All Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail service was shut down until further notice Thursday after an operator trainee tested positive for COVID-19, a VTA spokesperson confirmed.
Six trains were in operation when service was shut down at 11:30 p.m., according to VTA officals. Sweeps were made to ensure no customers were left stranded.
Operators were told to shelter in place. They will be notified if they need to quarantine or be tested for the coronavirus. All of the trains will be sanitized.
Officials said that although other trains were set aside for such an event, ridership decreased by 82% after the county’s shelter in place order went into effect and the VTA will focus its efforts on bus service.
"Although it's not an easy decision to suspend light rail without much warning, we needed to take every precaution," a VTA spokesperson Brandi Childress said. "We are monitoring our system and watching our platforms to see if a bus bridge is warranted."
Childress said about 60 train operators were scheduled to report for duty Thursday, along with a trainee class, and all of those workers were asked to stay home while the agency investigates.
She added that VTA already was set to reduce light rail service March 30 because of the plummeting ridership.
For the latest updates, visit the VTA website.