BART service to begin at Milpitas, San Jose Berryessa stations Saturday

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- BART service finally arrives in the South Bay Saturday. The new Milpitas and San Jose Berryessa stations will open to ticketed passengers at 8 a.m.

After more than two decades of planning and delays, BART service will begin serving the South Bay. On Friday, dignitaries cut the ribbon and took the first ride on the 10-mile extension into Silicon Valley from the Berryessa Station to the Milpitas Station.

The added service means Fremont's Warm Springs station is no longer the end of the line for BART.

RELATED: BART announces service start date for long-awaited Milpitas, San Jose Berryessa stations

Even despite the current economic challenges, the transit agency is facing leaders involved in the BART-VTA expansion project are optimistic extending service into the South Bay will make the transit agency a more integral part of life in the Bay Area than ever.

"It's the culmination of a lot of hard work from planning, design, through construction," said BART General Manager Bob Powers.

Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, who lead the charge on several fundraising efforts to make the expansion reality believes the new additions will carry BART into the future.

RELATED: Commuters thrilled over plans to expedite South Bay BART expansion

"This means people getting off of our congested roadways and their soul-sucking commutes and into a commute that is sustainable, affordable, and now more readily available," said Guardino.

Each of the new stations offer plenty of parking with more than 1,500 spots at Berryessa and more than 1,600 spots at Milpitas. Parking will cost $3 a day or $50 a month.

RELATED: FTA puts South Bay BART expansion plans on fast track with federal funding allocation

Passengers in the South Bay will likely be driving and parking at either of the new stations or taking public transit for a while with the next four stations planned for San Jose not expected to be completed until 2029 at the earliest.

As the two new stations come on line, BART ridership continues to gradually tick upwards as it rebounds from passenger loss during the coronavirus pandemic. 10,000 more passengers took BART on June 11 compared to a month ago on May 11. Even still, ridership is a main driver of BART's revenue, hovering around 10% of normal weekday capacity.

The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is the mobility manager for Santa Clara County and built the 10-mile extension. VTA will own the extension and both new transit centers. BART will operate the service and maintain the system.

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