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Home>Projects and Programs>Transit>Light Rail Transit Efficiency Project - Goals and Objectives

Light Rail Transit Efficiency Project - Goals and Objectives

Light Rail Transit Efficiency Project - Goals and Objectives


VTA is taking steps to speed up light rail operations, be more responsive to travelers, and prepare for growth in Santa Clara County. VTA’s Light Rail Transit Efficiency Project combines physical improvements, operational efficiencies, traffic management, street design, and new services to fulfill the potential of the public investment in Light Rail Transit (LRT).

Much of Santa Clara County has been developed according to a suburban model: many people live in single-family detached residences with garages; employers occupy office parks in “campus”-type settings, oriented away from the street with abundant surface parking. Santa Clara County’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) system has over the years grown as a series of extensions. Light Rail Transit offers a viable travel alternative in a more urban environment, where parking is more scarce and costly, or where the road network has become congested and slow.

The Light Rail Transit Efficiency Project will define and accomplish a suite of capital improvements to improve the operation and responsiveness of the existing system, while preparing for expected increases in ridership at known future dates. VTA has established the following goals and objectives to guide the development and implementation of these operational and capital improvements:

1. Speed up the system

  • Define capital investments and service designs that yield the greatest benefits in system volume, capacity, and efficiency
  • Prioritize current system efficiency and core capacity improvements

2. Increase ridership

  • Prioritize service improvements that enhance attractiveness of the service
  • Make capital investments and service design decisions that result in the highest benefits for riders

3. Respond to the needs of both existing and new riders

  • Make capital investments and service design decisions that serve major travel markets
  • Serve as major trunk line for entire VTA transit system, fully integrated with the entire transit network
  • Enhance intermodal connections
  • Minimize the frequency and magnitude of service changes

4. Use resources efficiently

  • Reduce constraints to operations caused by physical infrastructure limitations
  • Optimize the uses of existing infrastructure and systems before making costly improvements
  • Make capital investments that increase route options and flexibility
  • Make capital investments and service design decisions that result in the highest benefits for financial stability

Phased Improvements

The complete program of capital improvements included in the Light Rail Transit Efficiency Project will be accomplished in two phases and coordinated with the 2017 and 2014 increases in demand.

By 2017 VTA plans to complete the entire suite of capital and service improvements to respond to forecast demand generated by the BART extension and continuing growth in service area. These improvements include the work necessary to operate express services on the Tasman and Guadalupe Corridors and to reduce travel times on lines that serve Downtown San Jose.

For 2014, select capital improvements associated with the 2017 program will be fast-tracked to facilitate VTA’s response to the opportunity of new transit ridership generated by the 49ers stadium in Santa Clara.


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