Bay Area/ San Jose/ Transportation & Infrastructure
Published on March 31, 2022
President Biden proposes new infusion of cash for Silicon Valley BART extensionPhoto Credit: Bart.gov/whitehouse.gov

The White House is trying to push BART’s long-delayed Silicon Valley BART extension further into reality by proposing a huge new infusion of cash. As part of his $5.8 trillion dollar budget proposal, President Joe Biden is laying aside $200 million additional dollars to help get phase two of the extension done.

Senator Dianne Feinstein released a statement about President Biden’s proposed $200 million dollar allocation to the BART project while also acknowledging a proposed $250 million dollar infusion to the Los Angeles Metro system. "We know that traffic will only get worse throughout California, particularly in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. We also know that removing cars from our roads is one of the best ways to reduce carbon emissions. By funding these two projects, we're helping reduce traffic, lower emissions and broaden economic opportunity for residents," Feinstein said.

The Federal Transit Authority has been at odds with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority over several issues involving the extension, including the timing of completion and the cost. Last month, the Mercury News uncovered federal documents showing that FTA officials believe the extension into downtown San Jose won’t be finished until 2034. That is four years later than VTA estimates. The feds also said the cost of the project is more in the $9.1 billion dollar range as compared to the VTA’s current $6.6 billion dollar estimate. 

The price discrepancy was first announced in October of last year, when the feds announced they would commit $2.3 billion to the extension project. If the $200 million in extra cash is approved it would mark the third allocation of funds. The first one, a $125 million payment, came in 2019. The other payment was $100 million which showed up last year.

Phase 2 of BART’s Silicon Valley extension would add an extra six miles of tracks from the North San Jose Berryessa Station into downtown San Jose and then north to Santa Clara. Four new BART stations would need to be built. 

The 28th Street/Little Portugal Station in East San Jose would sit underground between Highway 101 and 28th Street, north of East Santa Clara Street. The tracks would follow Santa Clara Street leading to the Downtown San Jose Station that would have entrances between First and Market Streets and also between 1st and 2nd Streets. BART would also add infrastructure for a stop at Diridon Station and then the tracks would head north to the proposed Santa Clara Station. 

According to the VTA’s website, “Phase II is estimated to carry 54,600 passengers each weekday to destinations throughout the Bay Area by 2040. Completion of the project will finally ring the bay with frequent rail service.” The 2040 estimate signifies the completion of the final leg of Phase 2 into Santa Clara. The 2034 estimate by the feds only accounts for the tracks going into San Jose

San Jose-Transportation & Infrastructure