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.