Saturday, August 21, 2010

Express light rail coming this October

Following the recommendations of the light rail COA conducted last year, VTA staff is planning to implement weekday express light rail service from South San Jose effective October 4. The new trips will start from Santa Teresa to Baypointe and will run non-stop from Ohlone/Chynoweth to Convention Center stations. All other trips will remain unchanged.

The express trips are expected to save 5-6 minutes between Ohlone/Chynoweth and Convention Center, which is about 36% for those traveling between those two stations, or 12% for those traveling between Santa Teresa and Baypointe.

Northbound express trains leaving Santa Teresa: 7:16 a.m., 7:46 a.m., 8:16 a.m.

Southbound express trains leaving Baypointe: 4:07 p.m., 4:37 p.m., 5:07 p.m.

In addition, staff is also planning to extend some night trips (9:51 p.m. and 10:21 p.m.) departing from Winchester to Baypointe instead of Civic Center. This will help riders that need to connect with the late night light rail replacement bus leaving from Tasman to Mountain View.


Anonymous said...

I'd still do anything, and I mean *anything*, for later night LRT service from Mt. View that is timed with the late night SB Caltrains.

And no, not these lrt trips that are scheduled to leave 3 minutes after Caltrain is supposed to arrive in Mt. View (a not uncommon occurrence).

If it meant sacrificing the Alamaden line for that, I'd be for it in a heartbeat.

arcady said...

What would it take to make those connections between Caltrain and light rail protected transfers? The policy would be that the light rail train waits at least n minutes after the southbound Caltrain arrives before it can depart. I'd say about 4 minutes should be enough to ensure that everyone can get off the Caltrain and buy a light rail ticket. I know, this requires some level of inter-agency coordination, but really it's beneficial for both sides.

Victor said...

Sometimes I feel that VTA purposely wants to see you miss your light rail connection. Quite a few times, I've seen people running to make their connection while the light rail just arrives at the station. And just as the customer reaches the door, the door shuts and the train starts moving.

I am sure the operator can see the people running over. Is there some kind of policy requiring operators to refuse service to those running over?

Only excuse I can see is to prevent people from hopping on without buying a ticket. But some people (like myself) work with passes so we don't need to buy tickets.

Anonymous said...

As far as the OP is concerned, I think express LRT is long overdue, and the Santa Teresa-downtown stretch is a good place to implement it.

Its just that there are so many other things I wish they'd do to improve LRT service, stuff that really won't break the bank-like making sure connections (Caltrain-VTA, VTA bus-VTA LRT) are made, and having two more southbound trips in the evening from Mt. View to coincide with the last SB Caltrains.

To be fair, some LRT operators do wait for Caltrain to arrive at Mt. View as long as they can to accommodate passengers, but I've also seen it where Caltrain is a couple of minutes late, and arrives *exactly* when the SB LRT is supposed to depart, and the LRT train has already left.

So inconsistency is also a problem.

kirk said...

While the Caltrain comments above are completely valid, I believe that LRT service between Campbell and SJ downtown is insufficient in general and should run at 15 minute intervals during off-peak hours. This is probably one of the fastest and most efficient sections of track in the network. Unfortunately, I think service to Campbell is reduced to accommodate the low-ridership stations between Mountain View and SJ

Peter said...

@ kirk

Hence why a better way to implement express light rail is to instead limit the Winchester line to between Winchester and downtown SJ, and integrate the Almaden line into the system all the way up to Mountain View. This is after all what the light rail study recommended. The current plan is simply a stop-gap measure for until they can get some extra operational funding.

Peter said...

It's kind of cool that the express trains also have WiFi. Wish I could take them to work...