By the Numbers: Silicon Valley’s Long-Awaited BART Extension

Regional transit officials announced this week that it would bring BART to the South Bay by way of one tunnel, not two. The decision was applauded as a victory for downtown San Jose, where businesses worried that a double-bore design would cause more disruption and take an economic toll on the community. Here’s a look at the cost and impact of BART’s Silicon Valley extension.

The number of tunnels BART plans to bore under San Jose, the agency made last week with its project partner, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). For years, local stakeholders worried that the agencies would opt for a double-bore tunnel, which would have been more costly and more disruptive.

The number of feet below ground the single-bore BART tunnel would lie. That’s about 30 feet deeper than the double-tunnel design.

The number of miles the BART tunnel would traverse under downtown, completing a 16-mile extension from Fremont.

The total cost of bringing BART from San Jose’s under-construction Berryessa hub to the Diridon Station in downtown. That’s on top of the $2.3 billion to build the BART line from Fremont to north San Jose. Of the $4.7 billion projected for the final Berryessa-to-Diridon extension, $1 billion comes from a sales tax passed by voters in 2000, $1.5 billion from another voter-approved sales tax in 2016 and the rest from federal, state and regional allocations.

The estimated average daily ridership boost from BART’s six planned Silicon Valley stations by 2035, according to the VTA. Current daily BART ridership averages about 430,000 for the Bay Area as a whole.

The number of parking spaces transit officials plan to build by 2035 to accommodate the influx of Silicon Valley’s BART passengers.

Sources: VTA, BART


  1. > That’s on top of the $2.3 billion to build the BART line from Fremont to north San Jose.

    $2.3 billion plus $4.7 billion equals $7 billion.

    $7 billion for 52,000 users? That’s $134,600 per user.

    Why not just have the government buy a Lamborghini for each passenger?

    Or, if we can’t rely on the passengers to be sober and responsible drivers on their own, give each passenger their own self-driving Yugo or Geo Metro for a hell of a lot less than $134,600 per.

    But, since we’re talking about 2035, we could give each passenger their own self-driving personal passenger drone. or maybe an ectoplasm transporter.

    If we spent the $7 billion on something useful like roads and highways that could ALSO transport useful stuff like cement, steel, cargo, produce, groceries, and Amazon packages. The ENTIRE population of the south bay would benefit instead of just the lucky 52,000.

    How about a ZERO tunnel plan and just spend the money on more roadways and self-driving Tesla cars and trucks?

  2. The clueless people of the southbay have NO IDEA how this is going to impact crime in San Jose! Let the show begin!!

    • > The clueless people of the southbay have NO IDEA how this is going to impact crime in San Jose! Let the show begin!!

      We’re not as dumb as you think we are.

      Criminals from Palo Alto will stop raping drunken non-students on the Stanford campus and instead will drive their Priuses to San Jose, hop onto Bart and ride to Oakland and snatch iPhones and rape women around Lake Merritt.

      Bottom line: less crime in San Jose, more crime in Oakland.

    • Like in Atlanta when people thought transit would bring crime by extending MARTA which literally never happened. Don’t be too racist here SJ commentators.

      • What is the best predictor of crime? Race? Income? No, actually it is income inequality. This is generally measured by the Gini coefficient. Wilkinson, Daly, amoung others have shown the correlation.

        So does the contention that BART will increase crime hold water. It very well could, if the effect of the gini coefficient get spread to neighboring communities. SV is an extremely inequal area of a very inequal state. If you extend the foot print of BART into SV, will it have a negative effect on less inequal places where BART connects to? It could actually make more equal places inequal, increasing the gini coeff, and make those places less safe. It could also make SJ less safe.

        But no one is asking this question because when you do you are just racist and all discussion is ended. Additionally, has anyone investigated if extending BART is actually good for the poor who the say need it? Would it be better for those communities for locals to invest efforts close to home instead of housing workers who commute to SJ? Isnt the time spent on the train alienating to thier interests, personal and communal? All I can see is it ships cheap labor in and ships them out so the rich don’t have to police their homes and educate thier kids. Like a guest worker visa.

        This whole thing is a bad idea dressed up to feel like a good one, just more socialism for the rich. But critical thought ends at the first claim of racism.

    • Adding more salt to the ocean doesn’t make it any saltier.

      Criminals in SJ have a free ride anyway. There are 2 cops handling burglaries in a city of about a million people. And all the cops care about are their own pensions, not actually locking up criminals.

      Every day on there are a couple of burglaries in my immediate neighborhood. Even when perpetrators are caught red handed only a fraction are prosecuted. Of those prosecuted a fraction are jailed. And what’s the point of jailing them, they get fed, clothed, housed at taxpayer’s expense, with free health care too. Is there a solution to this? Chain gangs to build high-speed rail?

      I know this from personal example, having been the victim of a larceny. The San Mateo cops caught the perp and called me (because they had recovered a stolen checkbook). When I asked what the next steps were going to be, they said they would ask SJPD to pick up the suspect. SJPD did nothing of the sort. Told me that unless the damages were significant – five figure or more – the policy was not to prosecute.

  3. One more number …

    1.6M bed bug verdict against landlord for CA family

    gonna see a lot more numbers like that with this bed bug distribution network

  4. 85 feet down!
    Well below the the water table in the south bay and some place to dump the next flood from Coyote Creek. Perhaps the best way to run bart to downtown would be to elevate it from building to building just like the monorail in Disneyland.
    Wow Zoomy Land!

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