BART Extension to Boost Construction Jobs

The local construction industry had a bone thrown its way Tuesday, as the first portion of a BART extension has received federal support, according to a San Jose Business Journal report.

The first leg of the extension will run from Fremont into North San Jose (Berryessa). That certainly must be music to the local construction industry’s ears, as it is currently experiencing more than 30 percent unemployment, the report says.

Receiving $900 million in federal money is considered a major step forward for the BART extension project, which will run from Fremont into San Jose and on to Santa Clara, and likely cost about $6 billion total. Current estimates predict 2,500 jobs will be filled to complete the line, and 7,000 more jobs will be created to continue BART maintenance and operations.

The Berryessa extension is expected to start next year and take six years to complete.

Read More at the San Jose Business Journal.

Correction: The original posting of this article incorrectly reported that the entire project would cost $16 billion.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. So we Santa Clara County voters were wise when back in 2008 we rejected a sales tax increase that would have funded this project. Why pay for stuff ourselves when the Barack Obama Labor Union printing presses can just run off a few more billion and pay for stuff for us?

    Pay no attention to the fact that the national debt is $14,000,000,000,000 and the US dollar is sinking like a stone.

    • Yep. No longer with their dope slinging (and all the other crime that goes with it) be limited to the downtown/light rail corridor. Like the East Side doesn’t have enough troubles as it is.

  2. Instead of this dog of a project, you might as well hire the local construction industry to build a giant pyramid. At least then at the end of the project we would have a nice-looking conversation piece, it would not require that much of an ongoing operating subsidy, and it would not provide a means of inbound transportation for hoopleheads who hang out in downtown SJ selling medical cannabis—who, by the way, are probably about the only people who are going to end up riding this thing.

  3. > BART Extension to Boost Construction Jobs

    The fact that a BART extension creates construction jobs is ABSOLUTELY ZERO JUSTIFICATION for building it.

    The ONLY justification is that it provides an essential transportation service that is fully justified on the basis that its benefits to its users exceeds the costs borne by users and exclusively by users.

  4. These jobs are only temporary jobs, and are useless for probably most of the unemployed.

    Personally, I am sick of tired of boosters for their pet project always trying to rationalize and justify their project by using made up numbers about the jobs created.  If all these projects created 1/10 of the jobs they tout we would have 0% unemployment.

  5. While we’re pissing billions away on a Carl Guardino’s vanity project that doesn’t actually go where the jobs are, Caltrain is dieing on the vine and all people do is talk about *YET ANOTHER TAX* to bail the agency out.

    Here’s the latest on Caltrain’s cuts:

    Not much talk about the need for agency reform beyond this:

    Too bad out short-sighted VTA board is so fixated on BART. The 2000 Measure A allows sales tax money to be spent on the following:
    1. Improving Caltrain by double-tracking to Gilroy and electrifying from Palo Alto to Gilroy.
    2. Increasing the level of Caltrain service.
    3. Connecting Caltrain with the Dumbarton Rail Corridor.
    4. Funding operating and maintenance costs for increased bus, rail and paratransit services.

    Despite this, the VTA board wants all money to go to BART, the rest of the county be damned.

  6. I found this old e-mail in my spam box. It’s leftover from 2008 when VTA sponsored a ballot measure to increase the sales tax.

    Most Esteemed Santa Clara County Voter,

    Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mbaike Ngorongoro Guardino IV. I am an agent acting on behalf of my patrons, a group of esteemed personages including Mr. Matumbo McEnery who descends from a glorious line dating back to the great Mnorman Nmineta. I am most humbly and respectfully requesting your assistance in a matter that may be of some mutual fiduciary beneficience. Please indulge me in your kind patients as I explain to you the situation. We are eager to show to the rest of the world that our kingdom is a world class kingdom comparable in importance to the kingdoms of LA Land and SF Land.
    Several years ago my benefactors, through some very clever dealings called Measure A were able to acquire a considerable stream of revenue with which they could not only build a transportation system that would be the envy of the world but would also provide it’s members and friends with great personal wealth. These funds have now grown to a generous amount (US $8,000,000,000) and a prosperous community called VTA has grown and flourished. Due to a temporary problem of liquidity the magnificent transportation system has not yet lived up to it’s promised but there is at present a new opportunity for my patrons’ dreams to be realized. All that is required is access to your bank account. Please sir, or madam, whichever the case may be. It is essencial that you take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Please try to persuade your friends and neighbors too unless they know anything about math or history. Avoid these people. They are often what my people call ‘mnaysayers’.
    Please respond with a YES vote on the tax increase.

    Humbly and Respectfully,
    Mr. Mbaike Ngorongoro Guardino IV

  7. Hugh

    The voters can by voter initiative amend Measure A to direct VTA to spend a percentage of Measure A tax money on CalTrain

    Watch the ” Political Pigs Squeal ” when Measure A taxes go to CalTrain rather than political deals poorly designed money losing BART and Light Rail projects that benefit construction unions, favored contractors and politicians careers rather than public and taxpayers

    Taxpayers who are stuck with 10’s millions unnecessary yearly operating losses requiring more taxes because of poor design. not going where people want to go, take twice as long as driving or require multiple transfers to get to destination like BART to North San Jose resulting in less passengers more operating loss taxes

  8. > BART Extension to Boost Construction Jobs

    What’s so special about an “extension”?

