DASH nears finish line

signetThe Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) free bus service from Diridon Station to San Jose State University will be scrapped after 20 years when BART’s Berryessa Station opens to riders, which is expected later this year.

The impending end of DASH is part of VTA’s transit redesign plan, which its board approved May 4. Instead of DASH, riders entering downtown via Diridon Station trains are expected to board new Rapid Route 500, which connects Diridon with Berryessa via Santa Clara Street.

San Jose Downtown Association vigorously advocated for VTA to retain DASH, especially through the construction period when BART extends through downtown San Jose along Santa Clara Street.

In approving the plan, the 12-member VTA Board made up of Santa Clara County city council representatives and supervisors – including Mayor Sam Liccardo and District 3 Councilmember Raul Peralez – directed VTA staff to consider running Rapid 500 along San Fernando Street.

Rapid Route 500 will require a fare or transfer from the train depot, light rail or another bus.

Started by the Downtown Association in 1996, the DASH service has carried about 1,000 riders per day for the past decade.