Train testing along South Bay BART extension expected soon

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Neighbors in the South Bay will soon see BART trains running between Fremont and San Jose. It'll be some time before commuters are able to get on-board a Berryessa Station-bound train, but testing along the extension begins next week.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is heading up current testing on the long-awaited 10-mile line to San Jose. BART will take control later this year.

"There's been some technical difficulties that have delayed the opening of it," San Jose District 4 Councilman Lan Diep said, "But this is a good step forward."

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Diep is also a VTA board member. He emphasizes the extension is a big deal for the Bay Area, built in his district. The Berryessa Station first broke ground in April 2012.

A distance away at Fremont BART, commuters said they hope testing will deliver a better sense of timing for station operations.

"I took BART and now I'm going to take a Lyft out to San Jose," Daily BART rider, Monique Calfe said. "So, it'd be pretty convenient."

Calfe is a Richmond resident, and having to interrupt her travel to wait for a Lyft is truly leaving her out in the cold.

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When asked how much money or time is spent on the Lyft, she replied, "It's about $30 and I want to say an hour or 45 minutes."

When trains finally carry travelers along the Berryessa extension, ridership is estimated to start at 23,000 a day, and should double after 15 years.
Many tell ABC7 News they are already "on-board."

"Maybe it's just millennial inconvenience where I'm like, I'd rather be more convenient with public transportation," Newark resident and BART rider, Biney Dev said. "And it's more green, right?"

However, more than millennial inconvenience, many say it just makes sense..

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"I think having a ring of rail to completely circle the Bay Area is very important," Councilman Diep said.

The opening of Berryessa Station is tentatively set for November 2019. There are also plans to extend BART from Berryessa Station to Downtown San Jose.

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