Showing posts with label san jose high speed rail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose high speed rail. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

California High-Speed Rail interior renders

Below is the first preliminary render of  a dining cab and bike storage for California High-Speed Rail. I have to admit that it looks pretty inviting. I especially like the idea of a bar with a moving view. At an equal cost to a flight, I would pick the train almost every time. The high-speed trains I have taken in Europe were amazing.

The San Jose station be at Diridon and connect with Caltrain, BART, VTA Light rail, ACE, Capital Corridor, and our bus network. Unfortunately, the timeline currently involves having trains running in the Central Valley by the end of the decade. There is no ETA for service to San Jose or LA, so could be a while.

As an added bonus, below is a rendering of one of the stations (Fresno). Just a thought, we're already breaking a cost of $100 billion for this project... we probably don't need the 80-90 foot tall canopies, just a system that works.

Source: Railway News

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

RIP Apollo tower, site of proposed San Jose high-rise sold to VTA

The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has purchased two parcels of land that were meant to meant to become a 20-story, Las Vegas-style, 472-unit tower at the corner of Stockton Avenue and Santa Clara Street. The design was quite striking as you can see below.

The VTA is going to use this parcel for the first phase of California High Speed Rail, which might actually beat BART to Downtown San Jose. If the tower was built, the costs to complete Diridon would rise exponentially.

Hopefully this design could be reused on another Urban Catalyst project in Downtown San Jose.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Robot shuttles coming to San Jose, SJC and beyond

Autonomous transportation is a lot closer than most people think. It's coming in two forms: multi-purpose where autonomous cars are sharing the road with non-autonomous vehicles (Waymo, Cruise, Tesla FSD) and via dedicated pathways (Las Vegas Loop, autonomous trains/pods). 

San Jose has been struggling with how to connect SJC to Downtown San Jose's Diridon transit center just three miles away, which is destined to become the Grand Central of the West Coast. Plans have been brewing for more than 20 years, and tax dollars have already been collected. Finally, a solution has been approved using a local startup specializing in AVs (Autonomous Vehicles) called Glydways.

These autonomous pods can go up to 31 miles per hour, so they would take about 8 minutes to go from Downtown San Jose to SJC via a dedicated and potentially grade-separated path. Today the ride takes about 30 minutes on local buses. The vehicles themselves carry up to four passengers plus their luggage and are wheelchair accessible. 

The initial route would go between Diridon and Terminal B, with plans to potentially include Terminal A, nearby parking, and other future destinations in Midtown/Uptown San Jose like Valley Fair. Phase 1 would have 200 autonomous pods.

This would be a public/private partnership with the city taking on some costs and an investment group (Plenary) taking another portion. The investors would recoup their investment by charging a fee on each ride. 

The model sounds very similar to the Las Vegas Loop, which will actually be almost entirely funded privately except for a fare-less section at the Las Vegas Convention Center. That project will eventually have over 80 stations serviced by autonomous pods larger in size than what Gyldways is planning. Unfortunately, the Boring Company never responded to San Jose's RFI.

Now for the real bad news. The Glydways project is not expected to get underway until 2028 and could take years to complete--a timeline that may render the whole system obsolete by the time it arrives given how quickly transportation solutions are changing. 

We are already pouring billions into systems that are decades old (Light Rail and BART) so it's critical that this next step is something that will be scalable and move the needle on San Jose transportation for the decades to come. Hopefully there is some way to get this project going much sooner and with flexibility to incorporate innovation as the project is in motion.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

High-speed rail will add Merced and Bakersfield to initial service to San Jose

San Jose scored another win when high-speed rail comes to our city in 2025. The initial operating segment will now likely include both Merced and Bakersfield, two cities originally omitted from the first phase. Merced would require a spur track from the main operating line that will eventually go from San Jose to Los Angeles (and perhaps San Diego). Bringing Bakersfield into the network would involve choosing a different terminus station with connections to Amtrak services.

This would give even more people easy access to Downtown San Jose and further stimulate the demand to locate more jobs in or near Downtown. The main risk in adding more cities into the initial segment would be the potential for delays and funding issues. If this ends up happening in 2025, it will give us a substantial economic boost and can perhaps help to correct our jobs and housing imbalances.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, February 22, 2016

San Jose will be first major California city to get High Speed Rail!

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.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

High Speed Rails Wins Alignment Lawsuit

A few years ago the cities of Atherton, Menlo Park, and Palo Alto filed a lawsuit to prevent California High Speed Rail trains from passing through their cities. Basically a few extremely wealthy communities are trying to block a project that will benefit millions of people. Thankfully, last week a judge dismissed the case. The high speed trains will indeed take the most efficient route in the Bay Area, which is from San Jose to San Francisco via the Penninsula (as opposed to San Jose >> Oakland >> San Francisco). Now the next step is actually funding this $40+ billion project.

Source: SJBJ

CAHSTMap_Overview: Click to Enlarge

Monday, July 18, 2011

San Jose Could Get High Speed Rail This Decade

The California High Speed Rail Authority has been getting a lot of flack for the proposed first phase of the HSR system that will one day connect all major cities in California. They are planning on building the least expensive (and least controversial) portion of the track first which would would essentially connect Fresno and Bakersfield, giving it the nickname "the train to nowhere." Now, they are saying that before revenue service begins, they will extend the tracks either to San Jose OR south to Palmdale or San Fernando Valley.

If the San Jose route is chosen, that means that we could have access to the fastest rail system in the country this decade. A 250-mile trip between Downtown San Jose and Bakersfield would take just 1 hour and 49 minutes. There would also be a second Santa Clara County station in Gilroy. For more info, click here.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

San Jose in 2020!

I know the San Jose Downtown Association is really pushing for an underground alignment for High Speed Rail, but I really like the design of that bridge. It looks almost like a super-sized version of the new pedestrian bridge on 280. It has potential to become an iconic structure in the San Jose skyline, especially if they are able to integrate some unique lighting into it. Plus, everyone would get a nice view of how beautiful our city is from the bridge. When watching the video, also look for the A's Stadium and new housing/office developments!