News

VTA board votes to close Evelyn light rail station

The Valley Transportation Association will be closing Mountain View's Evelyn light rail station early next year, its board decided Aug. 7.

Several riders told the Voice that they find the station convenient, but the VTA reports that the station along Evelyn Avenue near Pioneer Way is the second least-used in the entire light rail system.

It will be demolished to make way for a second track across Central Expressway and into downtown Mountain View, eliminating a bottleneck for the 902 line, allowing better service as ridership increases, according to VTA officials.

The "Mountain View Double Track" project is estimated to cost $63 million, and work may begin this summer to add track between the downtown station and Highway 85. The Evelyn station closure is likely to happen early next year, when a second phase of construction begins, said VTA spokesperson Colleen Valles. The Evelyn park-and-ride lot will remain open.

Evelyn station users will be encouraged to use the Whisman station or the downtown Mountain View station instead.

Comments

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Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Aug 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

Does anyone happen to know what the least used station in the VTA light rail system is? Maybe that one should be closed too, if that would help speed up VTA service. Which is not fast.


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Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm

When I use the light rail system, I usually get on at the Whisman station. But it would be nice to know what the least used station is.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Caelestor
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Bayshore/NASA. Statistics can be found here: Web Link

No station between Mtn View and Fair Oaks breaks 300.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Good! Now close the rest of the stations and get rid of this joke of a light rail system entirely. It is a waste of taxpayer money.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2014 at 5:20 pm

It is my recollection from the meetings that were held when Light Rail was being designed that the reasons why the Evelyn Station was created was to serve riders who were dropped off ("kiss and ride") or who drove and parked at that station to access the light rail system.

Evelyn Station is very convenient to Hwy 85 and 237, but the anticipated demand from riders driving or being dropped off never occurred.


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Posted by What!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 12, 2014 at 5:44 pm

I have never used light rail, but if I did I would use the Evelyn station. 😥


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Posted by Money No Object
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 13, 2014 at 9:31 am

Money is no object to the VTA - especially if it can get federal funds for frivolous projects. How about parking in Mountain View to ride the lightrail to Levi's stadium? Ingenious!


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Posted by Another reader
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

"How about parking in Mountain View to ride the lightrail to Levi's stadium?"

And even THAT didn't come off well, despite ample planning time. Complaints about inadequacy and infrequency of VTA trains featured prominently in the reporting of the opening game.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2014 at 10:47 am

@another reader and money no object - taking the VTA to Levi's was actually supposed to be mostly Caltrain to Mountain View then VTA to Levi's. From reading the article, getting to Levi's by VTA was fine, getting home was terrible. One woman walked and beat the people riding VTA back to the car.

Give them a few games and hopefully the VTA will get it right. Or at least better.


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Posted by Jarrett M
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Aug 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

@Another Reader et al. VTA should be able to handle the crowds better today since crews just completed a project to improve train frequency after the games. It's a essentially a storage track that allows train cars to queue up one after another so they can maximize the number of trains passing through the area during a given period of time. More trains = more capacity and less waiting. We'll know in a few hours how it works!

Once the double track project is complete in MV between the Caltrain Station and Whisman reliability and frequency should also improve.

Jarrett


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Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Aug 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm

It would make sense to have something similar to the Caltrain Bullet Trains on VTA lightrail. From those I know who use it (often SJSU students) it is painfully slow but a cheaper option. Surely to encourage ridership it would make sense to do something about encouraging more use of the system. Rather than closing a station near an area of high density homes being built, it would be better to improve the system, possibly with a bullet train system, to enable riders get to where they need to go quicker.


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Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 18, 2014 at 9:44 am

@PA Resident - "Rather than closing a station near an area of high density homes being built, it would be better to improve the system, possibly with a bullet train system, to enable riders get to where they need to go quicker."

Your statement is internally contradictory. The removal of Evelyn station is necessary to improve service and implement the possible express service that you're calling for - it's pretty much impossible to do express service along the Mountain View line with the current single-track section near Evelyn - trains can't just hop over each other.

And what "high-density homes being built" are you referring to that are relevant to Evelyn station? Yes, some new homes have recently been built near Evelyn and Calderon, but it's closer (and more comfortable) to walk to the main train station than to Evelyn from there. And the "Mondrian" development on Evelyn east of 237 is more than half a mile from Evelyn Station, and is not large enough to generate much ridership. Let's say Mondrian is 150 homes... even if you assume 2 commuters per home and 20% of them take light rail (very unlikely) you're only talking about 60 extra riders which would still put Evelyn around the bottom of light rail stations.

Better to make the small sacrifice of losing Evelyn station for the much bigger gain of more reliable service, and possibly more frequent, express service for a lot more riders.


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