Thursday, July 27, 2006

Light rail station reopened for Grand Prix

VTA reopened the Paseo de San Antonio light rail station yesterday in time for the Grand Prix. A small ceremony was held next to the Repertory Theatre to cerebrate the reopening. After speeches made by the VTA Chair Cindy Chavez, as well as representatives from the VTA Committee for Transit Accessibility, San Jose Downtown Association, and San Jose State University, a special light rail train arrived at the platform on 2nd Street, and passengers with a baby stroller, bicycle, and unicycle, along with passengers in wheelchairs, exited the vehicle and the station with having to navigate any steps.

Unlike all other stations, the new platform is actually consisted of three smaller platforms matching the door locations of each car. The Downtown Association strongly advocated this design as a way to maintain pedestrian access in the area. In constrast to the original design of a large platform, there is enough space between the small platforms where the bus stops can be placed back near their original locations, thus the cross-platform access between the bus and the light rail is maintained.

Although the station was reopened early, the station is not yet completed. Granite pavers and benches were installed only on two of the three small platforms at each location. The third small platforms instead have plywood coverings to support three car trains for the anticipated Grand Prix crowd. Also, there was no shelter or any type of overhead covering installed.

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