VTA: Test trains at Milpitas BART Station up and running in six months

By Aliyah Mohammed : mercurynews – excerpt

The 10-mile Bay Area Rapid Transit Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension project is on track to be completed by fall 2017. Here in town, test trains are expected to run on tracks leading into and out of the Milpitas BART Station in about six months, according to Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

The station, the newest gateway into the city continues to take shape near the corner of Montague Expressway and East Capitol Avenue adjacent to the Great Mall, as critical elements come online including completion of a six-story parking garage, according to Nicole Franklin, a VTA spokesperson.

“Right now for the Milpitas station they are putting in some of the track work in the boarding area, some improvements for the pedestrian overcross which will connect the BART station to the VTA station,” Franklin said. “The parking garages have been topped off, the whole structure is complete and both the Milpitas and Berryessa stations will have 1,200 parking spots.”

She added all related trench work — where trains go underground in places between the Milpitas station and the Berryessa BART Station in San Jose — for the $2.3 billion extension has also been completed…

Alaniz said a 30-year eighth-cent Santa Clara VTA sales tax for BART passed by Santa Clara County voters in 2008 and a 30-year half-cent sales tax for public transit capital improvement projects and operations approved in 2000 are being used to fund the construction and will also be used to fund maintenance and operations.

Alaniz said bringing BART into the South Bay is intended to relieve the “horrible traffic” on Interstates 680 and 880…

VTA is contributing to 60 trains, with 40 intended to be used in this extension. When we add the extension it increases ridership overall…BART is getting all new trains we are contributing, they will just add them in as they come, we are contributing to the cost of the vehicles and we are sharing them,” Alaniz said.

According to VTA, the line and track systems for the entire 10-mile extension costs $772 million. Also, a six-story parking garage in Milpitas and a seven-story garage in Berryessa together cost an additional $86.9 million… (more)

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