SAN JOSE (CBS SF) --- Officials with the Valley Transportation Authority in the South Bay on Tuesday said light rail operations could be partially restored in time to provide fans with rides to the 49ers-Raiders game at Levi's Stadium this Sunday.
"Not operating the full system, but we should have some service up and running for the 49er-Raider game. That's our goal," said Director of VTA Rail Operations Dale Austin Jenkins at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Light rail trains will be departing the Guadalupe yard later Tuesday as VTA begins the process of testing 42 miles of track and overhead lines, 61 stations, and refreshing and recertifying the training of 300 employees.
By the end of this week, operators could be running their routes without support staff, and passengers could be added as early as Sunday.
In particular, the agency would focus on reactivating the Orange Line, that runs between Levi's Stadium and the Mountain View Caltrain station, in order to serve fans traveling down from San Francisco and the peninsula.
"Every step has to be taken; it has to be certified. And the general manager will be the one who decides when we are ready and will be submitting that information. Service will be restored when we're ready," said Jenkins.
The light rail system was shut down on May 26 after a deadly mass shooting at the VTA rail yard in downtown San Jose. Nine employees were killed by a coworker who then took his own life.
Since then, one of the VTA workers who witnessed the mass shooting died by suicide. Also this month, a VTA trainee was arrested for allegedly threatening to "shoot the place up" if he wasn't hired.
Many of the employees there have been dealing with various mental health issues from the aftermath of the traumatic mass shooting. VTA also said they may be running a promotional campaign to try to get some of the riders who have found other transit options over the course of the summer to start using the system again.
"That's why we have taken the time for a very deliberate trauma informed approach, and helping our employees come back, taking care of people takes time. We are trying to build a foundation for these employees to be able to come back to work without having setbacks," said VTA General Manager Carolyn Gonot.
Additional details on the restoration of service are available on the VTA website.
Kiet Do contributed to this story.
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