Two dozen new bus operators will help Santa Clara VTA's post-pandemic service recovery

July 1, 2021
The 21 newly-minted bus operators will begin driving their routes on July 5.

Starting Monday morning, a whole new class of bus operators will roam the streets of Santa Clara County taking passengers to work, doctor appointments or wherever they need to go. Twenty-two brand new Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus operators graduated an intensive nine-week program Wednesday morning, June 30, ready to start work with enthusiasm.

“Every single person I have spoken to since I have started at VTA says they love their job,” said Kenneth Robles, a former mechanic and VTA vendor who graduated with the third class of operators of 2021. “It means a lot to me to work at a place where people are happy doing what they do. I can’t wait to get started."

Board Chair Glenn Hendricks and Acting VTA General Manager and CEO Evelynn Tran congratulated the group of 21 men and one woman on their achievement.

“You are important! You are important to us here at VTA and you are important to our community,” said Tran. “You’ll come to know regular passengers who are happy to see you arrive at their stop on their way to work or school.” The new operators took those words to heart.

Jose Luis Chiprez worked as a carpenter before entering VTA’s operator training program at the encouragement of a friend. He and his fellow rookies will help VTA make up for overburdened service where passengers were routinely passed up because of full buses.

“When we were out driving around town on our practice runs, it made me feel good when people told me they were glad to see my bus stop for them. They were happy to be on board,” said Chiprez, “And I’m happy to have them onboard.”