The City of San José is to connect its two largest transportation hubs, Diridon Station and San José Mineta International Airport (SJC).
The City Council has voted to accept a staff recommendation to enter into a pre-development agreement with a group of firms under the name San Jose Connection Partners, led by equity partner Plenary Americas.
The recommendation follows a multi-year process and is based on a competitive request for proposals that was open from May until November 2022. The selection of San Jose Connection Partners was based on a combination of a strong team, an innovative and well-thought-out solution, and competitive costs.
The team includes Plenary Americas (lead developer and equity provider), Glydways (transit technology provider), Webcor/Obayashi (lead design and construction contractors), HNTB (lead designer), and ACI (operations and maintenance provider).
"This is an early step in an exciting, first-of-its-kind project for San José. The City is working to give people more car-free options that are safer, cleaner, and more pleasant than sitting in traffic," said John Ristow, Director of Transportation. "We’re hoping that this project serves as a model for future transit solutions that can be quickly expanded across San José."
Plenary Americas’ proposal was thorough and clearly described a workable project that would share the cost and risk between the company and the City. The proposed transit technology from Glydways uses small, autonomous vehicles driving along a fixed guideway. The system is designed to initially carry over 2,000 passengers an hour in each direction.
By approving the staff recommendation, the City Council directs the administration to enter the first phase of a multi-phase agreement to develop the project. This will result in a Project Feasibility Validation Report that will enable the City to validate the technical, commercial, and financial viability of the proposed solution. If the staff validates the proposed approach, the project will again return to Council for consideration and direction to move on to the next phase. The second phase will include further design and environmental study.
If successful, the Airport to Diridon Connector Project could be expanded to other corridors across San José and the South Bay.
Image: San José Mineta International Airport