We are high-tech workers at the heart of the “new” economy that is the current definition of Santa Clara County – known to the rest of the world as Silicon Valley.
We are teachers, doctors, lawyers, students, service workers, and everyday people who help keep Silicon Valley running.
We are all activists striving for a better way of living for everyone, thru various causes.
We are the kinds of people who use mass transit such as VTA buses, light rail, Caltrain, and ACE instead of a car to commute. However, there are numerous issues with mass transit in Santa Clara County that sometimes make us wonder if being another solo driver on our already crowded streets and highways really is more worthwhile than using mass transit. Whether it’s a bus line that stops running after certain hours (and/or doesn’t run often enough), ACE or Caltrain not running often enough, or light rail/rapid bus that does not run through an overcrowded corridor, many obstacles await those who choose mass transit in Santa Clara County instead of driving a car.
There are numerous groups out there now that fight for better service on several modes of transit. There are advocates for AC Transit, MUNI, Caltrain, and even BART – all fighting for better service for their riders. But no one was fighting for Santa Clara County residents to ensure that they have the most reliable, most frequent bus and light rail service possible…
I formed what was then known the Santa Clara VTA Riders Union in October 2000. After basically being ignored by our elected officials at a major transit meeting in August 2000 regarding the shortage of bus drivers and mechanics, I decided to look for an organization dedicated to improving bus and light rail service in Santa Clara County. After that meeting in August 2000, I came to the conclusion that our elected officials and VTA’s Board of Directors only really care about two groups: BART advocates and Caltrain advocates. Alas, I could not find any organization dedicated to improving bus service in Santa Clara County – so I obtained help from the Bay Area Land Use and Transportation Coalition and formed the Santa Clara VTA Riders Union.
As of late 2010, we are now officially known as the Silicon Valley Transit Users.
The best chance you have of really improving bus and light rail service in Santa Clara County – that is, to have a reliable bus service available to you on days, nights, and weekends – is to get involved with us. Even if you don’t want to be a part of our group, please speak out at the VTA Board meetings, traditionally held every first Thursday of the month. Tell the VTA’s Board of Directors (comprised of elected officials throughout Santa Clara County) about the need to improve mass transit in Santa Clara County. If you cannot attend the VTA Board meetings, phone or email your VTA Board member from your city. Every contact to your VTA Board member demanding better bus and light rail service counts!
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users