For years there has been delay after delay for the opening of two South Bay BART stations. But this weekend, the waiting ended.
The San Jose Berryessa and Milpitas stations both opened for regular service Saturday morning. Just before 8 a.m. a train left the Berryessa Station bound for Milpitas and ultimately arrived in Richmond.
"To make our time more efficient, less stressful, less congested, and less pollution,” said Carl Guardino, CEO of Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “This is a quadruple win for Bay Area residents."
A ribbon-cutting and ceremonial inaugural train ride for dignitaries took place Friday morning and was livestreamed for the public.
"This day has been one that all of us in Santa Clara County have been waiting for for a very long time," said Nuria Fernandez, CEO of Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. “Having this project in the heart of Silicon Valley means that we can get more people to work and more ideas to market."
Santa Clara County voters approved the funding 20 years ago, and it was 12 years before VTA broke ground.
Some residents are excited, while other people say the system still needs work.
“I take transit, Uber or Lyft to just get here to make sure I’m on time to get to work or whatever we are doing,” said Milpitas resident Dawn Love. “So opening Berryessa and Milpitas is a great thing that needed to happen a long time ago.”
But San Francisco resident Jacob Eller disagrees.
“It’s a horrible commute anyway,” he said. “The system needs repair not additional stations.”
The next phase will extend BART into San Jose and then Santa Clara, although that phase is still years away.
Among the officials at Friday's ribbon cutting are Congressman Mike Honda, Assemblyman Kansen Chu, Santa Clara County supervisors Cindy Chavez and Dave Cortese, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Milpitas Mayor Richard Tran.
"There are so many folks who have literally worked for a generation to make today happen, so, what an honor, what an honor," Lateefah Simon, BART Board President.