Transforming Transportation for Silicon Valley


Jim on 85Senator Jim Beall has spent more than 30 years as an important advocate for major transportation improvements and projects across the Silicon Valley. He understands the importance that an all-inclusive transportation policy, balancing systems including roads, public transportation and rail, can have on the entire community by reducing traffic, managing growth and building a thriving economy. As chair of the Senate Transportation committee, Jim has brought Republicans to the table to address the $59 billion backlog in deferred maintenance for our roads, and he worked to guarantee long-term funding for the Cap & Trade program for projects like BART to San Jose.

A nationally recognized expert on transportation policy and planning, Senator Beall has worked at the federal, state and local levels to plan, develop, fund and manage hundreds of transportation programs and projects. He played a key role in projects ranging from the construction of Highways 101, 85 and 87 to Caltrain and making sure tomorrow’s High Speed Rail projects are done right, on time and on budget. He has secured billions of dollars for local transportation projects that improve quality of life and have provided thousands of jobs for the region. His goal has always been, and continues to be, to reduce traffic congestion and ensuring the development of a well-rounded transit system that serves the entire region.

Some of Jim’s transportation projects and systems include:

  • In the Senate, Jim introduced Senate Bill 9 to guarantee long-term funding from the Cap and Trade program and reduce traffic congestion and improve the process of building environmentally friendly mass transit projects, such as BART to San Jose.
  • While serving in the Assembly, Jim secured $32 million to enable the start of the remodeling and construction of the I-880/I-280/Stevens Creek interchange, which will vastly improve traffic flow in the region.
  • Jim worked to create the voter-approved, independent organization that raised and spent over one billion dollars on freeway improvement, widening and building activities in Santa Clara County.
  • Projects managed by the Santa Clara County Traffic Authority included construction of Route 85, widening of Route 101 and upgrading of Route 237.
  • Jim proposed and enlisted support to build the northern portion of Route 87, to connect with the southern portion of Route 8. Jim has served as Chair of the Route 87 Task Force, which oversees the upgrading of Guadalupe Parkway from 101 to Coleman into a full freeway.
  • As a longtime member of the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), and it’s chair from 1998-2000, Jim was instrumental in delivering over $12 million in allocation funding for Santa Clara County.
  • Under Jim’s leadership as chairman, the MTC adopted a series of high-priority transportation improvements that worked to relieve traffic across the region. The plan was based on a yearlong study to stop congestion and find investment alternatives and provided more than $600 million in funding in local projects, including improvements to Caltrain, light rail and local problem highway interchanges.
  • Jim championed the Regional Transit Expansion Program, which will extend BART from Fremont to San Jose and Santa Clara, electrify Caltrain and add several new regional express bus services. It also created Caltrain’s “Baby Bullet” express trains and expanded local Ferry Service.
  • Jim championed several measures and projects to promote traffic, bicycle and pedestrian safety in Santa Clara County. He led an effort to make the County part of a federal program that aimed to reduce, prevent and control motor vehicle fatalities and injuries through public-private partnerships.
  • Jim has been an important leader in making sure elderly, disabled and lower income residents of Santa Clara County have access to transportation. He created and led a number of projects that ensured these groups could have mobility – an important factor in their economic opportunities and general quality of life.
  • As member of the Joint Powers Board, Jim led negotiations to acquire the right of way from Southern Pacific to preserve the Peninsula Caltrain commute services. He led the Board to hire a new service to run the trains, and worked to extend service to Gilroy.
  • Jim initiated the Comprehensive County Expressway Planning Study, which serves as a long range strategic plan for the improvement and maintenance of local expressways.
  • Jim served as Chair of the National League of Cities’ Transportation and Communications Steering Committee. He led the group in developing policies for cities across the country in the areas of transportation and telecommunications. As Chair, Jim received national recognition for his efforts on behalf of the nation’s municipalities.
  • Jim served on the Guadalupe Corridor Joint Powers Board responsible for the development of the light rail system in Santa Clara County. He worked with City and County officials to build the 22-mile light rail system, which runs from Santa Clara to South San Jose serving commuters, visitors, students and recreational users.
  • Jim worked to plan future expansion of the light rail system to Mountain View and Sunnyvale, the West Valley, and the East Side. Jim also served on a committee looking to expand service to San Jose State University.
  • Jim served on the Governor’s working group that drafted legislation and statewide propositions that created and funded numerous critical transportation projects which have had a major impact across the state.
  • Jim worked closely with area bicycle associations to repeal the County’s prohibition of bike use on County expressways in San Jose.
  • Jim fought the State for local control of The Alameda, Monterey Road and Alum Rock – giving San Jose control over traffic improvements instead of Sacramento.
  • Jim is working with interested parties to make sure that California’s High-Speed Rail system is done right.