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Rules vary in the different Bay Area train systems - Caltrain allows patron to bring food & drinks and consume them onboard, while BART doesn't. In the case of VTA, the policy on buses is mostly-restrictive but with exceptions (drinks in VTA containers). I cannot find a similar official link for the light rail however, which is what I want to know.

The trains do have signs about 'make sure to take your trash with you' - which contain the picture of a soft drink can, hence leading to the inference that cans may be permissible.

What is the light rail food policy? Can I hop off at some station, grab a meal from some good restaurant and enjoy it en route; or am I limited to only drinks (or nothing at all)?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The rule as given in VTA's Conditions for Passage (Section 4) reads

(b) No passenger on a transit vehicle or in or on a transit facility shall:

(7). Eat or drink or possess an open food or drink container where eating or drinking or possession of open food or drink containers is prohibited by sign or written notice.

You'll probably recognize this infographic:

enter image description here

The mug has the VTA logo on it, to signify that only the officially approved mug is allowed. There being no equivalent device for food, it is safe to say that eating remains prohibited everywhere— unless it's soup or something which you can pour into and consume from the approved mug. You can purchase food and bring it with you, provided it remains sealed.

I wouldn't read too much into a can appearing the trash notice. Presumably you finished the can outside before you boarded, but the recycling bin being full there and you being a good citizen, you naturally took the can with you to dispose of elsewhere :).

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No food on VTA.

From the bus link provided in the first answer, "Food consumption is not allowed on VTA buses. Non-alcoholic drinks can be consumed if in a sealed commuter mug. No plastic or paper cups."

So a normal "sealed" commuter mug is fine. Although the links don't explicitly say a commuter mug is ok on light rail, I've never had a problem.

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