Nearly everyone agrees that the time is right for a BART extension. Any commuter who has spent time on Highways 880 or 680 understands gridlock and the time lost sitting in bumper-to-bumper rush-hour traffic. However, implementing plans for the BART extension is not as simple and straightforward as many citizens believe. What is the best specific route? How can BART and the Valley Transit Authority interface seamlessly into a state-of-the-art, fully-integrated system designed to meet the needs of many Bay Area residents? Most importantly, how will Alameda and Santa Clara Counties find the additional funding for the
proposed Warm Springs and Downtown San Jose extensions?
In April 2001, the Mineta Transportation Institute co-sponsored with the Commonwealth Club of California a symposium designed to deliver information to the public about the proposed BART extension from Alameda County to the Silicon Valley. While the recent success of ballot measures go far in ensuring that a BART extension will unite San Jose to Alameda County, the logistics and the plans are not as simple and straightforward as many citizens believe. What is the best specific route? How can BART and the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority interface into a seamless, fully-integrated system which will best meet the needs of Bay Area residents? The forum brought together transportation leaders and policy-makers to discuss how best to proceed with the BART extension. The panel consisted of the following individuals: Pete Cipolla, General Manager, VTA; Ron Gonzales, Mayor of San Jose; Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group; Dianne McKenna, member of the California State Transportation Commission on Building for the 21st Century and California State Transportation Commission; Tom Margro, General Manager, BART; with Gary Richards, "Mr. Roadshow" columnist from the San Jose Mercury News acting as moderator.