Transportation in Santa Clara has seen a lot of change over the years. A little over 40 years ago, it consisted of nothing but three bus lines owned by three private companies. Today, transportation is run by one of the California's busiest transportation authorities, known today as the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).
Pre VTA Days
Noting the need for a more organized approach to Santa Clara's population explosion of the 60s, the California State Legislature passed the Santa Clara County Transit District (SCCTD) Act in 1969. There were some funding problems in the bill that would initially impede progress. However, after a few years of ironing out details, the SCCTD officially assumed the operations of the three private companies in 1973.
Over the years, the SCCTD often struggled with bus problems. Funding was difficult to obtain for new buses; taxpayers were initially reluctant to vote to pay for better buses. This meant the district was stuck with the aging ones that it had inherited from the three private lines. Eventually, money would be found for a new fleet of propane powered buses. Unfortunately, six of them went up in flames, causing them to be called rolling propane bombs.
In 1995, VTA was formed. Since then, there have been massive public works projects, spending and upgrades that have vastly improved the efficiency and capacity of transportation within the Valley.
Today, the VTA controls three light rail lines and numerous buses which cover over 83 regular bus routes. There is also a para transit system under its jurisdiction as well as a seasonal trolley. In addition, the VTA has been working for over a decade now to get the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to Santa Clara.
ACE Commuter Service
5099 Stars & Stripes
Santa Clara, CA 95054
The Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) train now operates 4 morning and evening trains, Monday - Friday except holidays. The ACE train begins in the city of Stockton and ends in San Jose with stops in between. The Santa Clara stop is just a few blocks from the Santa Clara Convention Center and Great America theme park, at 5099 Stars & Stripes, Santa Clara, CA 95054. For more information, call (800) 411-RAIL.
5099 Stars & Stripes Drive
Under Tasman Drive Overpass
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Amtrak's station in Santa Clara is located just a few blocks away from the Santa Clara Convention Center and Great America theme park, beneath Tasman Avenue. The address is Stars & Stripes Drive at Tasman Overpass. The Santa Clara stop is on the Capitol Corridor route with service to/from Sacramento. There are seven trains daily. For more information, call (877) 974-3322. www.amtrakcapitols.com
Monday - Friday Train Schedule to/from Santa Clara:
Trains arrive in Santa Clara from Sacramento and points in between four times daily at 8:18 a.m., 9:08 a.m., 3:33 p.m., and 8:33 p.m.
Trains depart Santa Clara for Sacramento and points in between at 6:50 a.m.; 9:52 a.m.;12:52 p.m., and 5:52 p.m.
Weekend - Saturday - Sunday Train Schedule to/from Santa Clara:
Trains arrive in Santa Clara from Sacramento and points in between at 10:33 a.m., 1:33 p.m., 3:33 p.m., 5:33 p.m., and 8:33 p.m.
Trains depart Santa Clara for Sacramento and points in between at 7:57 a.m., 9:57 a.m., 12:57 p.m., 2:57 p.m., and 5:57 p.m.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
1001 Railroad Ave.
Santa Clara 95050
Caltrain is a commuter train along the peninsula from San Francisco to San Jose. It has stops at every city along the way. Caltrain is currently operating seven days a week. (800) 660-4287.
You can take Caltrain from San Francisco to Santa Clara. From San Francisco, take Caltrain south to the Santa Clara station. The Santa Clara station is located directly across from Santa Clara University.
If you are going to the Santa Clara Convention Center or Great America theme park, you will have to transfer at Caltrain's Mountain View station. At Caltrain's Mountain View station, take the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Light Rail to Santa Clara's Great America station.
Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
Bus service and light rail serves Santa Clara and the rest of Silicon Valley. For information and fares, call (408) 321-2300.
Light rail is a medium-capacity electric powered transit system that runs on a track in the middle of existing streets in the cities of Santa Clara and San Jose. It stops in front of the Santa Clara Convention Center and Great America theme park at the GREAT AMERICA STATION. Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus #59 stops directly in front of the Santa Clara Convention Center and across from Great America theme park.
Light rail service is available from Mineta San Jose International Airport to the Santa Clara Convention Center. Take the Airport Flyer Bus #10 (Free Shuttle) marked "Metro Station" to 1st & Metro stop. Board Light Rail marked "Mt. View" North. It will turn left on Tasman Drive. Get off at Great America. Walk to Convention Center.