December 13, 2005 > Honda supports VTA decision to withdraw BART project
Honda supports VTA decision to withdraw BART project
by John P. Staunton
On Dec. 9 Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) joined Silicon Valley leaders in supporting the decision by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority to request a temporary withdrawal of the BART to San Jose project from preliminary engineering in the federal New Starts process.
"As the lead proponent for this project on Capitol Hill, I support VTA's decision to withdraw the project. This decision by VTA allows the agency additional time to bring the project into conformity with FTA requirements for New Starts projects." Santa Clara County's last New Starts project-the Tasman West Light Rail extension-came in ahead of schedule and below budget.
Honda asserted that he has been assured that during this interim period, VTA and FTA will continue to work closely together to enhance the readiness of this proposed BART extension, with specific emphasis given to the project's financial plan and cost effectiveness.
He remains confident that BART will be extended to Santa Clara County. "I'm proud of the significant progress the Santa Clara County Congressional delegation has achieved over the last five years. Together, we have secured more than $11 million in Congressional earmarks, as well as an authorization and favorable treatment for the project in recently-passed surface transportation legislation. I will be working hard in the coming months to inform that Congressional leaders about VTA's decision and retain their support."
The project is critical to the future of Silicon Valley, and promises to bolster the quality of life and mitigate traffic gridlock threatening to undermine the dynamic region.