Commuters are anxiously waiting for BART to connect to San Jose, and now it appears they’ll have to wait longer.
The original estimate was to get the train to downtown San Jose by 2026. But an updated timeline now shows the date could be closer to 2030.
The completion date was never set in stone, but 2026 was certainly the one many remembered and kept in mind.
BART project supporters say "keep an eye on the big picture," but that’s tough for small businesses trying to survive.
Bruno and Carla da Silva, for instance, have run the l-and-F Fish Market on East Santa Clara Street for 35-years. A BART station is expected to be built near the shop. When the couple heard the updated design plan indicates the completion date has been delayed to 2030, they are disappointed to be missing out on a lot of potential customers.
"We don’t get all that new exposure to the new clientele, I guess you would say," Carla da Silva said.
The Valley Transportation Authority, which is overseeing construction, says the original estimate was made more than five years ago and said the updated underground design will take longer but cause far less disruption.
"Going with a single-bore tunnel changes the construction from what we call cut and cover construction, where you would be tearing up the roadways, to basically doing the project," said Bernice Alaniz, spokeswoman for BART-Silicon Valley. "Most of the work would be happening in the tunnel."
Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group said the updated design is what got the project the early $125 million in federal funds. He said Silicon Valley companies will be patient.
"If you look at even Google’s amazing expansion plans, for example, those 20,000-25,000 jobs, that’s over a 10-to-12-year cycle. That’s not tomorrow," Guardino said.
The VTA said the new design plan has just barely started. And while 2026 is definitely not going to happen, the extension could end up opening much earlier than 2030.