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BART extension would provide range of economic benefits, VTA study says

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) extension to the Silicon Valley would provide green jobs, wages and business income to industries that have been hard-hit by the economic downturn, according to a recent study commissioned by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).

Conducted by Wilbur Smith and Associates, the “Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment” study estimates an overall return on investment of $4 to $6 for every dollar spent on the $6 billion project. By 2030, the 16-mile extension is estimated to generate an additional $11.4 billion in gross regional product and $3.3 billion in personal income, with 66 percent of those dollars staying in Santa Clara County and the remainder benefiting the Bay Area region.

In addition, the project would create thousands of temporary and permanent jobs. And, after 15 years of operation, the line would save $8.7 billion in congestions costs resulting from reduced traffic, vehicle operating costs, accidents and emissions, according to the study.

The Silicon Valley project calls for extending the BART system from the future Warm Springs station to San Jose, Milpitas and Santa Clara.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/29/2009