Thursday, January 26, 2017

VTA Next Draft Plan

Fortunately, the VTA logo isn't the only thing that is changing about our transit system. There are significant route changes in the works to coincide with the arrival BART in the fall that sound very promising. In general, VTA is planning to reduce or eliminate routes with very low usage and re-utilizing that budget in highly trafficked corridors.

The proposed changes are too numerous to mention (list over here), but below you can see what the travel times from Downtown San Jose would look like before and after the changes. The area you will be able to get to within 30 minutes of Downtown will roughly double in size. However, your mileage may vary. If you live in the suburbs, say deep in Evergreen or Almaden, then your coverage area will likely shrink. To see exactly how you may be impacted, you can do your own simulation over here.

Current VTA Travel Times from Downtown San Jose

Proposed VTA Travel Times from Downtown San Jose

Our Light Rail system will get a major overhaul as well. The lines will finally be named after colors like most other metro systems in the world and a brand new line will be added that will run from the Alum Rock to Mountain View. Here are the proposed changes:

  • Green Line (902)
    • Northern end would become Old Ironsides
    • Increase frequency from 30min to 15min during the weekday, all day long
  • Yellow Line (Commuter Express)
    • Northern end would become St. James Park
    • Double frequency from 3 trips per peak period to 6 trips
  • Orange Line (NEW)
    • New line between Alum Rock and Mountain View that would connect Light Rail to BART
    • Would run every 15min during the weekday and 30min during the weekend
    • Potential express service is under review
  • Blue Line (901)
    • No changes
  • Purple Line (900)
    • No changes

If all of these changes get implemented that means Light Rail will run every 7.5 minutes (not including express trains) all day long during the workweek throughout all Downtown, Milpitas, Santa Clara, North San Jose, and East San Jose Stations. That would be a significant increase in service.

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