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Name:Michael Patrick
Location:San Jose, California, United States

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Tuesday, February 8


Again and Again, Why Not BART to San Jose?

Because VTA designated the entire Warm Springs-Santa Clara line the minimum operating segment. Because the bare-bones "minimum" segment would make too few stops to ensure acceptable ridership or to serve the East San Jose community through which it would pass. And (according to the Federal Transit Administration)

. . . because of the Valley Transportation Authority's financial struggles, the lack of funding available to operate the BART extension if it's built, and because its proponents haven't provided credible estimates of how many passengers would ride the extension and how much travel time it would save them.

Yet, VTA just won't consider a simpler extension to Milpitas, which would far more likely receive FTA's approval because it would connect to the valley's light rail network and North San Jose jobs with just one more station and only a few more miles of track. The project won't get much more cost-benefit effective than that.

VTA prepared a full EIR for the BART extension from Warm Springs to downtown. Are they not constructing it as originally planned?

VTA is trying to build the extension as originally planned, but the funding is not available. They're not likely to win over the federal government without a design change or some kind of political deal, and that's why there's been talk of possibly placing another sales tax measure on an upcoming ballot to pay for BART.

One of the things I intended to express was that VTA is so stubbornly in favor of building the whole 16.3 miles of extension all at once that they are giving the feds plenty of reason to give the project a "not recommended" rating. Some say cutting the line short of Downtown SJ would doom the extension under Santa Clara Street and through to Santa Clara, but we will get no extension at all unless some part of the plan changes.

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