    I don’t think it makes any difference for construction jobs if BART builds an extension, a circle, or a cloverleaf.

    Why not just build a BART “figure-8” entirely within San Jose city limits.  That way, we wouldn’t have to share any of the construction jobs with Fremont, Milpitas, or any of the the other undeserving local satrapies that are trying to suck off or our BART money.

    I can visualize the new BART figure-8 replacing the dorky and embarassing Danny the Dinosaur at Happy Hollow and really upgrading the Happy Hollow experience.

    It’s really a WIN-WIN situation.

  9. You have to wonder……Why no mass transit to the airport.  Once again everyone but San Jose has this benefit.  We spend over a billion dollars on a project that will fail. (Airport) Now were going to have Bart come to the Berryessa.  Who is going to take advantage of Bart and what revenue will come to San Jose for it.  Won’t be long before the Sheriff Department takes over security like San Jose Airport. It’s a better deal from what we are told. 
        I can see families jumping on this train heading for Oakland.  WHO in the heck is the council person for this area?  Like the airport this is a doomed project that in the end will cost San Jose.
        Maybe we can bring back the Mosquito spraying helicopters back and get some use out of the airport.

  10. Our local VTA politicians continue to spend Billions VTA taxes on poorly designed little used public transit construction projects that will cost taxpayers millions more in taxes each year REALLY, REALLY DUMB

    Not connecting to original BART in East Bay and old Caltrain passenger railroad in 1960’s – that Could of Saved Downtown businesses –  DUMB and Costing Taxpayers MANY more Billions now

    $ 1-2 billion + Airport will be underused for decades with no Light Rail from downtown / Diridon, BART or CalTrain public transit connections to bring passengers from East Bay or Peninsula – REALLY REALLY DUMB

    BART to no where – Berryessa but not airport , Valley Fair / Santana Row or HP Arena – REALLY DUMB and EXPENSIVE since few passengers will use BART stub to no where requiring Hundreds Millions in future VTA taxes

    Light Rail – very slow going to where few want to go ( Downtown ) and not being extended to high volume destinations – airport or Valley Fair / Santana Row – DUMB and DUMBER

  11. “Why not just build a BART “figure-8” entirely within San Jose city limits.”

    It should also stop at all the Cozy 8 and Super 8 motels.  Plus chinese ridership numbers would be solid for the figure-8 line given that 8 is a lucky number.

    Berryessa BART station, we hardly knew ye.

  12. BART must go to the CalTrain station, SJ Aiport and downtown.  Building anything less is gonna screw everyone and cheat them of what they voted for.  If the economy is down, you can build cheaper.  Some well run organizations are realizing this with major projects coming in on-time and under budget.

    Federal and State projects are notorious for being entitlements driven where the fat profits drive allocations and outlays with kick backs going to politicians, labor and others.

    Can we focus on the community and what it needs and move heaven and earth to find a way to build it right, and right now?  And can we think about way’s to leverage additional capital or revenue.  BART is a money loser (not as bad as light rail, but bad.)  So what about building in residential, commercial and other tenants that could provide a revenue stream for station maintenance?

    I’m tired of half-ass mega projects that over promise and under-deliver.  Death by a thousand compromises.  Let’s run BART all the way up to SF under the “Grand Boulevard” )El Camino Real and link everyone in, then work on driving down operating costs.

  13. Blair – it is too late to save public transit in Santa Clara County form bankruptcy

    The latest available BART fare box revenue to operating cost ratio is 63% ( 2009 ) with ads, other revenue and mostly taxes making up 36%  because of large numbers of people going to San Francisco jobs from East Bay

    Caltrain is fare box revenue to operating cost ratio is 47% ( 2009 ) 74% of Caltrain’s nearly 40,000 daily riders use the train to commute to work+

    VTA fare box revenue to operating cost ratio is 14% (2009) heavily subsidized by SCC sales taxes since few workers ride public transi to work in Santa Clara County

    BART to North San Jose will also be heavily subsidized with millions taxes by VTA since BART Board believed that there would be few passengers and required VTA to fully fund all operating costs and loses not BART

    VTA’s BART to North San Jose will be a financial disaster for VTA probably leading to VTA Bankruptcy since VTA, county , staete and federal government are also in trouble and will not bailout VTA many bad political and financial decisions

    High Speed rail to San Jose is decades to never away from San Jose due to at least 8-10 years of state and local government budget problems, loss of sales and property tax revenues, and more businesses moving to lower cost more business friendly states and countries

    Silicon Valley might be the next Detroit, Pittsburg, Cleveland, Buffalo once great cities with many businesses and jobs that are no longer there in 20-30 years

    San Jose has been declining since 2002-03 and lacks other Silicon Valley city’s strong business and tax based while having high city government costs due to years of City Hall political and city mismanagement, very costly and difficult business conditions

    • “VTA fare box revenue to operating cost ratio is 14% (2009) heavily subsidized by SCC sales taxes since few workers ride public transit to work in Santa Clara County.”

      I read somewhere that our lightrail was the most heavily subsidized in the nation.

      How much money would be freed up annually if lightrail was shutdown?

  14. By the way, for the edification of the High Speed Rail buff[oon]s, I heard on the news (so it MUST be true) that the $30+ billions whacked out of the Obama budget by the Repubs included funds for . . . HIGH SPEED RAIL!!!



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