Late Wednesday evening, on March 25, VTA leadership was notified that a light rail operator trainee tested positive for COVID-19. While we learn the extent of impact and exposure, we must take swift action to protect the health and safety of our employees and the public.
For these reasons, and out of an abundance of caution, the following actions were taken immediately:
- Light rail service was shut down as of 11:30 p.m. on March 25. Six trains were in operation at the time and sweeps were made to make sure customers were not left stranded on the platforms.
- Effective March 26, light rail service has been suspended until further notice and operators are being told to shelter in place until they receive further instructions to quarantine and/or be tested.
- All light rail vehicles will remain in the operating division and undergo thorough cleaning, as well as the entire operating division itself.
- Bus bridge service will not be available
A number of light rail vehicles were sanitized thoroughly and set aside for this potential scenario. However, in light of this situation and the fact that light rail ridership has decreased by 82% since the County’s shelter-in-place order, we will now focus our operational resources on bus service which is more nimble and can adapt to the various needs of our community.
We understand the impact and heightened level of concern this latest information will generate. Please be assured we are taking every precaution available to us and coordinating with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to implement further safety measures and protocols that adhere to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance on COVID-19.
As we monitor this situation closely, we will continue with our enhanced cleaning efforts for the protection of our employees and traveling public.
VTA will continue to provide updates on any other changes to service through our website, social media, printed materials and signage. To receive real-time service alerts, you can subscribe to your routes in the Transit app.
VTA continues to monitor the situation closely and maintains regular contact with local authorities and other transit agencies. For more on what VTA is doing in response to COVID-19, visit https://www.vta.org/covid-19.