Published Monday, September 9, 2002, in SCCo. VTA Press Release

BART expansion passes critical hurdle in D.C. and is now eligible for
federal funding in FY 2003 budget

SAN JOSE, Calif. — U.S. Representative Mike Honda and San Jose Mayor
Ron Gonzales today announced that the Federal Transit Administration
(FTA) has given the Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor BART
expansion project a rating of "Recommended" and approved the project
to enter into preliminary engineering (PE), opening the way for more
detailed engineering design work. The project will, when completed,
bring BART to Milpitas, San Jose and Santa Clara.

The FTA approval means Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
(VTA) has the ability to proceed with preliminary engineering work.

"This approval was gained after a thorough and rigorous three-month
evaluation by the FTA and is a critical milestone in the BART
expansion project," said Rep. Honda, who actively worked with FTA
Administrator Jenna Dorn to secure FTA's approval before the end of
the legislative session in October.

"It is a required step. With this approval, we are now eligible for
New Starts funding in this year's House transportation appropriations
bill. As this legislative session comes to an end, securing funds for
BART is a top priority."

San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, who is also Chairperson of the VTA Board
of Directors, was also pleased to hear the news from
Washington. "FTA's approval is a critical milestone that allows us to
move forward with this project. Bringing BART to Santa Clara County
will help fulfill our long-term vision for a complete and effective
transportation system in the Bay Region that will relieve traffic
congestion and provide the foundation for smart growth in the future."

A number of legislators in Washington have been involved in moving
this project forward. Aside from Honda, Senators Dianne Feinstein and
Barbara Boxer, and Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Zoe Lofgren, Anna
Eshoo and Richard Pombo have actively supported this project.
Currently, VTA is pursuing a Fiscal Year 2003 appropriation of $5
million for preliminary engineering from the federal New Starts
Program. This request is scheduled to be considered by the House this

The Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor project is part of Santa
Clara County's 2000 Measure A Program. This measure was passed with
an overwhelming majority vote of 70.4 percent, affirming Santa Clara
County's desire to bring BART to the county.

About VTA

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent
special district responsible for bus, light rail and paratransit
operations; congestion management; specific highway improvement
projects; and countywide transportation planning. As such, VTA is
both an accessible transit provider and multi-modal transportation
planning organization involved with transit, highways and roadways,
bikeways and pedestrian facilities.

For more information about VTA projects, call VTA Community Outreach
at (408) 321-7575 or (TDD only) (408) 321-2330. You can also log on
to <>.

U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, Ruben Pulido (202) 225-3327
Mayor Ron Gonzales, David Vossbrink (408) 277-3515
VTA, John Pilger (408) 321-2345