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VTA Leads Effort to Improve Transit in Silicon Valley Region

BY BRANDI CHILDRESS, Public Information Officer, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, San Jose, CA

Friday, Oct. 31, wasn’t just about trick-or-treating or celebrating the Giants’ World Series win at the parade in San Francisco. Public transit leaders and elected officials from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), Caltrans, the city of Fremont, and the Alameda County Transportation Commission also cele­brated a big win for the collective effort to deliver safety and mobility improvements as part of the Mission/Warren Area Improvements Project.

These enhancements in south Fremont, CA, will help make way for VTA’s BART Silicon Valley ­Berryessa Extension—a 10-mile, two-station extension of Bay Area Rapid Transit District service into Silicon Valley, connecting San Jose with Oakland and San Francisco, among other projects.

“This project has improved a major regional commute corridor and enhanced safety and access for city of Fremont residents, all while making way for us to continue down the track of delivering BART to Silicon Valley,” said Nuria Fernandez, VTA general manager and chief executive officer. “It’s a great example of how projects get built faster and more economically when agencies work together to problem solve congestion and mobility issues.” VTA is managing the project with BART.

The project includes widening one major route from four to six lanes and a grade separation that divides an existing street from Union Pacific Railroad and future BART tracks. VTA also installed two new railroad bridges and two BART bridges over both roadways to provide access for freight and commuter rail while separating train movements from vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

“Every community, every level of government, every person worked together to make sure their piece in this project got done,” said Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA).

Funding for the $151 million project came from federal, state, and local sources. The Berryessa Extension is the first part of a two-phase project. ­Passenger service is expected to start in late 2017 with projected weekday ridership at approximately 23,000.

Speakers at an event to launch VTA's Mission/Warren Area Improvements Project included Rep. Mike Honda, second from left, and VTA General Manager/CEO Nuria Fernandez, sixth from right.

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