The VTA rules

When we first moved to SJ, all my colleges recommended I find a place along the caltrain. We decided against all that advice to find a place along the light rail. This was based on a number of reasons, one of which was the fact that the light rail runs all day every day at least once every half hour. Unfortunately, they only run every half hour in the mid morning, when I'm usually going to work.

This wasn't a problem when we arrived - Often there was only 1 or 5 other people sharing my ride from Campbell. But as gas prices have risen, ridership has increased dramatically. A month ago and every train I would catch would be standing room by the time it got to the city.

So I did what any rational human being would do. I wrote an email to the vta on their customer service email address suggesting that they increase cars, or preferably, increase frequency (as we all know, increased frequency is more valuable than longer trains).

Of course, like any rational human being, I knew this would probably be ignored. So imagine my surprise and delight when a few days later this arrived in the post:

Dear Mr. Hurst,

Thank you for taking the time to contact Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority with regards to the shortage of bike space on the Winchester Light Rail.

At present there are no plans to increase the frequency of service on the Winchester Light Rail. We are having a quarterly schedule revision commencing July 14th, but it is too late to make any modifications to the present schedule. I have submitted your suggestions (ref #71491) to our Scheduling Department for review. Please be assured VTA is very aware of the overcrowding on buses and light rail and is doing everything possible to correct this whenever possible.

Still, it was only an email, which delightful as it was, did not equal action.

Today my train pulled into the station. And it was a double train! I skipped around the platform twice before taking my favourite seat with the extra leg room. Sure, the train filled up, but everyone had a seat.

Thank you VTA.

Oh, and CalTrain? They are leaving passengers behind, and running into all sorts of problems with scheduling.