This week, local and state officials announced that the last piece of funding for a $530 million transit extension in East San Jose has been secured.
The long-awaited project received a $46 million state grant from California’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program to extend the Valley Transportation Agency’s (VTA) orange line light rail service along a 2.4-mile stretch between Alum Rock and Eastridge Transit Centers. State and local officials say the project will increase access to an area currently underserved by the South Bay transit system and eventually provide daily rides to around 4,500 passengers.
The extension will connect the two existing transit centers with an elevated guideway in the center of the Capitol Expressway. It will also include an elevated station at Story Road and a street-level station at the Eastridge Transit Center. When the project is complete, VTA riders can board the light rail at the Eastridge Transit Center and connect directly with BART at the Milpitas Station.
Currently, the only public transit option between Alum Rock and Eastridge is a bus that takes around 11 minutes. The new light rail line will reduce travel time to just four-and-a-half minutes.
Most of the project is being financed through $313 million of Measure A funds, approved by voters in 2000 through a 30 year-sales tax increase. $130 million of the funds will also come from Regional Measure 3, a bridge toll tax increase passed by voters in 2018.
Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2024, with rides starting in 2029.
Click here to learn more about the Eastridge to BART Regional Connector.
The light rail is just one of several large transportation projects advancing the South Bay. Last week, San Jose council members selected a group of contractors and directed the municipality to enter a predevelopment agreement that moves forward with a unique transit connection between the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and San Jose Diridon Station. In addition, a $9.3 billion expansion of BART is being proposed to connect San Jose to Santa Clara.