Though the White House�s fiscal 2012 budget has yet to be approved by Congress, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority�s (VTA) BART Silicon Valley extension is on the books with a recommendation for a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA), and for $130 million in Federal New Starts funding.

VTA is requesting $900 million in federal funding through the Federal Transit Administration�s (FTA) New Starts Program for the Berryessa Extension, the first 10-mi phase of BART Silicon Valley. The FFGA, which is expected in late fall, is the multi-year contractual agreement between the FTA and VTA that will formally define the project scope, cost and schedule, and establish the terms of the federal financial assistance.

VTA says it plans to begin early construction activities following the FFGA. Construction on the Berryessa Extension is planned for 2012-2016, system testing in 2017 and passenger service beginning in 2018.

The Berryessa Extension is a two-station project, beginning south of the future BART Warm Springs Station in Fremont, through Milpitas and ending in the Berryessa area of north San Jose. Once completed, an estimated 7,000 permanent jobs will be created to operate and maintain the system and support transit oriented development, the VTA says.