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Red Light, Green Light: Behind the Scenes with Ron Roberts


Faces of VTA is a Headways series that shares a behind-the-scenes look at VTA employees and the work they do to provide solutions that move you.

This article was written by Nicolette Nigos-Loredo and Nia Stewart in VTA's Recruitment and Selection group.

Have you ever wondered who ensures light rail trains and cars safely navigate throughout Santa Clara County? Signal Maintainers inspect, maintain, and repair the signals that tell light rail trains when to go and when to stop, keeping VTA customers and the general public safe.
Ron Roberts, a Senior Signal Maintainer, has been recognized for his hard work and dedication to VTA. See below for a photo gallery of Ron and his team in action.
“Ron Roberts has been a valuable VTA employee and has taken a leadership role in the department, which consists of twenty four Light Rail Signal Maintainers," said Patrick Armijo, Light Rail Signal Supervisor. "Ron is a technical expert who represents VTA during audits and investigations. He's dedicated and loyal to VTA, willingly taking on duties above his work classification and performing his duties with professionalism and expertise.”
Ron was a technician out of high school before joining the Navy and working on submarines. After his military service ended, he decided to go to college and become a test engineer. After many years in the field, he decided to look for something that offered a good balance with his family time.

How did you start at VTA?

It was a career move. I applied for a variety of jobs and trying to find something different. I came up with a list of things I was looking for and VTA fit that list pretty well.

What’s your proudest moment at VTA?

In 2010, I was nominated by my peers to be Employee of the Month. When your coworkers are recognizing you, it’s kind of special.

What advice do you have for future VTA employees?

Start [saving] when you’re young.

What three words describe your work at VTA?

Challenging. Very Challenging.

My job is unique and very dangerous. Some people don’t realize all the hazards we’re faced with. Besides the high voltage, we’re working in the street, we have trains around us, and we have a lot of noise.

What is an interesting fact about you that your co-workers don’t know?

In 2014, I was an Umpire for the Little League World Series, and I have 32 years of volunteer service to the youth in the community through Little League. I also had a patent for an automated welding machine.

How has VTA helped you in your career development?  

When I first started, one of the questions I asked my superintendent was, “What are my priorities?” His response is something I continue to pass along to the guys that work for me:
  1. Personal and crew safety
  2. Operator and Passenger Safety
  3. Public and Customer Safety
  4. Everything else will take care of itself​

Signal Maintainer Crew
Are you interested in joining VTA and providing solutions that move Silicon Valley?

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