This blog post was updated on August 25 at 12:45 p.m. to indicate that VTA has entered into Phase 4 of the reopening plan.
We know our light rail passengers are eager to see the trains running again. We are too. VTA's multi-phase plan to restore light rail service is underway with a goal to reinstate service as quickly and safely as possible.
In the meantime, VTA is offering substitute bus service along First Street in San Jose, from the Paseo de San Antonio Station to Baypointe Station, then over to the Milpitas Transit Center along Tasman Drive. It will serve all the light rail stations along the way. This service will operate every 30 minutes on weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and hourly on weekends from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fares will not be collected for this temporary solution which will continue until light rail service has been restored.
Light Rail Service Restoration
In an effort to ensure employees feel safe, secure and confident to return to their jobs, the timeline to get service running again includes separate but parallel tracks focused on infrastructure and Guadalupe Division employees. Employees will be informed of changes such as interim work locations, new processes or procedures, and security measures that have been put in place.
The restoration of service will be carried out in phases with each phase completed before the next phase can begin:
Phase 1: (completed on June 30, 2021) Outreaching to Guadalupe employees and identifying immediate/interim work locations.
Phase 2: (completed on August 9, 2021) Moving and onboarding critical staff entails evaluations and set up of immediate work locations.
Phase 3: (completed on August 24, 2021) Continuing to onboard staff and begin inspections of facilities to determine any needed repairs before operations begin
Phases 4 - 5: involves infrastructure repairs, and a "soft opening" in non-revenue service before being fully operational. For example, after going through the onboarding process, Light Rail Operators will operate trains in non-revenue service with no passengers before operating in revenue service. Way Power & Signal (WP&S) staff will check out their new work location and visually inspect the line rather than start actual inspections or repairs.
There may be a need for retraining, in compliance with California Public Utilities Commission regulations, or accommodations to reassign employees to other jobs. VTA’s collective priority is to put our people first while also achieving the goal of providing critical transit services to our community. We ask that you keep in mind that the reopening of light rail service is a significant process considering the work that we are putting into making sure our employees are ready to return. Each successfully completed phase is critical to provide a strong foundation for the next phase. We will keep the public updated on the completion of phases.
Thank you for your patience while we work through this together.