Green Line (VTA)

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Green Line
TypeLight rail
SystemSanta Clara VTA Light Rail
LocaleSanta Clara County, California
Cities: Santa Clara, San Jose, and Campbell
TerminiOld Ironsides station
Winchester station
Operator(s)Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Rolling stockKinki Sharyo light rail vehicles (low floor)
Line length22.3 mi (35.89 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
ElectrificationOverhead lines, 750 V DC
Highest elevationat grade, elevated, underground
Route map

Orange Line
to Mountain View
Old Ironsides
Great America
Lick Mill
Amtrak Altamont Corridor Express
Santa Clara
San Jose
Blue Line
to Baypointe
River Oaks
San Jose International Airport (via Bus interchange)
Guadalupe Division
Civic Center
St. James
Santa Clara
Paseo de San Antonio
Convention Center
San Fernando
San Jose Diridon
AmtrakCaltrainAltamont Corridor ExpressParking
San Carlos
San Jose
Downtown Campbell
Los Gatos

The Green Line is a light rail in Santa Clara County, California, and part of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail system. It serves 26 stations in the cities of Santa Clara, San Jose, and Campbell, traveling between Old Ironsides and Winchester stations. The line connects Levi's Stadium, San Jose International Airport (via a bus connection), Downtown San Jose, San Jose State University, SAP Arena, and Diridon station. It runs for 20 hours per day on weekdays, with headways of 15 minutes for most of the day. On weekends, train run at 20 minute headways for most of the day. After around 8pm on weekdays and weekends trains run at 30 minute headways.

Route description[edit]

The Green Line starts from the Old Ironsides station (Santa Clara, California), which it shares with the VTA Orange Line. Traveling eastwards on Tasman Drive, the Green Line passes Levi's Stadium and the future Related Santa Clara mega-development. At First Street, it turns south and shares tracks of the Alum Rock–Santa Teresa line to downtown San Jose. After the Convention Center stop, it leaves the shared portion of the tracks and heads southwest to the Winchester station in southern Campbell, with a stop at Caltrain and Amtrak's Diridon Station. The whole route takes approximately one hour.

Owl service[edit]

From February 2000 to April 14, 2003, VTA operated all night train service with light rail vehicles (commonly known as "owl service") on a 70-minute frequency between Mountain View and Baypointe. At the time, VTA light rail was the only light rail service in the United States to operate 24 hours a day. The owl service was curtailed in 2003 as a result of mounting deficits.

Construction history[edit]

The route that the Mountain View–Winchester line now runs on is constructed in three different expansion projects: the original Guadalupe line, the Tasman West extension, and the Vasona extension.

Guadalupe line[edit]

The trackway between Woz Way in Downtown San Jose and Old Ironsides station is part of the Guadalupe line, the first light rail line constructed in Santa Clara county. The Guadalupe line opened for revenue service on December 10, 1987 originally running from Old Ironsides station to Civic Center station in San Jose. Champion station was not part of the original line; it was added as intermediate stop as part of the Tasman West project.[1][2]

Service on this line was gradually expanded south from Civic Center station as follows:

  • Service through the downtown mall and onward to the Convention Center station began on July 17, 1988.[3]
  • Service between Convention Center and Tamien stations began on August 17, 1990.[4]
  • Service between Tamien and Santa Teresa stations began on April 25, 1991.[5]

Tasman West extension[edit]

The Tasman West extension project added the following features to the line as follows:

  • Champion station added as an infill stop along the existing Guadalupe line trackway (Station opened March 24, 1997).[6]
  • 7.6 miles (12.2 km) of trackway and 12 new light rail stations added between the existing Old Ironsides station and the new Downtown Mountain View station. (Opened December 17, 1999.)
  • Baypointe station added just east of the intersection of 1st and Tasman. (Opened December 17, 1999.)
Baypointe station is no longer served by this line due to a line reconfiguration implemented in August 2005.
  • After the completion of Tasman West extension and before the completion of Tasman East/Capitol and Vasona extensions, VTA split the light rail system into two main lines: one line running between Baypointe and Downtown Mountain View, the other between Baypointe and Santa Teresa. Passengers transferred between the two lines at the new Baypointe station.[7] Tasman is now the transfer station.

Tasman West extension was constructed with funds from 1996 Measure B sales tax measure.

Vasona extension[edit]

Mountain View–Winchester contains the entire Vasona extension from San Fernando station to the southern line terminal, Winchester station, 5.3 miles (8.5 km).[8] Vasona extension opened for revenue service on October 1, 2005. It was originally scheduled to open two months earlier on August 1 but was delayed due to a dispute between Federal Railroad Administration and VTA. At issue was whether a waiver was needed from FRA, since the Union Pacific branchline that parallels most of Vasona extension is still actively used on a tri-weekly basis to serve a cement plant in the Cupertino Foothills and a lumber yard in Campbell. A waiver was finally obtained on the condition that all light rail vehicles sound their horns at crossings until "Quiet Zone" improvements are implemented (freight trains are still required to sound their horns). The Vasona extension was also constructed with funds from 1996 Measure B sales tax measure.

