VTA Restarts Light-Rail Service Months After Deadly Rail Yard Shooting

Transit agency will not collect fares on light rail routes through Sept. 13.

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The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority resumed operating with limited light-rail service beginning Sunday, the agency confirmed.

The first weekday commute trains rolled early Monday morning.

According to a statement, VTA service restarted at 8 a.m. Sunday along the Orange Line and part of the Green Line. The light-rail line shut down on May 26 after a co-worker killed nine employees at the VTA rail yard near downtown San Jose.

"As we continue to bring back employees safely and compassionately, we will update the public on the level of light rail service we can safely continue to provide," said VTA in a statement.

Trains on both lines will stop at each station running at least every 30 minutes from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The bus bridge will continue to operate along North First Street between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. every hour.

Starting Monday, Aug. 30 these will be the following hours of operation:

  • Orange Line from 5:30 a.m. to midnight, every 20 minutes until 8 p.m. at which time it will operate every 30 minutes. 
  • Green Line from Civic Center to Old Ironsides from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., every 20 minutes until 8 p.m. at which time it will operate every 30 minutes. 
  • Bus bridge along First Street from Paseo de San Antonio to Baypointe and onto Milpitas Transit Center/BART Station will operate every 30 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

Service on the remaining segments of the Green and Blue lines will come back in phases. 

VTA will not collect fares on light rail only through Sept. 13.

The service will be up and running just in time to take as many as 6,000 fans to the 49ers game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. The service will help 15% of 49ers fans, who usually rely on VTA to get to games.

Earlier this week, VTA officials were testing light rail trains without passengers in preparation to resuming some of their light rail services.

San Jose resident Judy Myers is thrilled with the news.

"We need the light rail. So, we don't have to rely on buses and all that," she said.

But some VTA employees are still not ready to come back after May’s deadly shooting.

“People were extremely traumatized and many are working with counselors in trauma recovery,” said VTA spokeswoman Stacey Hendler Ross.

VTA has no estimate yet on when all trains will be back on the tracks.

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