Known as the Almaden Shuttle, the 3.5km Ohlone/Chynoweth - Almaden branch in south San Jose opened in 1991 but ridership fell well short of projections and the branch was threatened with closure in 2003 and again in 2009.

Average weekday boarding in 2018 was just 141 passengers at Almaden and 166 at Oakridge, the only intermediate station on the branch. Under VTA’s New Transit Service Plan, which is due to go before the board for approval next month, the Almaden Shuttle will be replaced by a bus service later this year.

Passenger numbers on the VTA light rail and bus network fell by 23% between 2001 and 2016. VTA is now making further changes to the network in a bid to reduce its projected $US 26m operating deficit.

Under the New Transit Service Plan, Blue Line services from Santa Teresa to Alum Rock via San Jose city centre will be cut back to Baypointe. A new Orange Line will be created linking Alum Rock with the Caltrain commuter rail interchange at Downtown Mountain View.