2023 Transit Service Plan

2023-Service-Plan-Image

Getting Back to Full Service

Getting VTA transit back to full service is close and within reach, and VTA is looking forward to working with the community this June to confirm what transit service should look like in 2023. The 2023 Transit Service Plan is an important milestone in establishing our future transit network as VTA continues recruiting to fill bus operator vacancies to help restore service to pre-pandemic levels. Once VTA’s Board of Directors adopts the plan, this network would be rolled out in 2023 as new operators are hired. This plan is built on the foundation of VTA’s Next...

2023-Service-Plan-Image

Getting Back to Full Service

Getting VTA transit back to full service is close and within reach, and VTA is looking forward to working with the community this June to confirm what transit service should look like in 2023. The 2023 Transit Service Plan is an important milestone in establishing our future transit network as VTA continues recruiting to fill bus operator vacancies to help restore service to pre-pandemic levels. Once VTA’s Board of Directors adopts the plan, this network would be rolled out in 2023 as new operators are hired. This plan is built on the foundation of VTA’s Next Network transit redesign, the 2019 New Transit Service Plan, and marks VTA’s return to an annual service planning process built on community input.

Community Engagement Opportunities on the 2023 Service Plan

You are invited to learn more about the plan and speak with staff about how this plan can better suit your needs, especially since they may have been impacted and changed by the pandemic. Join us virtually or come find us at upcoming local events happening throughout June.
Check back here as we update the page with more event details.

VTA Virtual Community Meetings

Wednesday, June 8, 2022
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
View a recording of this meeting on Youtube

Wednesday, June 15, 2022
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
View a recording of this meeting on Youtube

Tuesday, June 28, 2022
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Register on EventBrite to receive Zoom details

 

In addition to these virtual community meetings, VTA Staff will be receiving feedback about the proposed 2023 service plan at select transit centers throughout the comment period:

Gilroy Transit Center - Thursday, June 23, 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Milpitas Transit Center - Friday, June 24, 6:30 am - 9:30 am
VTA Downtown Customer Service Center - Thursday, June 30, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Eastridge Transit Center - Thursday, June 30, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Berryessa Transit Center - Thursday, July 7, 6:30 am - 9:30 am

 

What is a Transit Service Plan? 

A transit service plan lays out where bus routes travel and stop, how often buses come, and how early and late they run. These service-level details for each route are decided based on a route’s service category.  

  • VTA’s most frequent route categories (Light Rail, Rapid, and Frequent) are considered a core part of the network. This Frequent Network runs at least every 15 minutes on weekdays, and also tends to run earlier, later, and more often on weekdays compared to other routes in the network.  

  • Local and Express routes, for example, tend to run less frequently than the Frequent Network and may offer varying service levels during peak hours, midday hours, and weekends. These route categories also tend to serve specific needs such as school service, transit shuttle service, or commuter-hour service that only runs in one direction during morning and afternoon peak hours. 

Every transit service plan is co-created by VTA and its riders every year and involves: 

  1. A draft plan discussed with the community during the summer 

  1. Revisions worked on by staff that incorporate community feedback 

  1. A final plan and a Title VI-driven service equity analysis report presented to VTA committees and the Board in the fall 

  1. A schedule and service that takes place the following January 

A transit service plan is the community’s chance to discuss possibilities for more frequent service, earlier service in the morning, later service in the evening, and service to new areas. 

 

About the 2023 Transit Service Plan 

The 2023 Service Plan aims to:

  1. Restore full service as adopted by the Board under the 2019 New Transit Service Plan
  2. Adopt some service changes made during the pandemic
  3. Improve hours of operation and service frequencies of some routes to meet VTA’s Transit Service Guidelines
  4. Gather community input on service changes proposed for 2023, and ensure that transit service recovery happens equitably for our most transit-dependent, historically underserved riders

 

Restoring the 2019 New Transit Plan 

VTA’s Next Network transit redesign, the 2019 New Transit Service Plan, was only operating for less than three months before the pandemic and shelter-in-place mandates took effect in March 2020. VTA had to suspend about 40% of service and stop running non-essential routes at the time. While VTA restored all its routes in August 2020, some routes today still run less frequently, start later in the day, and/or end earlier in the evening than before. The 2023 Service Plan restores most of these routes to their pre-pandemic frequencies and hours of operation.

Adopting service changes from the pandemic as permanent

While most routes will be restored to their pre-pandemic state, a few routes have gone through changes during the pandemic – changes that call for the community’s input for adoption into the transit network. Some routes were restructured based on ridership demand and feedback from the community (Routes 59, 61, 70, 71, Rapid 523), and a couple of new routes were launched to respond to changing demands and priorities during the pandemic (SCVMC Shuttle, Rapid 568).

Meeting Transit Service Guidelines  

VTA’s Board-adopted Transit Service Guidelines set the framework for route start and end times (span of service) and service frequencies (headways) for each transit service category (i.e. light rail, Rapid bus, Frequent bus, Local bus, Express bus). While VTA and the community had to wrestle with service tradeoffs to meet financial constraints for the 2019 Service Plan, changes proposed in the 2023 Service Plan left room to expand on hours of operation on routes that did not originally meet these adopted guidelines.

An Equitable Transit Service Recovery 

Understanding riders’ values as transit service recovers is key to ensuring an equitable process, acknowledging that transportation needs will forever be impacted and changed by the pandemic. As annual plans are developed for years to come, community engagement that is representative of VTA’s riders will continue to be a cornerstone of that process.  

 

View Details about the 2023 Transit Service Plan 

  • Compare the 2023 Transit Service Plan to the 2019 New Transit Service Plan 

Timeline

Title
Plan Development
Phase Date Range
-
Title
Public Input
Phase Date Range
-
Title
Community Meeting #1
Milestone Date
Title
Community Meeting #2
Milestone Date
Title
Community Meeting #3
Milestone Date
Title
Revise Plans
Milestone Date
Body

Revise plans based on public feedback

Title
Project Development
Phase Date Range
-
Title
SSTPO Committee Meeting
Milestone Date
Title
TAC
Milestone Date
Title
CAC
Milestone Date
Title
CTMA
Milestone Date
Title
PAC
Milestone Date
Title
Board of Directors
Milestone Date
Title
Implementation
Phase Date Range
-
Title
Phased implementation of the 2023 Transit Service Plan, pending operator counts
Milestone Date
Body

Service changes may gradually take effect every signup period:  

  • January 14, 2023 -- Major signup

  • April 29, 2023 -- Minor signup

  • August 12, 2023 -- Minor signup

  • October 28, 2023 -- Minor signup