Feds Commit to More Than $2B for Share of BART Extension Through Downtown San Jose

The Valley Transportation Authority announced it has received a letter from the Federal Transit Administration  announcing the BART extension through downtown San Jose was formally selected for expedited funding of more than $2 billion.

The project funding plan includes 25% of the costs to be funded with federal grants and the remaining 75% from state and local sources.

BART's Phase II Project, which includes four stations, a maintenance facility, and five miles of subway tunnel, will extend BART service from the newly opened Berryessa Station in northeast San Jose through downtown San Jose into the City of Santa Clara. Passenger service is planned to begin in 2030.

The letter of intent announced Oct. 25 affirms announces the federal government’s intention to obligate federal funds for the project, according to the VTA. This step is the precursor to the actual funding.

“After decades of planning and strong public support, VTA is honored to have the Federal Transportation Administration acknowledge the substantial merits of the BART extension to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara”, said Glenn Hendricks, Chair of VTA’s Board of Directors. “We are excited to continue to move this important project forward.”

This step gives VTA the authority to incur costs for advancing engineering activities, utility relocation, real estate acquisition, construction, and other non-construction activities such as the procurement of vehicles.  This milestone also defines the confidence the U.S. Department of Transportation has in VTA’s technical capacity and capability to effectively manage the Phase II Project.

VTA said it will proceed with contract advertisements and awards, including the largest procurement, the tunnel contract which includes the design and construction of the subway through downtown San Jose with a large-diameter tunnel boring machine.

“This auspicious milestone gladdens the hearts of all of us who have been working--and many more who have been waiting--to bring BART to Downtown San Jose and Santa Clara,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who is also a member of the VTA Board of Directors and former Chairperson.

VTA’s funding plan, developed in 2020 and submitted to federal transportation officials, included an expedited funding request of $1.735 billion based on a $6.9 billion eligible budget, and this could increase as construction materials increase in cost in future years.

Federal transportation officials intend to obligate up to $2.287 billion or 25 percent of the final project cost, whichever is less.

The letter will be in effect for two years, and during that time VTA will continue to advance design, receive actual contractor bids, identify and mitigate or eliminate perceived risks, finalize an overall cost estimate, and solidify the funding plan to ultimately achieve full funding.


  1. I noticed Streetsblog naturally presented the rosy, in its case, the rosy URL instead of the headline of the article itself, from the Mercury News.

    Federal officials now say BART’s San Jose extension could cost $9.1 billion — twice the original estimate

    This announcement could mark a potential 32% increase in the project’s total cost

    Be sure to read the details, too. Don’t just stop at the URL.


  2. Of course, this means that there will be no “value engineering.” Why, exactly, must we duplicate existing Caltrain and VTA bus service by building BART between San Jose and Santa Clara?

  3. Unfortunately those are $2 billion 2020 dollars. On current course, we’ll need another $20?,30? possibly 100?, billion in present day dollars… whatever the present day is between now and 2040 or 2050 when the trains start rolling.

  4. Some bureaucrat will be happy that the feds are beefing up the slush funds.
    Someone should be held responsible for a budget/ bid on both sides – Public Officials and Contractors Bidding – and pay stiff fines for Cost Overruns.
    But it is just the taxpayers taking it in the pants – play money for politicians.
    Politicians looking to line their pockets..
    Too Often Big Infrastructure $$ = Fraud & Waste..
    “From $250 Million to $6.5 Billion: The Bay Bridge Cost Overrun”..
    In DEM run cities any estimate is pure speculation & usually “Low” enough to get funding to start.. High Speed Trains, Bridges, Water Projects or SF Public Buildings..
    maybe 10x or 20x any estimate for starters..
    How the New San Francisco Bay Bridge Cost Soared From $250 Million to $6.5 Billion

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