San Jose has just scored a major infrastructure win that should provide a nice economic boost next decade. California High Speed Rail officials have decided to build the first segment of its 220 mph rail line between the Central Valley and San Jose.
The original plan going back to 2012 was to initiate high-speed service between the Central Valley and Burbank. However, that southern segment requires expensive tunneling through mountains and drew major opposition from a small number of NIMBY cattle farmers. LA's loss is our gain, as the plan is now to bring High Speed Rail to Downtown San Jose by 2025.
The new service will put some serious pressure on increasing jobs in Downtown San Jose as it will dramatically open up our job market. Madera will now only be 40 minutes away by train from Downtown, previously a two to three hour drive. That is a feasible commute to the tech job capital of the world, while not clogging up our freeways. A home in Madera costs about $250k, which also opens up new affordable housing options for those that want to work in San Jose but can't afford to live here. This is a big win for local companies that are hungry for talent and contribute more to the local economy (financially) than most residents. Considering it is much more likely that people will be commuting in for jobs than the other way around, this will help correct the jobs and housing imbalance that San Jose currently faces and negatively impacts the city's financial position.
BART is also scheduled to come Downtown around 2025, making Diridon in Downtown San Jose the most connected transit station on the West Coast. Over 600 trains could be stopping at the station each day after all of these projects are completed.
Construction has already started on California High Speed Rail last summer in Fresno. Ridership is expected to be between 2.2 million and 4.1 million riders when the San Jose service begins in 2025.