VTA Introduces Commuter Express Light Rail Service
New Non-stop, Faster Service Starts October 4, 2010
|Release Number: || NR 10 09 05|
|Release Date: || Sep 24, 2010|
San Jose, Calif. – During the October transit service changes, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is making significant improvements to light rail service. Starting on October 4, 2010, VTA will operate a new weekday, peak-hour express light rail service between the Santa Teresa and Baypointe light rail stations.
The VTA Commuter Express will provide faster and more frequent light rail service with the addition of six new trips to the current schedule. “VTA hopes to attract new riders with the introduction of this great new service that saves time and offers greater convenience to those who are traveling between South and North San Jose,” said San Jose City Councilmember Ash Kalra. “Instead of fighting traffic on Hwy 87, commuters can bypass all that congestion and stress.”
Three northbound trips are being added during the peak morning commute, and three southbound trips for the peak evening commute. Northbound express trains will leave the Santa Teresa Station weekday mornings at 7:16, 7:46 and 8:16 a.m. Southbound express trains will leave the Baypointe Station weekday afternoons at 4:07, 4:37 and 5:07 p.m. Trains will make all stops between Santa Teresa and Ohlone/Chynoweth, then operate non-stop to Convention Center. From Convention Center, trains will make all stops until reaching the Baypointe Station.
“Decreasing transit riding time is one of the top comments that we hear from the public,” said San Jose City Councilmember Nancy Pyle. “We achieve that by skipping stations allowing trains to travel non-stop to and from downtown and south San Jose.”
The VTA Commuter Express trains can travel at speeds up to 45 mph as they pass through the stations without stopping. For everyone’s safety, it is extremely important that customers always remain well behind the yellow line. Audible warnings and announcements will be made to advise that the train does not stop and to stand clear of the platform edge.
The VTA Commuter Express is a first step in delivering operational improvements identified in the Light Rail System Analysis adopted by the VTA Board of Directors in May 2010. The two-year study provided the first-ever comprehensive evaluation of the system’s effectiveness in meeting present and future market needs.
The Light Rail System Analysis helped VTA identify an investment program of capital and operating improvements that can be phased in over the next 20 years. “We recognized that some of the improvements identified could be implemented in the short-term at relatively low cost to the organization, which is why we are launching the new Commuter Express,” said VTA General Manager Michael T. Burns. “We don’t have the option to wait for a full economic recovery to stimulate ridership; we want to take steps now to respond to the downturn and offer customers a good value service to meet their needs.”
Customers on the VTA Commuter Express will enjoy the added convenience and reduced travel times for the same fare that VTA charges for existing light rail service.
Prior to the October 4th service start, customers will see ambassadors on VTA light rail platforms along the Santa Teresa line educating passengers and answering questions about the new VTA Commuter Express. For more information about the new service or help with a customized trip plan, please contact VTA Customer Service at (408) 321-2300, TTY only (408) 321-2330.
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Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent special district that provides sustainable, accessible, community-focused transportation options that are innovative, environmentally responsible, and promote the vitality of our region. VTA is responsible for bus, light rail and paratransit operations and also serves as the county’s congestion management agency. As such, VTA is responsible for countywide transportation planning, including congestion management issues, specific highway improvement projects, pedestrian and bicycle improvement projects, and provides these services throughout the county, including the municipalities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga and Sunnyvale. VTA continually builds partnerships to deliver transportation solutions that meet the evolving mobility needs of Santa Clara County.