The new line extends services on both Bart’s Daly City Green line and Richmond Orange line.
In lieu of a full ceremony, a small group of officials from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), Bart, and the cities of San José and Milpitas, cut a ribbon at the Berryessa Transit Center to open the line before taking a journey to Milpitas to cut a second ribbon. The event was live streamed to the public due to social distancing requirements.
VTA broke ground on the extension on April 12 2012. The first passenger service departed from Berryessa/North San José station at 07.56 on June 13, arriving at Milpitas station three minutes later.
VTA will own the extension and both new transit centres, while Bart will operate the services and maintain the line. Bart now serves 50 stations along a 210km network, connecting five Bay Area counties.
The project forms Phase 1 of VTA’s Bart Silicon Valley Extension Program (BSV). Phase 2, which is currently in the design and engineering phase, will extend the service from Berryessa Transit Center to stations at 28th Street/Little Portugal, San José city centre, and Diridon station with a terminus in Santa Clara.
The BSV project is partially funded through three local sales taxes, including $US 1.07bn through 2000 Measure A, $US 363m through the State of California Traffic Congestion Relief Program (TCRP), and $US 900m through the Federal Transit Administration New Starts Program.
In January, Hitachi Rail STS was awarded a $US 82m contract to install CBTC on the BSV, funded by VTA.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the two new transit centres were expected to handle 23,000 passengers daily.
Along with the two Bart lines, the Milpitas Transit Center will be served by VTA’s Orange Line, a light rail line connecting North San José, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View, as well as nine VTA bus routes and AC Transit’s Route 217.
The station features a ground-level concourse with below-ground platforms, and a dedicated bicycle storage room with a capacity for 211 bikes.
Berryessa Transit Center has direct connections to San José State University, San José city centre and Diridon Caltrain station via VTA’s Rapid 500 bus, and is served by four other VTA bus lines.
The station has a ground-level concourse and an island platform 10m above ground. Cyclists have access to 219 bicycle spaces.
Both new transit centres feature drop off/pick up areas for cars and private shuttles, in addition to 1527 parking spaces at Berryessa and 1631 parking spaces at Milpitas.
Phase 2 is estimated to carry 52,000 passengers to destinations throughout the Bay Area by 2035. Construction is expected to begin in 2022, with testing scheduled for between 2028 and 2030.
In January 2019, VTA announced that it had awarded a joint venture of Mott McDonald and PGH Wong a contract worth up to $US 125m to provide general engineering services for Phase 2.
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