The U.S. Department of Transportation advanced Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA’s) Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Silicon Valley Phase II project.
The Expedited Project Delivery (EPD) Pilot Program project is a six-mile extension of the BART system from the Berryessa Transit Center into downtown San Jose and the City of Santa Clara, which will bring rail service to more than 1.7 million residents in Santa Clara County.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a Letter of Intent (LOI) to VTA announcing the intention to obligate funds for the project and laying out several conditions that VTA must meet within the next two years to allow the project to be considered for a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA). If VTA fulfills the requirements of the LOI, FTA will award an FFGA for the project. The maximum Federal share of the project would be $2.287 billion or 25% of the final project cost, which is expected to be $9.148 billion.
“The San Francisco - Silicon Valley corridor is one of the busiest and most economically significant in the nation,” said Polly Trottenberg, U.S. Transportation deputy secretary. “This announcement is a big step towards more transit options, a better commute, and cleaner air for Bay Area residents.”
Prior to the project’s consideration for an FFGA, VTA must secure and document the commitment of all non-Federal funding for the project and submit revised financial information as per the requirements in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, based on the revised cost and revised revenue service date. VTA also must provide updated information regarding BART’s system-wide operations and maintenance costs and funding sources, given that BART will operate and maintain the project.
“Linking San Jose with the East Bay and San Francisco will give millions of residents all over the Bay Area a convenient and reliable option to get to work, school, shopping and health care,” said Ray Tellis, FTA’s Region 9 regional administrator. “Adding this route will take thousands of cars off the road, helping reduce traffic jams and the climate impact that comes with them.”
FTA is required by law to evaluate proposed EPD Pilot Program projects against a number of criteria and ensure that the prospective grant recipient demonstrates the technical, legal, and financial capability to implement the project.