Santa Clara County

VTA Begins Testing Trains Ahead of Resuming Light-Rail Service

Plan for passenger service is to start up again in about a week, agency chief says

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VTA light-rail service remained at a standstill, but the agency Tuesday started sending trains out for test runs ahead of a full service resumption within about a week, officials said.

During a late-morning news conference, Carolyn Gonot, the general manager and chief executive for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, updated plans for resuming service on the light-rail line that shut down on May 26 after a deadly mass shooting at the VTA rail yard near downtown San Jose in which nine employees were killed by a co-worker.

Part of the service resumption plan will be to run test trains starting Tuesday ahead of bringing back passenger service in about a week, Gonot said.

There were still a number of VTA workers who are not ready to return to the rails, and in just the past week, they were dealt another blow when one of their co-workers who witnessed the mass shooting died by suicide.

A statement from the president of one of the VTA employee unions reads in part: "Unfortunately, the VTA has taken no action to address the grief, the mental health and the safety of their employees who have been under unfathomable, extreme stress after this tragic shooting. The VTA's inaction is shameful and threatens the well-being of our local 265 members."

Adding to the struggle, a VTA trainee last week was arrested for allegedly threatening to "shoot the place up" if he wasn’t hired. He faces charges of making criminal threats.

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