VTA Publishes Downtown Transportation Plan to Prioritise Buses in San José

The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has released details of its Downtown Transportation Plan to make San José a more sustainable city.

VTA has worked with the city of San José over the past year to produce a plan that will prioritise bus services, pedestrians and cyclists and reduce the number of cars on the roads.

The Downtown Transportation Plan includes proposals such as a plan to re-envision San José’s grand boulevard along Santa Clara Street from Diridon Station to 11th Street. Bus-only lanes and transit signal priority systems will be implemented and the pedestrian realm will be rebuilt and enhanced.

VTA bus
Increased frequency and later operating hours attracted more VTA riders in 2021, bringing service levels up to 90% of pre-pandemic operations

Bus-only lanes and transit signal priority systems have also been proposed along all transit corridors to make services faster and more reliable. Meanwhile, a cohesive network of bicycle priority corridors will be established and some streets will be closed to vehicle traffic to enable pedestrian plazas.

Dowtown transportation plan
The Downtown Transportation Plan aims to re-envision the purpose of each street

The Downtown Transportation Plan aims to create a downtown environment that puts people first. It therefore proposes to dedicate more street space to transit, bicycling/scooting and walking, and less space to cars. These changes intend to encourage travel by safer, more space-efficient, and more environmentally friendly methods, such as the bus rather than a private car.

In addition, VTA is exploring ways to make light rail travel through Downtown San José faster, such as by building a tunnel, or moving tracks on to First Street.

VTA expects these changes to be controversial, as the city is otherwise designed to encourage travel by automobile. However, the Downtown Transportation Plan team stresses that the current design does not enable a sustainable future.

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