VTA could restart partial light rail service this weekend, just in time for 49ers-Raiders game

Dustin Dorsey Image
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
VTA could restart partial light rail service this weekend
VTA light rail services are on track to partially resume this weekend after being shut down for nearly three months after a deadly mass shooting.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- VTA light rail services have been stopped for nearly three months following the deadly mass shooting at the Downtown San Jose railyard.

Monday, the company announced updates on when service may resume.

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In Downtown San Jose, the San Antonio light rail station is usually one of the busiest.

The main source of riders? San Jose State students commuting into school.

"I usually took light rail because it stopped right there and I walked over from the station," SJSU Senior James Santiago said. "It's easier to take light rail because you don't have to worry about parking because parking is horrible right here and the parking garage is almost full."

Students have had to adjust their commute with the light rails closed down to start the Fall semester.

VIDEO: Victims remembered after attack at VTA light rail yard

After the mass shooting that took the lives of 9 VTA workers in San Jose, we take a moment to honor them and hear from those who knew them.

The Valley Transportation Authority stopped light rail services after mass shooting at the downtown railyard in May that led to the death of nine employees that day and one more recently.

But the VTA says trains are set to return soon.

"I'm encouraged to report that we are making significant progress in our phased plan to reopen light rail service," VTA General Manager and CEO Carolyn Gonot said.

Gonot said trains will get back on the tracks starting Monday night for testing with operators after spending the time off inspecting rails and platforms, as well as retraining and recertifying more than 300 employees.

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She says the prolonged closure was to create a foundation for employees to not have setbacks.

"I don't think the average person can grasp the kind of fear that was present that day," Gonot said. "That's why we have taken the time in a very deliberate trauma-informed approach in having our employees come back."

If all goes well, the VTA hopes to resume service along the orange line and get back to helping the South Bay commute once again.

"We will be not operating the full system, but we should have some service up and running for the 49ers and Raiders game," VTA Director of Rail Operations Dale Austin Jenkins said.

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"Public transit is relevant to our community today, it's going to be relevant to our community in the near future, public transit is going to be relevant to our community in the long-term future," VTA Board of Directors Chairperson Glenn Hendricks said.

With testing starting today the VTA wants to remind everyone to stay off the tracks to ensure a safe return to service.

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the mass shooting at the VTA rail yard in San Jose.