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Alum Rock BRT Update


If you’ve seen the blue, 60-foot VTA articulated buses cruising down adjacent center lanes on Alum Rock Avenue, don’t be alarmed, they’re supposed to be there!  VTA bus operators are undergoing training to use the newly constructed median bus lanes for the Alum Rock – Santa Clara Bus Rapid Transit service, (BRT) scheduled to get underway soon.

Safety Precautions

There are some safety precautions you’ll need to be aware of with the new configuration of the street, primarily where left turns are concerned.  Protected left turns, with a dedicated left turn signal light and left turn lane, are placed at every other traffic light along the stretch of Alum Rock Ave. that has the center median lanes.  Too many left turn allowances along the corridor slow down traffic and defeat the purpose of the new service. Even more importantly, the safety issue is the paramount reason to keep the minimal left turns and u-turns; the highest rate of accidents are caused by non-protected left turns across dedicated bus lanes.

Added Features

The center lanes are not the only changes you’ll notice along Alum Rock Ave. and Santa Clara Street from Capitol Avenue to the SAP Center in downtown San Jose. Sleek, new bus shelters with locally designed artistic elements dot the entire corridor.  Weekday frequencies will increase along the Rapid 522 route to every 12 minutes, giving you the option to get where you’re going a little more quickly.  Rear door bike loading will be easier with new, greater capacity bike racks inside, in addition to the exterior front racks.  Sit back, relax, log onto VTA’s free WiFi and skip the hassle of dealing with traffic on your trip across Santa Clara County.

The unusually wet weather this winter caused significant delays in finishing up the last few bits of this major construction project.  Electrical work on signal lights could not be completed until there were several continuous dry days.

Now the VTA’s 400+ bus operators will be trained to navigate the corridor’s new lanes and signals before service begins in early April.

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