The CPUC has approved an all-services overlay that will add a new 669 area code to the same geographic region as the existing 408 area code in order to provide additional telephone numbers to meet increasing consumer demand.
The existing 408 and approved 669 area codes primarily cover Santa Clara County, as well as neighboring cities and small unincorporated portions of Alameda and Santa Cruz counties. Cities in the 408 area code include San Jose, as well as the cities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, and a portion of Palo Alto.
An area code overlay adds a second area code to the same geographic region as an existing area code. Therefore, multiple area codes can co-exist within the same geographic region. New telephone numbers with the 669 area code will be issued to customers requesting new telecommunication services beginning in November 2012.
Customers will not be required to change their existing telephone numbers. But, consumers calling any number in the 408 area code will have to dial the area code plus phone number beginning six months from today. If they do not, their calls will still go through for a six-month grace period. The new dialing procedure must be used beginning in October 2012.
To help educate consumers about the new area code, the CPUC has established a public education program task force consisting of CPUC staff and at least one representative from each telephone service provider or industry holder of numbering resources in the 408 area code.
Return to Top
The CPUC has adopted a first-of-its-kind regulation enforcing prohibitions against the use of personal electronic devices, such as cell phones, by rail transit system operators.
The new General Order 172 was prompted by the September 2008 tragedy at Chatsworth, where 25 people died and more than 100 were injured when a Metrolink passenger train collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train. The investigation concluded that the Metrolink train's engineer failed to stop for a red signal because he was distracted by numerous texting exchanges on his personal cell phone seconds before the collision occurred.
Six days after the accident, the CPUC adopted an interim emergency order prohibiting personal use of cell phones and other electronic communication devices, such as satellite phones, pagers, and smart phones, by railroad and rail transit crew members. In addition to the Chatsworth accident, additional evidence emerged that a June 2008 San Francisco Muni light rail vehicle collision was likely caused by operator cell phone distraction. The Federal Railroad Administration subsequently adopted a ban for the nation’s railroads. However, those regulations do not cover rail transit systems that the CPUC has regulatory responsibility for, such as Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), the San Diego Trolley, San Francisco Muni, and other rail transit systems.
The new General Order approved by the CPUC as a permanent regulation for rail transit systems will increase the safety of crews and passengers in the state by requiring a zero-tolerance policy for personal electronic device use by operating employees, and by requiring effective enforcement of that policy. As a first in the nation, this General Order will require the state’s rail transit systems to install inward facing cameras in the train operator’s cab. The cameras will provide a level of accountability not possible without this enforcement tool.
Return to Top