San Jose to move forward with constructing a Diridon-airport connector

Here are the details on the progress of the City of San Jose and Glydways’ collaborative Diridon-airport connector project.

A cut out of the Glydways pod prototype, superimposed on top of a Google Earth map of San Jose above Mineta Airport.

Introducing: Glydways autonomous vehicle.

Photo via Glydways

As the Capital of Silicon Valley, we’re privy to announcements of shiny new technology that’s never been released anywhere else — and the City of San Jose’s newest project is no different.

This week, city council unanimously voted to consider partnering with South SF-based company Glydways to connect Diridon Station with Mineta Airport — via autonomous shuttle pod.

In June 2021, city council gave the Department of Transportation approval to move forward with developing plans for a connector that would provide seamless transit between Diridon Station and SJC. Since then, ~20 companies pitched proposals, but Glydways’ idea made the final cut.

A man walks into the Glydways shuttle pod.

Looks like something out of the future, huh?

Photo via Glydways

How would the shuttles operate? These driver-less pods could accommodate up to four passengers, and stay on a designated road at ~31 mph. At a continuous speed, Glydways claims the trip would take ~8 minutes — versus ~30 minutes via bus ride — for the 3.5-mile gap.

When can we expect this to function? Now that city council has agreed on the project, the next step would be for the city to review the technical, commercial, and financial viability of this proposal. Following that, further design and environmental review will be needed.

The interior of the Glydways' shuttle pod.

Looks like they’ve already got our teal + gray theme going.

Photo via Glydways

The Mercury News reports that it could cost up to $500 million, so funding would be another factor in the construction timeline. According to the city’s website, they anticipate to start building in 2027.

For now, you can stay updated with the progress of this transit connector via the City of San Jose’s website. But before you zip off, we’d love to hear your thoughts about this project — so tell us, what do you think of this approach to downtown’s transit system?

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