VTA connects and enriches

Santa Clara VTA links with Allied Telesis, cosponsors a transportation summit and closes trail system gap

Let’s Get Moving
The second annual “Let’s Get Moving: Transportation Choices and Healthy Communities” Summit, held in Palo Alto on Feb. 22, was sponsored by more than 30 groups, from the Santa Clara VTA and local universities to chambers of commerce and health agencies.

Sessions at the summit, consisting of community members, elected officials and experts, all gathered to exchange ideas, give feedback and learn more about projects planned and under way.

The summit included a panel of speakers featuring VTA General Manager Nuria Fernandez, SamTrans/Caltrain General Manager Michael Scanlon, and BART Assistant General Manager, Planning and Development Robert Powers.

Allied Telesis links VTA
Allied Telesis, a global provider of secure IP/Ethernet switching solutions and an industry leader in the deployment of IP Triple Play networks, today announced that the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has deployed an Allied Telesis network to upgrade connectivity to VTA Ticket Vending Machines and Clipper® card readers, throughout its 42-mile light-rail transit system. With a reliable and scalable network backing up Clipper card readers, VTA’s 42 million annual riders can pay for transit fares and reload Clipper cards as necessary with a convenient tap-and-go system at VTA’s 62 light-rail stations.

“Our system was clunky at best before Allied Telesis stepped in,” says Richard Bertalan, spokesperson for VTA. “For operation maintenance, we were in a reactive mode instead of a proactive mode. The network was pulled together over many years using different vendors’ equipment and not always using the best of breed. This is out in the weather and my predecessors didn’t always understand the rigorous conditions that existed in a com-cabinet in the field. It was really difficult for us because any time something broke down, we had to do a super costly truck-roll and go out there even if it was something relatively simple to fix. There was no way we could have handled this contactless bus and train fare system on the old network with any reliability.”

Berryessa BART Station Area Regional Trail
Berryessa BART Station Area Regional Trail

With Allied Telesis’ help, VTA undertook a major overhaul of their network.

“VTA came to us looking at a mechanism to improve the reliability and manageability of network components out on their fare platforms,” says Joe Gallo, senior solutions architect, Global Strategy and Research, for Allied Telesis. “They didn’t really have any mechanism to proactively monitor equipment health or determine where the actual problem was when something broke. It was a big issue.”

“We looked at what they were doing and made a couple of proposals as to potential architectures that would alleviate that unmanaged component,” he adds. “At the same time it enables them to do a technology ‘refresh’ because their equipment was ten years old or older, and provides network environment to establish a platform so that they could introduce other future services as well.”

VTA’s design will complete an important link in the regional trail system in Santa Clara County.
VTA’s design will complete an important link in the regional trail system in Santa Clara County.

VTA closes gap in trail system
VTA has begun design and environmental work with the City of San Jose to provide alternative access to commuter bus and rail service at VTA’s Berryessa Station and to complete an important link in the regional trail system in Santa Clara County.

The Upper Penitencia Creek Trail Connector will only be 1/8 of a mile long when it’s done, but it’s an important 1/8 mile. This trail will provide an alternative route for cyclists and pedestrians and fill a critical gap between the existing Penitencia Creek Trail, the future multimodal station and other planned trails in the area.

Project completion is expected around the same time as BART service to Silicon Valley, in late 2017.