Extend VTA lightrail to SJC

Currently, if a VTA lightrail passenger wants to get to San Jose Mineta International Airport, they have to get off at Metro, and then take a free VTA shuttle bus to the terminals. This is a cost effective measure, but why not extend lightrail down either Skyport or Airport Parkway. Both streets have enough space in the median for one set of tracks, and the train could run back and forth between North First and the SJC. Lightrail should be connecting San Jose residents to points of interest or transportation hubs and a growing international airport is exactly one such destination. The convenience of being able to step off a plane, and walk out of the terminal and step onto a lightrail train, would show visitors that San Jose understands the necessity of effective public transportation, that connects people to important places within the city.

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5 Responses to Extend VTA lightrail to SJC

  1. craftsman says:

    This is great that you can walk from the light rail to the airport, but how do you actually GET to the light rail to start your trip?

    • Mark says:

      A lot of people walk, take their bike, or use other public transportation like the bus to get to light rail. Light rail also connects to CAl Train, Amtrak, and other commuter trains at the Diridon Station.

  2. VTA and the City of San Jose are conducting an Airport People Mover Study which will evaluate cost effective, operationally efficient mobility options to the airport ranging from light rail extensions, enhanced bus service, and a new podcar technology in which the City happens to be a major proponent. This is not a link to the study itself (because it has not been completed yet) but it is the latest addendum to the Mineta San Jose International Airport Master Plan Update Project (January 2011) http://www.sjc.org/about/improve/overview/Jan_Add_2011.pdf

  3. christopher escher says:

    VTA and BART connections always sound good, but how much are these ideas worth? The problem is the prohibitive cost. VTA has the *lowest* farebox return in the country–something like a $10 subsidy per ride–so why on earth would we built out something that is such a drain on taxpayers. I say more dedicated bus lanes and bike trails/people movers first.

  4. Yves says:

    If cost wasn’t a barrier to development, I’d recommend dedicated rail alignment that links the Airport to the Convention Center with no stops in between. The rail line might start beneath the airport, and travel between Highway 87 and the river. A subway would likely be the best solution to reach the convention center. This would be very similar to the Arlanda Express in Stockholm or the high-speed train from Heathrow-Terminal 5 to downtown London. After long distance travel, the idea of catching transit is only appealing if it takes you quickly to a popular destination. On the cost issue, I’d gladly pay $20 to avoid a smelly cab and get to my destination with no ambiguity or hassles. The convention center is the logical hub because it serves many of our business travelers and is an easy and pleasant walk to most downtown hotels. Continuing the route beneath the runway for service to the new Earthquakes’ Stadium would broaden the number of users – and not add delay to the business traveler.