Light Rail Efficiency Project[edit]

In 2014, a new storage track and crossover was constructed between Old Ironsides and Reamwood as part of improvements to support events at Levi's Stadium and the future Silicon Valley BART extension.[9]

To provide better headways and service reliability, a second track was constructed between Whisman and Downtown Mountain View. Work began in summer 2014 and was completed in late 2015. Evelyn Station was permanently closed in mid-March 2015 as part of track construction.[10]

Possible future expansion[edit]

The original Vasona Corridor project called for a 6.8-mile (10.9 km)-long extension from downtown San Jose (at the intersection of West San Carlos Street and Woz Way, between the Convention Center and Children's Discovery Museum stations) to Los Gatos.[11] As completed, Phase 1 of the Vasona Corridor was completed to Winchester, and a Vasona Extension Phase 2, covering the last 1.6 miles (2.6 km) of the original project along with two stations (Hacienda and Vasona Junction), was designed but not constructed[12] because a funding source could not be identified. Phase 2 would extend the light rail line westwards from Winchester station to Vasona Junction in eastern Los Gatos. It is expected that Mountain View–Winchester would extend to terminate at Vasona Junction if Phase 2 is built.

2019 reconfiguration[edit]

Upon the opening of the Silicon Valley BART extension to Berryessa / North San Jose, Line 902 will be split into the Green Line (Old Ironsides -Winchester) and the Orange Line (Mountain View - Alum Rock). As of early 2019, station signage has begun to reflect the future configuration, displaying line colors rather than terminus icons.[13]

Station stops[edit]

A VTA light rail train at Mountain View station

Station Other lines Transfer to
Old Ironsides VTA: Orange Line, 55, 57, 59, 121
Great America
Lick Mill Altamont Corridor Express: Great America
Amtrak: Santa Clara – Great America
Champion VTA: Orange Line
Tasman VTA: Blue Line
River Oaks
Orchard VTA: 20
Metro/Airport VTA: 60
Civic Center VTA: 61, 181
Saint James VTA: 72, 73, 181
Santa Clara Highway 17 Express
Monterey-Salinas Transit: 55, 79
VTA: 22, 23, 64A, 64B, 66, 68, 72, 73, 168, 181, 500, 522, 523
Paseo de San Antonio VTA: 23, 66, 68, 168, 523
Convention Center VTA: Blue Line, 23, 168, 523
San Fernando VTA: 22, 64A, 64B, 68
San Jose Diridon Altamont Corridor Express: San Jose
Amtrak: San Jose
Caltrain: San Jose Diridon
Highway 17 Express
Monterey-Salinas Transit: 55, 79
VTA: DASH, 22, 64A, 64B, 68, 168, 181, 500, 522
Fruitdale VTA: 25, 64A, 103
Bascom VTA: 61
Hamilton VTA: 56
Downtown Campbell VTA: 26
Winchester VTA: 27, 37, 60, 101

Station facilities[edit]

Many stations along this line have park-and-ride lots (labeled as PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg), as well as bike stations (labeled as Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg), including:

  • Lick Mill (at Great America Station: Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg)
  • River Oaks Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg — also the stop for VTA headquarters
  • San Fernando Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg
  • San Jose Diridon Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg
  • Bascom Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg
  • Winchester Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg


  1. ^ Robinson, Bert (December 11, 1987). "All Aboard - It's Off and Rolling". San Jose Mercury News. et al. Sec A:1.
  2. ^ Grant, Joanne (November 6, 1987). "Mishap Won't Delay Light Rail". San Jose Mercury News. Sec B:3.
  3. ^ Sweeney, Frank (July 13, 1988). "Downtown S.J. Trollys Start Friday". San Jose Mercury News. Sec B:1.
  4. ^ "Light Rail to Willow Glen Opening Friday". San Jose Mercury News. August 16, 1990. Sec B:3.
  5. ^ Guido, Michelle (April 25, 1991). "The Trolly Finally Makes its Way South in Debut Today". San Jose Mercury News. Sec A:1.
  6. ^ Barnacle, Betty (March 24, 1997). "Light Rail Opens New Stop; First Station on Tasman Line to Serve North S.J. High-Tech Firms". San Jose Mercury News. Sec B:1.
  7. ^ Diaz, Sam (December 18, 1999). "Ready for a Rail Good Time: Major Link for Transit Takes its First Step". San Jose Mercury News. Sec B:1.
  8. ^ "Vasona Light Rail Extension Project". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Light Rail Efficiency". Light Rail Efficiency. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  10. ^ "Mountain View Double Track". Mountain View Double Track. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  11. ^ Vasona Corridor: Final Environmental Impact Statement / Report (PDF) (Report). Federal Transit Administration and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. March 2000. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  12. ^ Vasona Corridor: Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report / Environmental Assessment (Report). Federal Transit Administration and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. January 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Downtown Mountain View station". Mapillary. February 27, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata