Santa Clara VTA to Expand Capacities on Buses, Light-Rail Trains

NBC Bay Area

With Santa Clara County now in the least restrictive yellow tier in the state's reopening blueprint, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority said it will expand rider capacity and shift to a 3-foot distancing protocol on its buses and light-rail trains starting this week.

Under the original protocols, which included 6-foot physical distancing, capacity on VTA buses has been reduced by 80-90% since March 2020, which meant about 600 to 800 customers were passed up daily for more than a year, the agency said.

Effective starting Wednesday, the following on-board capacities will go into effect:

  • Light rail: 34 passengers per car
  • 30-foot bus: 15 passengers
  • 40-foot bus: 18 passengers
  • 60-foot bus: 26 passengers

"We are not completely out of the woods until we can be at full passenger capacity on board our trains and buses, and this is a big step in the right direction," VTA Board Chair Glenn Hendricks said in a statement.

Passengers are responsible for staying at least 3 feet away from one other. Groups traveling together will be counted as one passenger, the VTA said. Masks are still required on board public transit and at stops.

VTA also continues to encourage riders to use contactless fare systems such as VTA’s EZfare app or a Clipper card.

For more information in the VTA's COVID-19 changes, visit the agency website.

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