Mike Hursh, VTA deputy director of Maintenance and Security, rode in the California Highway Patrol lead “route” car along with a Secret Service agent. The car drove about 10 minutes ahead of the presidential motorcade to coordinate light rail service suspension in advance of the motorcade and to clear potential hazards, including disabled vehicles whose drivers were instructed by the CHP to leave the highway.
By noon on Monday, Air Force One had departed San Jose airspace and the team at VTA breathed a collective sigh of relief. VTA Chief of Operations Dan Smith soon after received a letter from the San Francisco Secret Service expressing gratitude for an outstanding effort. “... Every member of the VTA team who participated contributed to a flawless visit through some very dense portions of downtown San Jose and beyond.” In turn, Smith circulated a memo of thanks to staff for accommodating the needs of the president while minimizing the impact on service and passengers.
“The event was a public display of the teamwork that VTA employees practice every day in the delivery of world-class public transit service. I’m proud of our operators, mechanics, supervisors, support staff and managers every day, but on that particular day I was especially proud to say I work for VTA,” said Hursh at the end of the project.
Added Capps: “Being personally involved in President Obama’s visit to Silicon Valley was definitely one of the highlights of my career at VTA, and something I will always remember. I can’t say enough about the multi-jurisdictional coordination that took place to support the President’s visit, and I am particularly proud of the high level of professionalism demonstrated by VTA staff who worked diligently to accommodate the additional security requirements while still delivering the high quality service our riders have come to expect.”