Ohlone/Chynoweth–Almaden (VTA)

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Type Light rail
System Santa Clara VTA Light Rail
Locale Santa Clara County, California
Cities: San Jose
Termini Ohlone/Chynoweth Station
Almaden Station
Stations 3
Opened 1991
Operator(s) Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Rolling stock 99 Kinki Sharyo light rail vehicles
(low floor)
Line length 2.2 mi (3.54 km)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification Overhead lines, 750 V DC
Highest elevation at grade
Route map

Ohlone/Chynoweth–Almaden is a light rail route operated by Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). It is located in southern San Jose, California and only has three stops. It is unknown whether VTA has any plans for further extension of this line; service into the Almaden Valley is provided by VTA bus route 13, which also entirely duplicates the light rail service. Ohlone/Chynoweth–Almaden is also commonly referred as the Almaden Shuttle.

On VTA maps, this line is colored orange, but VTA personnel does not call it the Orange Line, much less refer to it as the Line 900 on official documents. The system's other two lines are the Alum Rock–Santa Teresa line and the Mountain View–Winchester line. Twice per day, a train from the Alum Rock–Santa Teresa line will throughrun from the VTA yards south of Gish station to serve the Almaden Shuttle. The train arrives from the yards early in the morning and leaves for the yards again after the last Almaden Shuttle run of the evening.

Ridership on the Almaden Shuttle is notoriously poor. The Almaden Shuttle was proposed for cancellation in 2003 and 2004 as part of massive agency-wide service cuts as a result of the dot-com bust, especially considering that for many Almaden Valley residents who choose transit, VTA's number 13 bus duplicates the Almaden Shuttle's service (providing service to downtown San Jose via the Alum Rock–Santa Teresa line with only one transfer.[1][2] If the Almaden Shuttle was canceled, it would have been the first federally funded light rail line to ever cease service, a decision that would have repercussions throughout the country.[3] Ultimately, a decision was made to keep the shuttle and reduce service on parallel bus routes instead.

Construction history[edit]

The entire Ohlone/Chynoweth–Almaden line was constructed at the same time as the original Guadelupé line; both lines opened for revenue service in 1991.

Once the line begins to parallel Winfield Boulevard, the Almaden line runs on the right of way of an abandoned branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad. This branch (known as the Lick Branch) once served the quicksilver mining area of New Almaden, located south of San Jose. In later years, it ended at the current site of the Almaden Light Rail Station and served a lumber yard. The freight railroad was abandoned in 1981.

VTA closed all three stations on this line for renovation in April 2008 to provide level boarding at all doors.[4]

Station stops[edit]

Station Other lines Transfer to
Ohlone/Chynoweth      VTA: Alum Rock–Santa Teresa LRT, 13
Oakridge[note 1] VTA: 13
Almaden VTA: 13, 64
  1. ^ Oakridge Mall is adjacent to this station.

Station facilities[edit]

All stations along this line have bike stations, and the Ohlone/Chynoweth and Almaden stations also have park-and-ride lots.


  1. ^ agendas minutes/2003/08
  2. ^ news 2004
  3. ^ Narprail
  4. ^ VTA brochures publications Archived February 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google

KML is from Wikidata