New BART extension to South Fremont ready to open

FREMONT (KTVU) -- A new BART transit station is scheduled to open Saturday in Warm Springs/South Fremont, an extension that will establish a new milestone for mass transit into the South Bay.

The 5.4-mile extension gets the transit agency closer to Silicon Valley, which could help lighten congestion on roads for motorists who make daily trips to that part of the region. Initially, BART expects 7,000 daily riders will use this station. 

The first train from the Warm Springs station, located at 45193 Warm Springs Blvd., is scheduled to depart at 5:45 a.m. and the first arriving train is scheduled to arrive at 7:04 a.m.

"This is our 46th station that we're opening here on the BART line and this station came in $100 million under budget," said Grace Crunican, BART's general manager. 

The newly built station will feature over 2,000 parking spaces and 42 electric vehicle charging stations. Monthly reserved slots were sold out long ago on the same day they were offered to the public. 

18 years in the making, the extension makes the dream of creating a rail loop around the Bay closer to reality.

"The only way out, in my mind, is get these new cars, be a little careful about getting rid of the old cars until you've got plenty," said Thomas Blalock, a BART director. 

For Fremont, Warm Springs Station will generate badly needed new housing. "And this is a new neighborhood and opportunity for us to really provide some future vision for transit-oriented development, and so, this is helping us bring the future of Fremont," said Fremont Mayor Lilly Mei.

By year's end there will be two more new stations in the South Bay, 10 miles deeper into Silicon Valley and connecting to VTA. Milpitas Station and a huge parking garage, are well along the way.

Main construction on Berryessa Station is done and BART believes it will be done this year as well.

"At that August 1999 meeting, we started with that song: "Do You Know The Way To San Jose?" Ladies and gentlemen, we are on our way to San Jose," said Scott Haggerty, an Alameda County Supervisor and BART Director.

In the coming years when BART has all 775 of its new cars in service, it will also have more stations, way more capacity and way more ability to serve the Bay Area's needs.