March 13, 2012

BART extension receives $900M from FTA

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will provide $900 million to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) to help extend the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District's (BART) rail system into Santa Clara County, which is home to many fast-growing Silicon Valley companies.

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.

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 railcars. 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.

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% 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.

This represents the last and final step in sealing the funding “deal” and specifying the annual allocations ranging from $59 to $150 million over the next seven years.

VTA also received its first $100 million allocation from the New Starts Funding Program. The FFGA is a multi-year contractual agreement that formally defines the project scope, cost and schedule, and establishes the terms of the federal financial assistance. Execution of the FFGA is the final step before construction on the 10-mile, two station BART extension can begin. The project will break ground on April 12.

The cost of the project is approximately $2.3 billion, which includes $900 million in federal assistance, $251 million in state funding and $1.179 billion from Measure A sales tax.

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