SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – In the South Bay, the Valley Transportation Authority aims to have its light rail service back up and running by the end of the month.
Its light rail service has been shut down since the mass shooting at the railyard in May, where gunman Sam Cassidy shot and killed 9 of his coworkers before turning the gun on himself.
“It’s still a very tough process. It’s something no one could have ever imagined happening to us and there are 2100 employees here. VTA is working with our union partners to do whatever we can to provide the services and support services that our employees need.”
It’s been almost two months since the mass shooting May 26.
Light rail service has not been running but VTA is working on a 5-point plan to restore the service by the end of this month.
“The first phase is to make sure all of our employees feel safe and confident and secure to go back to work and we are communicating them about what the plans are going to be. That has already started… second phase which we’re about to enter is to identify where we can operate from whether we are going to be going back to Guadalupe. We’ll probably use some temporary locations to do lightrail operation however obviously the trains are stored at the Guadalupe yard so they will continue to be stored there and run from there.”
As VTA spokesperson, Stacy Hendler Ross explains phases three through five involve soft launches of the light rail service, where they will continue to bring employees back to work.
Hendler Ross says VTA will also doing training and drills with employees back to work.
Hendler Ross says VTA will also do training and drills with employees before bringing passengers back on board the light rail – a service that 20,000 people use daily pre-pandemic.
Since then, ridership dropped to about 7,000 passengers per day and was just beginning to expand again before the May tragedy.
“We understand that they are very eager to have this service back up. We are very eager to have this service back up because we understand that we have a responsibility to the community. We hope that they will be as patient as possible. we know they’ve been patient the last month and a half or so. If you can just hang in there with us we’re trying our best to have that service back.”
Hendler Ross says VTA will hold a memorial service for its employees and families of their fallen coworkers within the next week or so.