Santa Clara VTA secures $46 million for East San Jose light rail expansion

A project that has been over 20 years in the making is now coming to fruition — let’s dive in to the details behind Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) Eastridge Transit Center light rail extension project in San Jose, CA.

A VTA train rides through a line of trees in Downtown San Jose.

*Beep beep* A new station is coming soon.

Photo via @bennys_journey

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This week, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) received a $46 million grant from California’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program to fund VTA’s light rail service extension to the Eastridge Transit Center.

Now that the grant has been secured, funding is complete for the project — which had a $530 million price tag + has been in the works for nearly two decades.

🛤️ The (rail)road to development

In November 2000, Santa Clara County voters approved Measure A — a half-cent sales tax dedicated to select public transit improvement projects over the course of 30 years, starting April 1, 2006. A majority of the light rail’s early funding was acquired through Measure A, amounting to ~$313.4 million.

Since the initial funding, VTA has worked on improving the area’s safety measures for pedestrians, reconstructing the Eastridge Transit Center, and selecting local artists to shape the designs for the future stations.

The VTA map showing all the transit lines from The Alameda to East Side San Jose.

The new extension will connect Alum Rock with Eastridge’s transit center.

Screenshot via VTA’s website

🚈 What we can expect

Not only will the new extension connect Alum Rock Light Rail Station to the Eastridge Transit Center, but it’ll also add a stop at Story Road.

VTA expects to break ground in spring of 2024, welcome riders by 2029, and see daily ridership reach 4,500 passengers by 2043.

Once completed, the goal is for seamless transfer — VTA riders will be able to use the Eastridge Transit Center to connect directly with BART at the Milpitas station.

“This project is about more than connecting transit—it connects people,” said Mayor Matt Mahan in VTA’s press release. “It bridges regional divides, enhances opportunity for transit-dependent residents and fulfills a promise to East Side neighbors two decades in the making.”

Stay updated with this project’s progress on the VTA’s website.