July-August_2021 - 13

A Note from the Editor
Abdolvahab
Alaghmandan
Logo by APTA/Headshots provided by Santa Clara VTA
Remembering the
Santa Clara VTA Nine
As the industry honors those killed, it also
hopes the words of the Amanda Gorman poem
read at their memorial service ring true; that
'In testing times, we became the best of beings.'
By Mischa Wanek-Libman, executive editor
O
ne day after Mass Transit's June issue was
sent to the printer, the world received tragic
news of a horrifying event unfolding at a
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
(VTA) light-rail yard in San Jose, Calif.
Details were painfully sparse at first - an
active shooter, authorities on scene, an unknown
number of victims. The industry held
its collective breath, awaiting more information
that seemed to only get more and more grim. At
the end of the first 24 hours, there was confirmation
that still weighs heavy on the heart and mind: Nine
victims were killed in an apparent planned attack
by one of their co-workers.
Santa Clara VTA made it clear that the well-being
and health of employees would be its priority as the
agency dealt with the attack, from the availability of
grief counselors shortly after the shooting to making
employee readiness to return a key marker of its
light-rail service restoration plan.
Investigators worked to shed light on the 'how'
of the attack, but answering the 'why' has been and
will continue to be much more difficult.
Poetry offered key officials a means of expression
and a medium to convey their thoughts. Santa
Clara VTA Board Chair Glenn Hendricks wrote
and shared an original haiku on the tragedy during
a press conference the day after the shooting. And at
a July 18 event honoring the nine victims, Federal
Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez recited
Amanda Gorman's poem " The Miracle of Morning, "
which was written during the pandemic, but
its words and message to find purpose through pain
still apply. The poem ends with the lines:
We'll observe how the burdens braved by humankind
Are also the moments that make us humans kind;
Let every dawn find us courageous, brought closer;
Heeding the light before the fight is over.
When this ends, we'll smile sweetly, finally seeing
In testing times, we became the best of beings.
We honor the nine who were lost and recognize
that behind their names are families and friends
who are without fathers, brothers, husbands, sons,
favorite uncles and best friends:
* Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63, substation
maintainer
* Adrian Balleza, 29, maintenance worker and
light-rail operator
* Alex Ward Fritch, 49, substation maintainer
* Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35, substation
maintainer
* Lars Kepler Lane, 63, overhead line worker
* Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40, overhead line
worker
* Paul Delacruz Megia, 42, assistant superintendent
in service management
* Taptejdeep Singh, 36, light-rail operator
* Timothy Michael Romo, 49, overhead line worker
Timothy
Michael Romo
JULY/AUGUST 2021 | MassTransitmag.com | Mass Transit | 13
Taptejdeep
Singh
Jose Dejesus
Hernandez III
Adrian Balleza
Alex Ward Fritch
Lars Kepler Lane
Michael Joseph
Rudometkin
Paul Delacruz
Megia
http://www.MassTransitmag.com

July-August_2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July-August_2021

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook
People & Places
A Note from the Editor
Charles Carroll Carter: How He Left His Mark on Public Transit
Transit Industry Advancements: Riding on Rubber
EMBARK-ing Toward Better Mobility
Re-imagining Stations as the Center of Sustainable Urban Life
Via Jersey City Success Story
Products
The Scheduling Conundrum
July-August_2021 - 1
July-August_2021 - 2
July-August_2021 - 3
July-August_2021 - 4
July-August_2021 - Ad Index
July-August_2021 - Editor's Notebook
July-August_2021 - 7
July-August_2021 - People & Places
July-August_2021 - 9
July-August_2021 - 10
July-August_2021 - 11
July-August_2021 - 12
July-August_2021 - A Note from the Editor
July-August_2021 - Charles Carroll Carter: How He Left His Mark on Public Transit
July-August_2021 - 15
July-August_2021 - 16
July-August_2021 - 17
July-August_2021 - Transit Industry Advancements: Riding on Rubber
July-August_2021 - 19
July-August_2021 - 20
July-August_2021 - 21
July-August_2021 - EMBARK-ing Toward Better Mobility
July-August_2021 - 23
July-August_2021 - 24
July-August_2021 - 25
July-August_2021 - 26
July-August_2021 - 27
July-August_2021 - 28
July-August_2021 - 29
July-August_2021 - Re-imagining Stations as the Center of Sustainable Urban Life
July-August_2021 - 31
July-August_2021 - 32
July-August_2021 - 33
July-August_2021 - Via Jersey City Success Story
July-August_2021 - 35
July-August_2021 - 36
July-August_2021 - 37
July-August_2021 - 38
July-August_2021 - 39
July-August_2021 - Products
July-August_2021 - 41
July-August_2021 - The Scheduling Conundrum
July-August_2021 - 43
July-August_2021 - 44
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