USA: The Federal Transit Administration has approved Phase II of the BART Silicon Valley extension project for the project development phase of the New Starts funding programme. Project promoter Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is now to develop designs and identify funding for the $4·7bn project.

VTA can now start work on engineering design and an environmental review for the 10 km southern extension from the future Berryessa station to Santa Clara University, including an 8 km tunnel under San Jose. There would be four stations, including interchanges with Caltrain at San Jose Diridon Station and Santa Clara University.

Meanwhile, VTA reports that Phase I is just over 80% complete. The 16 km, two-station extension from Warm Springs station in Fremont to Milpitas and Berryessa is being built by a consortium of Skanska, Shimmick Construction and Herzog Contracting Corp. Groundbreaking took place in April 2012, and test running is set to begin in early 2017. Passenger services are expected to start in late 2017.