SAN JOSE, Calif. - Expanding BART service into Santa Clara County is going to take a little more time and a lot more money. Valley Transportation Authority says it’ll take another decade and nearly $3 billion to complete.
BART was expected to arrive in San Jose and Santa Clara in 2026, but now officials say rising labor and construction costs will delay the project 10 years.
"The entire project is a 16-mile extension from Fremont to Santa Clara, with six stations, a tunnel through downtown San Jose and a maintenance facility at the end of the line," said VTA General Manager and CEO Carolyn Gonot.
Gonot says BART’s Phase 2 expansion from Berryessa to Santa Clara is scheduled for completion by 2036, ten years later than expected. Although the project will cost an additional $2.9 billion, Gonot says that money has already been accounted for.
"Despite the increase, the new figure remains within our funding plan due to strong support of locally supported sales tax measures and state and federal sources," said Gonot.
VTA says project adjustments, inflation and rising interest rates are major factors in the delay.
San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan also weighed in on the delay, saying: "BART to Silicon Valley is happening and VTA and its contractors will have to live within their means to get it done. We are not going back to the voters on this one."
"This area has enough money to improve our lives, right? So, they should make a way to make it happen," said Felipe Giametti of Santa Clara.
Even with VTA’s announcement of a delay and added costs, some people KTVU spoke to in Santa Clara are still looking ahead to the benefits of having a BART station nearby.
"I know a lot of students do get internships in the Bay Area especially. I know it’s really expensive for transportation and just having a car on campus. So, I think BART would be beneficial for everyone," said Iselda Diaz, a Santa Clara University student.
"They need to spend the money, so we can get cars off the roads. They think electric cars are going to do it all, but we don’t have the highway and the infrastructure," said Judy Stanton of Santa Clara.
Gonot says they also have $2.8 billion in contingency funds, and she doesn’t believe they’ll have to ask the public to put in more money.