Hard working VTA operators and front-line workers are reporting a great sense of collaboration as everyone realizes we’re all in this health crisis together. As everyone is adjusting to their different schedules and VTA’s modified service, reports from the field indicate riders have a good understanding of social distancing guidelines, traveling for essential purposes only and are being very complimentary, which is greatly appreciated!
This has been a trying time for everyone but VTA staff and operators remain committed to serving the riding public during these challenging times. The adjustments made to adhere to social distancing measures mean fewer people can get on buses and, unfortunately, sometimes buses have to pass up riders at stops when the buses are at capacity. The good news is, our modified service has freed up other buses, which can now be staged in strategic locations so when a stop is passed up, the operator can immediately radio dispatch to deploy another bus right away. Usually, it’s just a matter of a few minutes before those riders are picked up as well. Light rail trains are running in pairs so there is plenty of capacity.
Our customer service staff also reports many calls conveying positive experiences. One elderly rider called to compliment a bus operator for waiting for her while she was running to the stop with grocery bags. The operator even stopped before the bus stop to save her the extra steps. Another customer out walking their dog saw the sign encouraging people to stay home and stop the spread, saying “Whoever came up with the wording and layout is a genius. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Another rider called to express appreciation for the resumption of light rail service.
The VTA customer service operation will resume normal business hours on Monday, April 27, to be available to customers during their commute times. Those hours are 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; and 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday. The Downtown Service Center and the River Oaks lobby will continue to remain closed until further notice.
Thank you again for your patience, your great feedback and for working together to adhere to the new guidelines. We also strongly urge you to wear face coverings. Things aren’t perfect but your cooperation and understanding makes it that much better!