March 20, 2014

Calif. transit begins BRT construction

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will begin construction on the Santa Clara-Alum Rock Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project on Friday.

The BRT line will be the of three BRT projects planned for Santa Clara County.

“The Santa Clara-Alum Rock BRT Line will connect the culturally rich, east San Jose neighborhoods to downtown’s art, entertainment, retail, restaurants, business and residential districts. This upgraded transit service will enhance the economic viability, visual identity, and the pedestrian and business environment of the corridor,” said Ash Kalra, VTA board chairperson and San Jose City Council member.

This state-of-the-art transit option will provide passengers with faster, more frequent service from the Eastridge Transit Center to the future Arena Station near the San Jose Diridon Transit Center in downtown San Jose. Limited stops, 10-minute frequencies, all-door boarding, traffic signal priority that holds green lights longer for approaching buses, and a dedicated median bus-only lane will improve travel time for customers.

New articulated hybrid vehicles with modern interiors and onboard Wi-Fi will offer a comfortable, convenient and productive new way to travel.

The 7.2-mile project features 11 new, light rail-like stations along Capitol Expressway, Alum Rock Avenue, and Santa Clara Street with off-board ticketing machines, attractive shelters, enhanced lighting, and real-time information signage. In addition, pedestrian improvements, signal upgrades, new streetlights, new landscaping and roadway resurfacing will be implemented throughout the corridor.

“This is our opportunity to set the stage for bus rapid transit and the many benefits this service can offer other important transportation corridors like El Camino Real and Stevens Creek Boulevard,” said VTA GM Nuria Fernandez. “Let this be a shining example of our commitment to deliver innovative transit options for residents and visitors of Santa Clara County — options that will help change the transportation landscape as we envision it for Silicon Valley.”

The vision is that by late 2015, VTA will be operating high-amenity rapid transit buses through downtown and east San Jose from the newly reconstructed Eastridge Transit Center, connecting passengers and the community to the regional transit system, future Bay Area Rapid Transit District service and planned light rail service in the corridor once funding is identified.

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