Category: News

Some VTA Buses Couldn’t Take the Heat

People waiting for VTA's 60 bus at Santa Clara Train Station.
People waiting for VTA’s 60 bus at Santa Clara Train Station.

September 6 featured record high temperatures in Santa Clara County. One result of this, we learned, was that the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) had to take 40 buses out of service that day. This was covered in the Mercury News (via East Bay Times) and CBS Bay Area.

Below highlights what was learned directly from VTA on what else happened that hot dayIt’s deeper than what has been reported in the press on this matter. Read and learn for more details.

Silicon Oven

Graphic showing it's 111 degrees in San Jose. Has sun drawing on upper right.
Lower right says 111 deg. / 72 deg. feels like 111 Deg.
Tue, 2:26pm
Photo courtesy Juan Estrada on Facebook.

This week, temperatures in San Jose and the rest of the Bay Area are at record highs.


The extreme heat is expected to continue for several more days.

To address this, we’ve learned that the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is providing FREE rides to Cooling Centers throughout Santa Clara County. Here’s an updated list, as of today.

If you use VTA ACCESS Paratransit, call (408)321-2380 to book a trip to a Cooling Center. Due to demand, expect at least a three-hour wait before you can be picked up.

Rail agencies like BART, Caltrain, and Capitol Corridor ran with heat-related speed restrictions so far this week. This has resulted in delays up to 20 minutes on each of these systems. Expect this to be the case the rest of this week.

Locally, VTA has had issues system-wide due to heat causing breakdowns so far this week.

If at all possible, limit when you go outside for the next few days. Let’s not hear about you having to go to the hospital due to dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke – or worse.

Still need to travel outside this hot week? Follow @svtransitupdts on Twitter to keep up with the latest local (Santa Clara County) public transit updates. Here’s steps showing YOU can help keep the svtransitupdts Twitter feed updated.

In the mean time, please stay safe, cool, and hydrated this week.

Eugene Bradley
Founder & CEO, Silicon Valley Transit Users.

Labor Day Weekend 2022 Transit Guide

Labor Day! graphic w/ 2 intertwining American flags, fireworks above them, and "LABOR DAY!" written in the style of the American flag.
Happy Labor Day!

On behalf of the Silicon Valley Transit Users, I want to wish you a Happy (and safe) Labor Day Weekend.

Temperatures in Santa Clara County are expected to reach or exceed 100 degrees this weekend. To address this, we’ve learned that the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will provide FREE transit service to cooling centers throughout Santa Clara County. Some independently-operated cooling centers not affiliated with government will also be open on Labor Day; here’s a list of these cooling centers.

For VTA ACCESS Paratransit riders, please call (408)321-2380 to book a trip to a cooling center. Due to expected demand, please allow at least three (3) hours for pickup.

If you are going out on this hot, long weekend, we have transit guides to some sporting events in Palo Alto and San Jose.

Note that start times to these games may change due to the extreme heat in the area this weekend. Look and listen for news reports on whether or not your game has been delayed or even cancelled due to the heat this weekend.

Read on for more details.

How “Work With…” Won Better

Aboard VTA's 568 Rapid bus stuck in Monterey Hwy. traffic.
Aboard VTA’s 568 Rapid bus stuck in Monterey Hwy. traffic in San Jose.

On August 9, three (3) major votes affecting housing and public transportation in San Jose were approved by City Council. Our group helped encourage citizens like YOU to urge City Council to approve these votes.

Read on for what those votes were, and how our group took part in encouraging and making them happen.

An Audit Instead Of Reform

people boarding VTA's 60 bus in santa clara
People boarding VTA’s 60 bus in Santa Clara.

Efforts to provide much-needed governance reform at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) via the California State Legislature have been tabled. We learned via a San Jose Spotlight story on Tuesday that State Assembly Member Marc Berman and VTA Board Chair (and San Jose Vice Mayor) Charles “Chappie” Jones worked out a deal that would see VTA undergo a state audit of its governance structure.

As a supporter of AB 2181 – the VTA Governance Reform proposal – this news came as no surprise to me. Especially how some cities in Santa Clara County expressed fear of potential changes in VTA governance.

Ultimately, I feel a state-level audit of VTA’s governance is long overdue. If VTA, its staff, and current Board Of Directors have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear. Here’s more on why our group continues to support governance reform at VTA – and why you should, too. Let’s wait and see the results of that state audit, and provide input to help make that state audit happen, as needed.

Eugene Bradley
Founder & CEO, Silicon Valley Transit Users