In a nod to continued population growth in the region, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) announced it would greenlight an extension of its light rail line in San Jose. The planned Eastridge extension would connect East San Jose to the downtown and BART trains, and is set to run 2.4 miles on an aerial track along the Capitol Expressway. The VTA board of directors approved the final environmental document, which now allows the extension to begin construction. Construction is expected to begin in 2020, with service following about five years later.
The San Jose community has been anticipating this project for a long time. The proposed route is expected to affect automobile traffic somewhat, but is being looked at as a benefit to an area underserved by transit as well as a connection to the greater region. The extension has the backing from the mayor as well as the VTA board.
As part of VTA’s ongoing effort to operate transit safely and efficiently, TRA has begun a project supporting the development of a Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP). Required of nearly all rail fixed guideway public transit systems by MAP-21 legislation, the PTASP will coordinate safety efforts across the agency using the principles of Safety Management Systems, or SMS. TRA will use a holistic approach to gain an understanding of current safety practices and policies at VTA, and develop a PTASP that ensures SMS is fully implemented throughout the organization.