VTA hopes to resume light rail service by the end of July

VTA officials say they have a plan to resume light rail service by the end of this month, something which has been suspended since a mass shooting on May 26 at a light rail yard left nine employees dead.

If all goes well, light rail trains could be rolling along these tracks again by the end of July. 

VTA officials say they have a five-point plan, part of which has already been completed.

That's music to the ears of those who rely on this service.

"That’s good news," said VTA rider Jorge Estrada. "Because a lot of people use VTA trains."

MORE: What needs to happen before VTA light rail service returns

Since the end of May, some workers who rely on light rail are now relegated to taking the bus, or walking when necessary because of the mass shooting. 

This week, VTA officials laid out a five-phase plan for KTVU, and the first phase wrapped up last week when some of the 300 yard employees returned to collect personal items.

Phase two is identifying and repairing the damage done to two buildings within the yard and hiring new employees to fill roles vacant following the murders.

The third phase will see employees returning to work, and engineers inspecting equipment and lines.

The fourth phase is running trains to complete testing without passengers, and service would resume in full in the fifth phase.

"We lost over half of the way, power, and signal team," said VTA spokeswoman Brandi Childress. "High skill set. Hard to fill positions. Having that critical staff come back, not only to work, but to find other people who can do that work, is the people side. It’s what we gotta do to bring people who are ready to return to work."

In addition to resuming service, VTA managers will also look at adjusting the schedule of trains to better fit demand.