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Light Rail Service Overview


History: VTA's 42.2-mile light rail line is one of the longest to be built in the U.S. in 50 years. Service started on the line in December 1987. The initial nine-mile segment from Santa Clara through downtown San Jose was completed in June 1988. Service to the Tamien Station (Alma Avenue), two miles south of downtown, began in August 1990. The entire 20.8-mile line was completed in April 1991.

In December 1999, VTA opened the 7.6-mile Tasman West line, connecting Mountain View with existing Light Rail service. The Tasman East Extension followed in two phases. Phase I, Baypointe Transfer Station to I-880/Milpitas Station, was completed in May 2001. Phase II, I-880/Milpitas Station to Hostetter Station, was completed in June 2004, in conjunction with the Capitol Light Rail Extension south of Hostetter to Alum Rock Station. The Vasona Extension from Downtown San Jose to Winchester Transit Center opened October 1, 2005.

Service Characteristics

Stations: 62

Parking: Free lighted parking for approximately 6,469 cars at 21 park and ride lots along the light rail line. More than 250 spots at many Park and Ride lots are now designated for Airport Long-Term Parking for up to seven days! Airport Long-Term parking spots are available at all light rail Park and Ride lots except River Oaks, Moffet Park, Whisman, Downtown Mountain View, Great Mall, Hostetter, Penetencia and Alum Rock.

Fares:Fare inspectors may ask to see a valid ticket or pass. Regular (one-way) Fares: Adults (18 - 64 years) $2.00; Youth (5-17) $1.75; Seniors (65+) and Disabled $1.00. Day Pass Fares: Adults $6; Youth $5; Seniors/Disabled $2.50. Ticket vending machines are located at each station.

**Single Ride Light Rail Ticket It is valid for up to (2) hours in any direction only on Light Rail and Historic Trolley service. It is not acceptable toward the fare on bus service.**

Connections: Light rail service connects with VTA buses at all stations. Light rail also connects with Caltrain at the Tamien and Downtown Mountain View Stations. Light rail connects to Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) and Capitol Corridor Intercity Rail Service at Lick Mill Station.

Hours of Operation:
VTA Light Rail service is offered seven-days a week, 365 days a year. Light Rail operates on 15, 30 and 60 minute frequencies depending on time of day. For a complete listing of service hours and frequency, check current schedules.

Fleet: VTA currently operates 100 vehicles.

Operations: Each car is equipped with heating and air conditioning and features four doors on each side.

Dimensions: Length: 90 feet. Weight: 97,000 pounds.

Unit Costs: Light rail vehicle $2.96 million each

Capacity per car:
66 seated and 105 standing (maximum capacity 171).
Can operate singly or in trains of up to three cars.

Maximum speed in freeway median ........................55 m.p.h.
Downtown Center Plaza ........................................10 m.p.h.

Disabled Access:
Each vehicle is equipped with four wheelchair parking areas.

Elevators are provided at all grade-separated stations. The majority of these grade-separated stations also provide escalators.
Ticket information is available in raised lettering and in Braille.