VTA Light rail vehicle
ICYMI! VTA Looks Toward the Future of Light Rail

Since its implementation in 1987, the VTA light rail system has grown to serve commuters traveling in Santa Clara County. From transporting passengers to their desired location or connecting them to other transit services, the light rail is an integral part of the urban fabric of the county. During the third installment of the Ask VTA series held on Wednesday, March 22, VTA staff shared a brief history and an update on the future of the light rail system with the community.

Currently, VTA is working diligently on finding solutions to augment the overall service of the light rail, including speed improvements. Moving forward the agency’s efforts will include exploring ways to reduce operational costs and identifying key investments and capital projects that will fulfill the agency’s primary need to improve the system’s speed and reliability. For example, adjustments to signal priority will work to reduce transit delays and enhance the light rails’ travel time by modifying traffic signal timing when transit vehicles are present on the road.

Additionally, staff shared that the current light rail vehicles will need to be replaced within the next 10-15 years. With emerging technology and new light rail model vehicles available on the market, VTA will be researching options to invest in the next-generation fleet that will provide an evolved light rail service for passengers. After the presentation, members of the community posed questions for staff ranging from the possibility of light rail expansion, to service planning, and wayfinding.

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VTA presently has one planned light rail extension project, the Eastridge to BART Regional Connector (EBRC), which would extend light rail from the existing Alum Rock light rail station to Eastridge Transit Center. Funding for this extension was included as part of 2000 Measure A. Outside of EBRC, the emphasis is on ways to improve our current system rather than broadening its reach.

Ask VTA is a new monthly series that facilitates questions and answers to share information and spur conversation on topics that shape transportation, climate and land use issues. For more information about the Ask VTA .www.vta.org/ask-vta .

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