Contact: Paul Griffo
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff today attended the groundbreaking of a 10-mile extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) rail system out to Silicon Valley that will provide a new choice for residents who commute to the high-tech corridor each day.
“President Obama is advocating an all-of-the-above energy strategy for the United States, which includes giving people more transportation choices. With this addition to BART, even more people will be able to save on gas and reduce their carbon footprint by leaving cars at home if they choose,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This investment moves us closer to achieving our goal of reducing oil imports by a third in a little over a decade.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation last month approved $900 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds for the project, leveraging a $1.4 billion commitment by the State of California and by voters who twice approved using local sales taxes to expand transit choices in Santa Clara County.
The Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Project involves the construction of two new stations, in Milpitas and Berryessa, and the purchase of 40 new passenger rail cars. This significant New Starts investment continues the planned 16-mile BART Silicon Valley extension, bringing transit service to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara County. According to BART, the project will create more than 2,500 construction-related jobs and help to relieve highway congestion in the nation’s major high-tech corridor.
“Today we break ground on a project that will provide residents with a reliable and efficient connection to jobs in Silicon Valley, who would otherwise be forced to continue to endure the punishing congestion throughout the Bay Area,” Administrator Rogoff said. “Investing in transit is about putting people back to work on projects like these that will allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned instead of suffering pain at the pump.” Also attending the groundbreaking were Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, Congressman Michael Honda, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, and Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.
Once completed, the new rail segment will be part of a 119-mile BART network connecting Santa Clara County with San Mateo, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda counties. FTA funds comprise 38.6 percent of the $2.3 billion project. The balance is financed with $1.4 billion in funds from the State of California Traffic Congestion Relief Program and local sales taxes approved by Santa Clara voters in 2000 and 2008.