With Super Bowl LX just a few years away from arriving at Levi’s Stadium and the FIFA World Cup quick on its heels, the Valley Transportation Agency (VTA) has started planning the big events. The transit agency held the first of a series of meetings in a crowded ballroom at the DoubleTree in San Jose on Jan. 18.
“What we’ve learned over the years is that you don’t wait until the last minute to start the planning and preparedness cycle,” said Aston Greene, the VTA Chief of System Safety and Security. “So, this exercise involves some of our internal stakeholders, external stakeholders. We have state representatives; we have the Office of Emergency Management here. We have first responders here.
“So what we’ll do with this discussion based exercise is talk about all of the scenarios that are potential and then discuss, well, how do we do this? How do we do that? How do we prepare for this?” continued Greene. “That discussion will eventually lead to observations that may be areas for improvement. It may be things that we recognize are really, really good that we want to keep in place. And ultimately, it will produce an after action report and a corrective action plan.”
While the discussions are mostly internal for the time being, Greene says it will be essential for VTA to meet with City, county and state representatives as the events near. He says while the lessons learned from hosting Super Bowl L will be considered, a lot has changed since then.
“Technology has changed. Back then, people may have still been using BlackBerrys, I don’t know,” said Greene. “We didn’t have WhatsApp. We didn’t have Instagram. We didn’t have all these other portals that could impact your ridership and the information they’re receiving. So, there’s a lot of new dynamics.
“We’ll learn from the last one. We’ll build on top of that,” continued Greene. “We’ll learn from these scenarios because that’s where we’ll talk about, ‘Hey, well, this is happening now. That wasn’t happening then; how do we deal with this?’”
Most of all, he believes that whether Santa Clarans plan to take part in the big events or if they plan to stay out on the other side of town, there are things that they will need to do to be prepared for the events. It starts with downloading the VTA alerts app.
“That’s one way that, whether or not they’re are using this system, they can still communicate with us,” said Greene. “Two, I think that they should be aware of what’s happening in the region. Eventually, you’ll be able to go to our website and be able to see all of the impacts to transit services in and around the area.
“They may have friends and family that may want to come in town to just participate in some of the excitement,” continued Greene. “You may not be going to the Super Bowl, but ‘Hey, I got a cousin that lives there. Well, let me go.’ They will want to get the information about what’s happening on our transit system and how to move around. So, I think it’ll be important for your readers to just acknowledge that and welcome that awareness messaging.”
To download the VTA alerts app, search “VTAlerts” on your mobile device. Or visit the VTA website at VTA.org and look for the “Service Alerts” button. Super Bowl LX will take place on Feb. 8, 2026. Santa Clara is expected to host at least one FIFA World Cup game. An announcement of the schedule will be made on Feb. 4 at 12 p.m. PT on FOX and Telemundo.