VTA Proposing to Extend Light Rail to the Town of Los Gatos

Existing line will expand by 1.6 miles to town borders.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is proposing to extend the existing Mountain View to Winchester Boulevard light rail line by 1.6 miles by way of the Vasona Light Rail Extension Project.

The extension would begin at the existing Winchester Station in Campbell and continue within the VTA right-of-way to the Town of Los Gatos. 

VTA has prepared a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (SEIR/EA).

In accordance with current state and federal environmental laws and guidelines, the Draft SEIR/EA presents design changes to the project that was previously approved in 2000 while also disclosing the environmental impacts of those design changes. 

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, a meeting will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Campbell Public Library, 77 Harrison Ave. to discuss the project. Members of the public are encouraged to attend to review the SEIR/EA, speak with staff about the project, and provide comments.

The original Vasona Corridor Project proposed light rail service from downtown San Jose through the City of Campbell to the Town of Los Gatos.

The first portion, downtown San Jose to the Winchester Station in Campbell, opened for revenue service on Oct. 1, 2005, adding 5.3 miles and eight stations to VTA’s 36.9-mile light rail system. 

“As the fourth major light rail extension since 1999, the line to Campbell has provided a convenient and economical travel option for West Valley residents, given VTA customers direct access to the multi-modal San Jose Diridon transit hub, and doubled light rail service along North First Street in San Jose,” said Los Gatos Councilman Joe Pirzynski and VTA board vice chairman.

Pirzynski also served on the Vasona Corridor Advisory Committee from 2001-2005. “I am encouraged to see the extension project moving through the environmental process which gets us one step closer to becoming eligible for federal funding.” 

The proposed extension will be implemented in two phases based on funding availability.

Project features in phase 1 include construction of a double set of light rail tracks at the Winchester Station; expansion of parking capacity at the Winchester Station; and a new Vasona Junction Station along with a park and ride lot. 

Phase 2 would construct a new Hacienda Light Rail Station with an optional park and ride lot.

The cost of the project is estimated to be $175 million.

For more information, visit the Vasona Light Rail Extension Project page on VTA’s website or contact VTA Community Outreach at 408-321-7575.

To stay current on project updates, sign up for automated emails or text alerts by clicking the blue envelope on the VTA website at www.vta.org

VTA is an independent special district that provides sustainable, accessible, community-focused transportation options that are innovative, environmentally responsible, and promote the vitality of our region. 

VTA is responsible for bus, light rail and paratransit operations and also serves as the county’s congestion management agency. As such, VTA is responsible for countywide transportation planning, including congestion management issues, specific highway improvement projects, pedestrian and bicycle improvement projects, and provides these services throughout the county, including the municipalities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga and Sunnyvale. VTA continually builds partnerships to deliver transportation solutions that meet the evolving mobility needs of Santa Clara County.

AR November 26, 2012 at 01:29 AM
rail IS "infrastructure". it reduces demand on the roads. i understand your general point, but i don't see impending doom. most people in LG work outside of LG. transportation relief is desperately needed. many other highly desirable cvommunities have had rail for decades. one thing i believe you are 100% wrong on is the value/harm of density. young people today WANT it. thats why they live in places like SF and not gilroy. i think you just need to accept reality...no one under fifty is looking to take LG back to rural chic.
Larry Cargnoni November 26, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Just check the ridership numbers...and the while you're eating your baskin and robins, just observe the actual number of people taking light rail....not too many huh? Light rail's not working from Almaden or from South SJ - and no, 15-20 people per train is not the definition of "it's working"....so what makes anyone think that LR to an affuent burg like LG is going to work? It might make sense for sharks games. It's just more "make work"....and none of it will ease congestion on 280. Better off learning to work remotely, chaning commute patterns, and making all the freeways toll roads...
Gabe Roberts November 26, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Larry. I actually take the VTA daily, getting on the 6:59 or 7:14 train North, and arriving back on whatever train I catch. The train is already over 75% full by the time it reaches downtown San Jose, and visa versa coming back to Los Gatos. Because the southern branches extend out from job areas into predominantly residential areas, the train has gradually ramping up ridership as it progresses inward. If the two stops were added, then the trains likely would be overfull during peak hours. Additionally, many potential riders from the LG area work for companies or go to SJSU, where transportation passes are provided for. For people in this (my) group, it's ideal, and from actually riding the train at various times, for several years, to hear anyone suggest that it would not work suggests that you may not have commuted via light rail before from Los Gatos. It does work.
Gabe Roberts November 27, 2012 at 01:42 AM
I wish there was a way to post a picture from the Winchester bound train Im on right now. Almost to Campbell and it's about 75% full still. Last I checked, there are no Sharks games getting out right now.
Gary Hinze January 11, 2013 at 06:54 AM
Gabe, if you take pictures, you can post them at the top of the article, under the picture, where it says "Upload Photos and Videos".


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