SAN JOSE, Calif. — Despite increasing public frustration at the lack of service, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail operations remain halted in the wake of a May 26 mass shooting, and the agency has not offered any estimate when it may return.
The San Jose Spotlight reports that a VTA representative said the agency may offer more information on the process of restoring service this week. The VTA has said the shooting at its Guadalupe rail yard — which killed nine workers as well as the gunman, a VTA employee who took his own life — damaged buildings, equipment and computer systems necessary for operations. A former VTA communications official who writes for the news site also notes that the dead included four of the agency’s nine substation maintainers, and others involved in the electrical system who must conduct federally mandated inspections.
The VTA originally substituted bus service for operations on the 40-mile light rail system, but halted that alternative on June 1 because of a shortage of workers.
The agency is slated to receive some $20 million in funding for mental-health care for its workers and to restore operations under the budget currently under consideration by the state legislature [see “California budget would provide $20 million …,” Trains News Wire, July 1, 2021].
The VTA’s Twitter feed features a steady stream of posts from people asking when service will return and expressing their reliance on the service.