This week marks a landmark moment in the very long history of BART's San Jose extension project, as the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) hands off management of the project to BART to begin testing of its trains at two new, already constructed stations.
Both the new Milpitas and Berryessa/North San Jose stations, which were tentatively scheduled for November 1 openings according to the Mercury News in February, are now set to open in December. VTA, which has been handling train testing since February, is now officially relinquishing the process to BART so that it can integrate all its computer systems, etc. And lord knows this could take longer than they think — we learned with the Warm Springs station delays in 2016, BART's ancient computer system sometimes has trouble talking to newer ones. (BART’s 44-year-old automatic train-control system has been described as being from "the Pong era.")
But, for now, NBC Bay Area says December is the target for both stations, which will mean that for the first time, BART will actually reach San Jose, the culmination of a project that began being planned in 1984. And this is only Phase 1 of that culmination — construction on Phase 2, in which an underground tunnel will bring BART into downtown San Jose and all the way to Santa Clara, is supposed to begin in 2021.
Two more infill station stops, Irvington Station in Fremont and Calaveras Station in Milpitas (shown on the map above), are still in the planning process.
When the Berryessa and Milpitas stations come online, San Jose residents who work in San Francisco will be able to hop on a train and get to downtown SF in an hour and five minutes. There will also be VTA connections, via bridge, available at Milpitas Station.
Ridership on the Berryessa extension is expected to start at 23,000 per day, and estimated to double over 15 years.