Board Approves Staff Recommendation for BART Silicon Valley Phase II Project". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  70. ^ Meacham, Jody (January 11, 2019). "VTA awards general engineering contract for BART subway in San Jose". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  71. ^ DeRuy, Emily (January 17, 2019). "BART construction beginning in downtown San Jose". Mercury News. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  72. ^ Avalos, George (September 25, 2019). "BART delays loom for downtown San Jose". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved September 25, 2019.

External linksEdit