San Jose (Tasman LRT)

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Phase I Tasman LRT West Extension

San Jose, California

(November 1996)

Description The Santa Clara County Transit District (SCCTD) originally developed a 12.4-mile extension to the existing light rail line, which would provide service to Capitol/Hosletter and downtown Mountain View. The total project included 19 stations and 35 light rail vehicles. The State of California invalidation of the Measure A sales tax (see below) caused the development of new financing alternatives and the separation of the project into two phases, Phase I (West Extension) and Phase 2 (East Extension).

The Phase I West Extension, which is covered in this profile, consists of 7.6 miles of surface LRT from the northern terminus of the Guadalupe LRT in Santa Clara, west through Sunnyvale, to the CalTrain commuter rail station in Mountain View. The project will include 11 stations and will be double tracked except for partial single tracking between the Mountain View and Lockheed stations. The West Extension is estimated to cost $325.0 million (escalated dollars). Ridership on the West Extension is projected to be 7,500 per day by 2005.


Section 3032 of ISTEA directed FTA to approve the construction of the locally preferred alternative not later than 90 days after the completion of preliminary engineering, and to enter into a multiyear grant agreement for 50 percent of the project's cost unless this percentage is changed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).

Section 3032 of ISTEA directed that the Tasman Corridor Project be included as a program of interrelated projects as part of the San Francisco Bay Area Rail Extension Program. Preliminary engineering was completed in August 1992, and final design is now virtually complete. FTA issued a Letter of Intent to fund 50 percent of the cost of the total 12.4-mile project as originally proposed in April 1994.

In September 1995, the California Supreme Court overturned the Measure A one-half cent local sales tax, thus eliminating the major source of local funds to construct and operate the 12.4-mile project. The SCCTD has rescoped the project to reduce cost. In July 1996, FTA and SCCTD entered into a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) providing a $182.75 million Federal commitment of Section 5309 New Start funds for the West Extension.

Through FY 1997, Congress has appropriated $102.75 million of Section 5309 New Start funds to the project. The East Extension is being deferred until additional funding is identified and secured, possibly in the year 2005- 2010 time frame since Santa Clara County's latest sales tax measure passed in November 1996.

MTC and the affected operators have agreed on the future allocation of Section 5309 New Start program funds between Tasman and the BART SFO Extension Project.


Source of Funds

Total Funding ($million)
Section 5309 New Start

FFGA Amount

California Flexible Congestion Relief Program*



($102.75 million appropriated through FY 1997)




State: 49.16

TOTAL $325.0
      * California Flexible Congestion Relief Program reflects a State administered allocation of Federal Flexible Funds.