VTA trains on the popular blue line through the heart of Silicon Valley are now running with added capacity as ridership begins to climb with more workers returning to offices.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority on Monday expanded blue-line trains to two cars during daytime runs, as ridership grew to 31% of pre-COVID levels, its highest since the start of the pandemic, the agency said.
The blue line, which runs from South San Jose to East San Jose via downtown and North San Jose, had been running single-car trains for the past two years.
Riders have told VTA they value extra space for comfort and safety, so the return to two-car trains will allow passengers to spread out, the agency said.
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"We’re thrilled to see ridership coming back on what has historically been our most successful light-rail line," VTA’s Service Planning Manager Jay Tyree said. "We are hopeful that doubling onboard capacity as COVID cases are going down will further advance our ridership recovery."
VTA said ongoing global supply chain issues over the past several months have limited its service to mostly single-car trains.
Two-car blue line trains will return on weekdays throughout the day, with service scaling back to single-car trains later in the evening and on weekends, the VTA said.
Green and orange line trains will remain single-car trains for now, the agency said.