Wednesday, July 10, 2019

VTA calling for innovative transit ideas to connect SJC

The VTA as well as the cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, and Cupertino are looking for ideas on how to quickly move people between SJC and various parts of Silicon Valley. They want these ideas by September 30th.

Specifically, this consortium is looking for grade-separated mass transit at a significantly lower cost than traditional projects in two segments. The first is integrating SJC and Diridon such that they are viewed as a single facility--which would be amazing! I remember being completely shocked when visiting Hong Kong and realizing there was a special Airport train line where you can check your suitcases at the train station, hop on the train, and walk straight to security. Something that well integrated might not be part of the plan, but there are many airports in the US with people movers between terminals. How cool would it be if Diridon felt like it was just a quick terminal transfer away from the airport?

The second route would link the airport to three urban villages along Steven's Creek (I'm sure Santana Row is one of them), Santa Clara, Cupertino, and DeAnza College. This is a high-traffic route and extending BART or Light Rail down this way would cost billions of dollars.

It sounds like this RFI (request for ideas) is a way to legally satisfy the common government requirement of getting multiple bidders for each project. There is literally only one company right now that might be able to pull off something like this at a low cost, and it is The Boring Company. They are already designing an underground loop for the new Las Vegas Convention Center Expansion at a cost of about $10 million a mile. For less than the cost of the two-stop Eastridge light rail extension, we could connect SJC, Downtown San Jose, Santana Row, Santa Clara, and Cupertino with a fast and direct point-to-point transit system.

This could be the beginning of a whole new era in transportation that blends public and personal transportation together. San Jose should be leading the charge, innovation is our middle name!

Source: SVBJ


2 comments:

  1. As a former New Yorker (used to 24-hour mass transit) now living in Campbell -- this is music to my ears!

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  2. The Boring Company has never demonstrated (or even come remotely close to doing so) the ability to build mass transit quality tunnels for a lower cost than existing, much more experienced companies that do tunneling. Las Vegas knows this and built numerous penalty clauses into their agreement with TBC to account for this.

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