VTA Shuts Down All Light Rail Service at Noon Today

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will shut down its light rail service at noon today, May 26, following the deadly mass shooting at its San Jose maintenance facility earlier this morning.

The authority announced Monday commutes on its light-rail trains and buses would begin to look more normal today, as the system increased passenger capacity on vehicles and buses.

It was unclear this morning when regular light rail services would resume.

The easing of restrictions means there will soon be more VTA riders on all routes.

VTA announced new guidelines Monday, effective today, May 26, following Santa Clara County’s move last week into the yellow tier, the least-restrictive of the state's color-coded reopening tiers.

Face masks are still required while riding or waiting at stops and passengers must maintain 3 feet of distance between each other.

For light-rail, 34 passengers are allowed per car. For VTA buses, 15 passengers are allowed on a 30-foot bus, 18 passengers on a 40-foot bus and 26 passengers on a 60-foot bus.

Groups traveling together count as one passenger and can sit or stand together, closer than 3 feet. However, all customers must remain behind the yellow limit line near the front of the bus to keep 6 feet away from operators.

Passengers are also encouraged to download VTA's EZfare mobile ticketing app or get a Clipper card so they can make a contactless fare payment.

The transit agency had been following a 6-foot distancing guideline since Santa Clara County's shelter-in-place order began in March 2020. As a result, VTA buses reduced capacity by 80 to 90 percent.

VTA Board Chair Glenn Hendricks said in a statement Monday that this week’s easing of restrictions is a step in the right direction.

“What this means is more capacity for more customers, which is critical for mass public transit and for economic productivity as we continue to climb out of this pandemic,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks said the transit service is not “completely out of the woods” until it reaches full passenger capacity on its trains and buses.


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