Santa Clara VTA breaks ground on Eastridge to BART Regional Connector project

June 10, 2024
The extension is part of Santa Clara VTA’s Orange Line and will add 2.4 miles of light rail from the existing Alum Rock Transit Center to the Eastridge Transit Center.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has broken ground on a light-rail extension into east San Jose, Calif. The Eastridge to Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Regional Connector will add 2.4 miles of light rail from the existing Alum Rock Transit Center to the Eastridge Transit Center, with stations at Story Road and the Eastridge Transit Center.  The extension is part of Santa Clara VTA’s Orange Line, which currently runs from Alum Rock to Mountain View, with a station at the Milpitas Transit Center, where passengers can transfer to BART service throughout the rest of the Bay Area.   

“I want to offer my gratitude for that steadfast support because that is what has allowed us to get to this point, with shovels in the ground. This extension represents an important lifeline for so many residents in our city who rely on public transit in their everyday lives,” said Santa Clara VTA General Manager and CEO Carolyn Gonot. 

Santa Clara VTA notes work related to the project began several years ago in multiple phases, with new street lighting along Capital Expressway and improvements to the Eastridge Transit Center, which currently serves multiple Santa Clara VTA bus routes.  Construction work on the actual rail began in early May and is expected to take approximately four years.  

 "This project has been eagerly anticipated for over 20 years. Today marks a monumental moment, brought to reality by the unwavering dedication and relentless efforts of our community and elected officials. As I look out, I see many faces who have tirelessly championed better public transit for east San Jose. Your steadfast commitment and perseverance in advocating for what you knew was right have finally led us to this groundbreaking day. East San Jose deserves this progress. Together, we have made it happen," said Santa Clara County Supervisor and Chair of the Santa Clara VTA Board of Directors Cindy Chavez.  

“People will head to Levi Stadium, people will head to San Francisco, people will head to jobs in the tech sector in north San Jose and people are going to park and ride right here to jobs, good jobs that we will keep creating,” said Sen. Dave Cortese (D-CA). “I could cry tears of joy just because I am so happy that I have been able to be present to see this day come along.”   

The extension features an elevated guideway primarily in the center of the Capitol Expressway and will include a light-rail station at Story Road that is elevated and accessed by a pedestrian overcrossing and an at-grade station located at the Eastridge Transit Center. When the project is complete, Santa Clara VTA riders will be able to board the light rail at the Eastridge Transit Center and connect directly with BART at the Milpitas Transit Center.