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Commuters May Have To Wait Longer For BART Extension To San Jose

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – South Bay commuters may have to wait even longer to hop on a BART train.

The extension will eventually run from the Warm Springs Station at the Fremont border to the Berryessa Station in East San Jose.

But BART officials are warning of another possible delay to its San Jose extension that may push the opening day three months later than expected, and into the fall of 2018.

BART says it will be late, but the Valley Transportation Authority still says it will be on time.

We're hearing two different stories about the opening of the 10-mile extension.

BART's partner agency, the VTA, tells us that BART to San Jose is still on track to open sometime in June.

VTA spokesperson Brandi Childress said, "June is the target date that was committed to. That is what we are aiming for, that is the current timeline."

The disconnect between BART and VTA has to do with track testing and certification.

VTA has completed construction and says it's now working side by side with BART on testing, moving trains up and down the new sets of tracks.

But BART says it will need up to six more months of testing on its own when it takes full control of the tracks in March and that could push the opening back until September 2018.

VTA is trying to nudge BART into cutting that time in half.

"What we are doing is using their resources, their dedicated staff, to help condense that time frame. And that is what we are still looking at, being able to reach that target date of June," Childress said.

Last year, VTA said construction was ahead of schedule and predicted opening in December 2017.

But integrating the extension into BART'S existing computer systems ran into problems and pushed the dates back. Now it may be pushed back yet again.

BART riders say all the delays are disappointing.

BART rider Patrick Tuttle said, "I was hoping to take BART to San Jose at the beginning of this year, I guess we'll just have to wait a few more months."

"They should stay on schedule," said Carlos Lucero, another BART rider. "I think any kinds of delays do affect the people who ride transit and depend on it as well."

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