Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Santa Clara VTA proposing Los Gatos light-rail extension

Santa Clara VTA proposing Los Gatos light-rail extension Santa Clara VTA

In California, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is proposing to extend the existing Mountain View to Winchester light-rail line by 1.6 miles by way of the Vasona Light Rail Extension Project.

The extension would begin at the existing Winchester Station in Campbell and continue within the Santa Clara VTA right-of-way to the town of Los Gatos.

Santa Clara VTA has prepared a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (SEIR/EA) and it will be available for public review beginning Tuesday, Nov. 20. In accordance with current state and federal environmental laws and guidelines, the Draft SEIR/EA presents design changes to the project that was previously approved in 2000, while also disclosing the environmental impacts of those design changes.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, a meeting will be held at the Campbell Public Library, where members of the public are encouraged to attend and review the SEIR/EA, speak with staff about the project and provide comments.

The original Vasona Corridor Project proposed light-rail service from downtown San Jose through the city of Campbell to the town of Los Gatos. The first portion, downtown San Jose to the Winchester Station in Campbell, opened for revenue service on Oct. 1, 2005, adding 5.3 miles and eight stations to Santa Clara VTA's 36.9-mile light-rail system.

"As the fourth major light-rail extension since 1999, the line to Campbell has provided a convenient and economical travel option for West Valley residents, given VTA customers direct access to the multi-modal San Jose Diridon transit hub and doubled light-rail service along North First Street in San Jose," said Joe Pirzynski, town of Los Gatos council member and Santa Clara VTA Board vice chair.

The proposed extension will be implemented in two phases based on funding availability. Project features in Phase 1 include construction of a double set of light-rail tracks at the Winchester Station; expansion of parking capacity at the Winchester Station and a new Vasona Junction Station along with a park and ride lot. Phase 2 would construct a new Hacienda Station with an optional park and ride lot. The cost of the project is estimated to be $175 million.

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