VTA says supply-chain limits means fewer train cars in service

Supply chain issues are wreaking havoc once again, this time on Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

They say they simply can't get the parts they need for their light rail trains. And that means fewer train cars in service, and longer waits for fans leaving Sunday's 49ers game.

VTA says they'll only have half the number of train cars they need.

"Normally we can get the passengers out of there within 45 minutes. It's going to be possibly twice as long this time," says Stacey Hendler Ross, with Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

The trouble: the same supply chain issues that are impacting grocery store shelves, are also impacting warehouse shelves for VTA.

They simply can't get the parts they need for routine maintenance.

And over the last two months, more and more cars have had to be taken out of service.

"We had 80 train cars operating for example. Now we have 30. Those 50 cars have come due for brake pads or windshield wiper motors or things like that that have to be changed," says Hendler Ross.

Those trains will sit unused, until more parts arrive.

Meanwhile, VTA is still short on maintenance workers following a mass shooting in May.

And in the aftermath of that shooting, a parts shipment was actually returned to the manufacturer, when they realized the Guadalupe Yard was temporarily closed.

"It seems to be a perfect storm of awful things happening right now with this," says Hendler Ross.

The train car shortage will affect regular VTA service too, but the impact likely won't be as significant as with Sunday's 49ers game.

"My message would be to still come to a game, VTA's still going to be running. I think if there's going to be a delay it's going to be post game only because everybody leaves at the same time," says Jim Mercurio, GM of Levi's Stadium.

And so VTA is hoping fans will be understanding, and that they'll be patient.

"So people will come out of the Niners game, hopefully they'll be in a great mood because the Niners will have won the game, and that will soften the blow a little bit of having to wait a little longer for a train," says Hendler Ross.

VTA expects to transport about 8,000 fans to and from Sunday's 49ers game against the Cardinals.