First Steps

Table of Contents


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, or at bus/light rail stops

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.

Contacting VTA Customer Service Directly

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.

VTA Customer Service is @vtaservice on Twitter.  While this is convenient by mobile phone, some issues cannot be resolved via social media.  Also note: social media is not monitored 24 hours/day.  Hence, it is strongly advised to use email or other written means to contact VTA about some issues.  This is detailed below.

VTA Customer Service can also be emailed at 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.


However you choose to write to VTA Customer Service, always include details of the incident in question IN FULL DETAIL. 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 & Vehicle 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.

Identifying VTA Light Rail Destinations & Vehicle Numbers

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

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 these uniforms is a badge number with three, four, or five digits, that identifies the driver. (You always see the driver’s badge number as you enter any VTA bus and pay your fare.) A sample photo of a VTA operator’s badge is below:

sample VTA badge
Sample VTA operator badge. Courtesy @McinnesVivian.

When contacting VTA Customer Service with your compliment or complaint, always refer to the driver’s or operator’s badge number.  This makes it easier for VTA staff to resolve your case, and increases your chances of getting a positive result from your case.

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:

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

phone (408)321-2301
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:

Office of the Chief Operating Officer
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

For issues with VTA bus stops, contact their Customer Service at (408)321-2300 during normal business hours. Follow voice prompts to speak with an operator directly. Upon connection, tell the operator about the bus stop location you are referring to, and the issues that you have.

Alternately, email Customer Service at with details of the VTA bus stop you are having issues with. In your email, make sure to ask for a written response.

VTA Vehicle and Stop 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

Office of the Chief of System Safety and Security
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
3331 N. First Street
San Jose, CA 95134-1906

Other VTA Policy

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

  16 comments for “First Steps

  1. Bus driver for 522 el Camino real/shower He saw me crossing the street ( made fun of me Humiliated by his comments because I had knee pads
    – I heard him he was making fun of me- told him I had 2 tumores and I fall/ he did not know shit/ exchanged insults ( he Humiliated people to feel good ?

  2. The bus driver of the 22 east ridge drove right past me at the Alameda and el camino. I know they saw me because they honked while stopped at the red light. Despite being clearly visible from the street light and facing towards him or her expectantly they decided to speed past me even as I got up and protested with my arms stretched above. I personally feel the driver was entitled and thought since I didnt stand up and walk to the curb I shouldn’t be picked up. It was 9 38pm and I had spent a long day working in a kitchen. K shouldn’t have to stand so some entitled driver picks me up. Do the job you’re paid to do. Because of this incident not only was my fare wasted but I had to order a Lyft because I would not be able to transfer to the last running 63 to go home. This driver cost me 15 dollars because of their entitlement and unprofessional behavior. Deserves to be written up and reprimanded but we all know that never happens to city employees.

  3. I would like to commend vta for a driver of bus 0131 bus 70 great mall north capitol route. You have this happy mexican driver who’s always smiling and greets his passengers. This guy has great customer service. Though he’s a mexican he can also speak tagalog. It’s fun to ride vta bus ?

  4. Are the community bus schedules posted approximate?

    I wanted to catch the 42 line, 6:34 a.m. bus at Menard and Monterrey this morning, and was literally 150 feet or so from the stop at 6:30 a.m. when the bus went by. It made a U turn at Menard and just went by. They couldn’t see me as it was a dark sidewalk.

    How early might I expect a bus to pass a stop?


  5. 9/19/2016. Bus 168 Express Gilroy Transit Station. 5:56 pm stop San Jose Convention Center. Never arrived. Waited 30 minutes. Had to take light rail to Santa Theresa end stop the 68 local bus. Added 1 hour to my travel time. Not acceptable.

  6. I was driving in the left hand lane between East Meadow and Charleston at apps 4.30 today October 15 2015 when the bus which was driving beside me in the right lane just changed lanes. No 30 sec warning. I fortunately was able to brake and was not hit from behind. The bus was an express the hybrid 4210. I did nor get the license number as I did not have time. This was irresponsible driving

    Janine Hodgson

  7. Location of incident: 520 Meridian Ave, San Jose, CA 95126,
    Bus route: 63- Northbound, going towards San Jose State University
    Date of incident: 9/15/15
    Time of incident: 2:18PM
    bus # 2108
    Driver badge # and description: 2872, 60ish year old, white male

    My elderly mother and me were victims of blatant disregard and condescending angry negative demeanor by an angry VTA bus driver. We were literally pushed to the back of the bus by this negative entity.

    We were treated as livestock. Shocked at the blatant negativity we were recipients by this angry ogre.
    We were not harming anybody we were just trying to get home in peace. paying vta riders deserve infinitely better than this. This ignominy cannot go in vain, we demand a compensation for the ill treatment we experienced and to know this angry entity will be dismissed from vta altogether as he showed paying customers where his stance lays when it comes to doing his full job like he is supposed to. This entiry fails to do his job properly and gives a hateful scornful negative attitude, we as peaceful customers definitely did not deserve this infamy to be driving or working in any public position whatsoever!

    We were shocked and didn’t believe such awful event was happening.
    See for yourself in the camera how angry he got at me asking him to open up the ramp so we could get on, at the SIMPLE easy request, he manifests open signs of aggression and negativity, see for yourself in the camera!
    He then angrily demanded us to move ourselves and our cart to the back of the bus, he didn’t even ask us how far we were going, we were only going 4 stops. yes there was a handicap but he didibt need to get off before us this the excuse that we were going to block his way was false, very bad attitude. Besides my mother is elderly as she also has rights to the designated front seats!!!
    This event is disgraceful and unfair
    We were wrongly sent to the back of the bus as to clear the way for no one other than to satisfy his disgusting inner demons.

    What kind of attitude is that, we are paying for the service and we receive despicable negative attitude

    The slob didn’t want to do his job properly. He failed to provide a fair service, he fails and is in no same way fit to keep his job.

    See the incident for yourself

    Its beyond unreasonable for the public to be receptacles to his horrible attitude and condescending demeanor.

    We demand just compensation and for him to be fired with no pay or compensation as his attitude is worth nothing and absolutely not needed for

  8. Why are there so few north bound Light rail trips from San Jose to Mountainvew during the weekday evening ?

    Today I missed an MV train at 5:55pm and had to wait until 7:05 pm. And yet there seem to be frequent and empty trains to alum Rock and civic center.

  9. I am currently on the bus 70 heading to great mall and this driver has no respect for the elderly. He did not lower the bus when the elderly woman asked to lower it, instead he looked away and it took her two tries to get him to lower it. Not only that she asked the driver to put the seat down in the disabled seating area but he didn’t and just sat there and drove off. Didn’t even bother waiting for the elderly to sit down. I had to personally get up and lower the seat for her. The code I am seeing next to the stop requested sign is 0136

  10. (also sent to VTA via e-mail and twitter, note that I only found this site after the incident)

    This morning, at 0845, at Mountain View Caltrain, Bus 52 (physical bus 0193) failed to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. There were several people attempting to cross to the shuttles, and the driver was aware of those who were crossing, yelled at them, and did not stop his bus despite people in a crosswalk in front of the bus.

    The Marquee said the bus was going to Foothill. I would hope that the time, bus route, and bus number are sufficient to uniquely identify the driver.

  11. 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.

      • Further information reaching Lucas A
        . Perez. I have included the office phone number.
        Lucas A. Perez
        Marketing and Customer Service Division
        Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
        3331 N. First Street
        San Jose, CA 95134-1906

        Voice: (408) 321-2301
        Fax (408)955-0893

  12. 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.

    • 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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