Contact: Paul Griffo
SAN JOSE, Calif. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced an agreement to provide $900 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to help extend the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) rail system into Santa Clara County, which is home to many fast-growing Silicon Valley companies.
FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan was on hand to announce the agreement with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. According to BART, the project will create more than 1,600 construction-related jobs and help to relieve highway congestion in the nation’s major high-tech corridor.
“President Obama called on us to rebuild America by putting people back to work on transportation projects that are built to last, like the BART system,” said Secretary LaHood. “BART will one day connect Bay Area residents with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and the jobs they create, while reducing congestion on area highways for everyone. All across America, we have critical transportation work that needs to be done and Americans who are ready to do the work.”
The Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Project, expected to break ground in April, will extend BART by 10 miles and involve the construction of two new stations, in Milpitas and Berryessa, and the procurement 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.
“The residents and entrepreneurs of South Bay understand that transit is a way to relieve congestion between Alameda and Santa Clara counties and provide commuters with a real alternative to ever-erratic gas prices,” said FTA Deputy Administrator McMillan. “This project is also spurring millions of dollars’ worth of new construction for housing, office space, and hotels; all located just minutes away from the BART line extension.”
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 is committed to providing funds comprising 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.