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First Steps

Ride a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus or light rail today? If you have experienced issues such as:

  • VTA Bus driver or light rail operator was polite or rude to you
  • VTA Bus or light rail left early, arrived late or never arrived at a destination
  • VTA buses and light rail properly connect with one another, or consistently miss connections with other public bus or rail services
  • Unsafe conditions aboard VTA buses or light rail

As a taxpayer who helps fund VTA bus and light rail service, it is your right (and responsibility) to report these issues to VTA management. The initial way to do this is through VTA Customer Service.

Use this page as a starting point to make your issue(s) known to management of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in Santa Clara County.

VTA Bus/Light Rail Service and Drivers via Customer Service

For all compliments or complaints about VTA bus and light rail service, let VTA’s Customer Service know about the issue FIRST at (408)321-2300.  If you in the 650 Area Code or are in Morgan Hill, San Martin or Gilroy, call (800)894-9908.

VTA Customer Service can also be emailed at customer.service@vta.org. Here is their mailing address:

VTA Downtown Customer Service
55-A West Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Also, please make sure to send a copy of your letter to the Silicon Valley Transit Users as well.

IN ANY LETTER YOU WRITE TO VTA, ALWAYS ASK FOR A WRITTEN RESPONSE!

However you choose to contact VTA Customer Service, always include details of the incident in question IN FULL DETAIL. In your report to Customer Service, include what bus or light rail train you are riding (or rode) and the driver’s badge number. Details on how to get this information are below.

Identifying VTA Bus Routes & Vehicles Numbers

In your report to VTA Customer Service, make sure to include the following information when calling:

  • The four-digit vehicle number of the bus
  • The bus route number and destination
  • The bus garage routing number

The photo below shows where to find this information on all VTA 35-foot, 40-foot, and 60-foot articulated buses – including the new 40-foot hybrid buses.

Front of VTA Bus

  • 1. Destination Sign
  • 2. Bus garage routing number (showing the bus route and number of bus that left the garage for that route. In this case, this is on the 64 bus line and is the 3rd bus that left the garage for this route.
  • 3. Physical bus number.

This is where you can find the same route and vehicle information on VTA light rail:

Front of VTA light rail train in Mountain View

  • 1. Light rail car number (always three digits – A is on one side of the car; B is for the other side)
  • 2. Destination sign
  • 3. Light rail garage routing number – two to three digits, indicating the number of the car that left the garage

This is where you can find route and bus number information on all VTA Community buses like the 34, 37, 48 and 49:

VTA Community Bus

  • 1. Destination sign
  • 2. Vehicle number (always four digits)
  • 3. Destination sign near the roof of the bus, next to the wheelchair door

At minimum, always get the destination and vehicle number of the bus or light rail train.

Identifying VTA bus drivers and light rail operators

All VTA bus drivers and light rail operators wear uniforms. On the right side of those uniforms is a three or four-digit badge number identifying the driver. (You always see the driver’s badge number as you enter any VTA bus and pay your fare or show a valid fare card.) Refer to the driver’s or operator’s badge number when contacting VTA Customer Service with your compliment or complaint.

Before Ending Contact With VTA Customer Service…

Before you conclude your contact with VTA Customer Service, always ask for a case number and request to be contacted in writing.

If you do not hear back from VTA Customer Service within five (5) business days, follow up with a phone call or an email referring your case number you received when you first made contact. Send your written followup inquiry to the head of VTA’s Customer Service:

Patrick Griffin
Manager, Public Affairs and Customer Information
Marketing and Customer Service Division
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
3331 N. First Street
San Jose, CA 95134-1906

phone (408)321-7506
fax (408)955-0893

(Please include the full name and title of anyone you spoke to in Customer Service in your inquiry.)

In addition, send a copy of your inquiry to the following person within VTA management:

Mike Hursh
Chief Operating Officer
Operations Administration Division
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
3331 N. First Street, Building B
San Jose, CA 95134-1906

phone (408)321-7004
fax (408)922-0143

Provide in writing the same information you gave VTA Customer Service, and the case number they provided you.  Ask to be contacted in writing.

If no resolution has still not been provided to you, or if you are not satisfied with the response or resolution VTA gave, make time to make your case to the VTA’s Board of Directors at their next meeting. Also, send a copy orseparate letter to us as well.

VTA Community Outreach

VTA’s Community Outreach program runs workshops that describe various transit and highway projects taking place within Santa Clara County.  They also manage some public input for these projects. You can contact them at:

Community Outreach
Marketing and Customer Service Division
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
3331 N. First Street
San Jose, CA 95134-1906

phone (408)321-7575
fax (408)321-7576

Remember: VTA’s Community Outreach, as well as other areas of Customer Service, can be contacted thru the web form on VTA’s web site or by calling (408)321-2300 during daytime hours.

VTA Bus Stops

To find out whether a bus stop near you will be getting a new bus shelter soon, or to qualify a stop to receive a bus shelter, please contact Mona Babauta, head of VTA’s Bus Shelters program, at (408)321-5769.

Police & Security

(include date, description of, place, and time of incident. Include badge number if possible)

Santa Clara County
Office of the Sheriff
55 West Younger Ave.
San Jose, CA 95110-1721
phone (408)299-2101
fax (408)283-0562

Captain Luther Pugh
Chief of Security, Protective Services
Operations Administration Division
3331 N. First Street
San Jose, CA 95134-1906

VTA Policy

Send your inquiry, compliment or complaint to VTA’s General Manager, Michael Burns, with a copy of your letter sent to the Silicon Valley Transit Users.

4 Comments

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  1. Stu Shraysnzinger / Mar 24 2014

    On monday 3/24 at approximately 3:25 PM the driver of bus #2332 on Route 22 at stop # 60507 on El Camino in Palo alto exhibited rude aggressive reckless and dangerous behavior to a line of cars waiting to enter the driveway of a school in palo alto. 5 or so cars were lined up along the curb in front of the school waiting to enter the driveway. The driver stopped behind the line or cars and sounded his horn continuously. He then drove up alongside the line of cars as it began to move forward turning his right front wheel and the bus in ahead of a car as it was moving forward. The car was forced to stop abruptly to avoid colliding with the bus.
    This driver exhibited irresponsible behavior and should be reprimanded.

    • Eugene B / Mar 31 2014

      You did report this to VTA directly using the steps mentioned above, right?

  2. Latosha Green / Dec 10 2011

    I arrived at Fremont bart to catch the 180 bus towards downtown San Jose and I asked the driver if this was the right bus because the buses alternate routes. The driver told me the bus was NOT going downtown so I didn’t get on. However the next bus also said it wasn’t going downtown so the first driver LIED to me and made me late for work! As someone who depends on VTA for transportation I find this extremely unnacceptable and hope you take action with this matter.

    • Tony / Jan 17 2012

      Was it a Saturday? It used to be 180 only, and now it’s 181 only on weekends. Every other 181 bus (every 40 minutes) goes downtown. The driver that lied to you was really irresponsible.

      And of course, on weekdays, it’s much easier, all 181 goes downtown and the 180 doesn’t.

      If you have a pass, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get on the next bus you see and transfer to light rail or 66 downtown if the bus doesn’t continue.

      For your future reference, check the schedule ahead of time. Since you’re a regular rider, you should be able to remember the schedule.

      If you prefer, I still suggest you make the complaint, or just mention your case and refer to all other drivers to be more responsible in the future.

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