What We’ve Done

2005

  • In January, we encouraged transit riders to speak out against more service cuts the VTA wanted to make for this April.  As a result, there will continue to be service on line 22 along El Camino Real into Menlo Park.  (In fact, several transit riders even involved staff of State Assembly member Ira Ruskin in keeping VTA service to Menlo Park.)  In addition, a group of riders of the 59 bus between Great America in Santa Clara and the Great Mall in Milpitas, using tips obtained from our DIY portlet, were able to get VTA to preserve midday service on that route that was due to be eliminated.  Our lobbying along with the public also ensured that the VTA’s first rapid bus line – the 522 – that will run along El Camino Real between Palo Alto and Eastridge Mall in East San Jose will run every day except Sundays, between 5:30am and 8:00pm.
  • In March, we assisted senior and disabled users of OUTREACH (lead by Terry Applegate) in winning changes that wil make it easier for the Valley’s seniors and disabled to obtain paratransit services with OUTREACH.

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2004

  • For the second year in a row, we provided a public transit guide for the San Jose Convention and Visitors’ Bureau on getting to this year’s Silicon Valley Football Classic on December 30 between Troy and Northern Illinois.
  • During the spring, our own Robert Carvalho was successfully appointed to sit on the 1996 Measure B watchdog committee.  In the fall, Margaret Okuzumi, another member of our group and Executive Director of the Caltrain advocacy group BayRail Alliance, was successfully appointed to be on Valley Transportation Authority’s Citizens Advisory Committee.
  • In the fall, we lobbied the Valley Transportation Authority’s Policy Advisory Committee to support the Santa Clara County’s Civil Grand Jury recommendation of restructuring the VTA’s Board of Directors, as well as delaying construction of the San Jose BART extension to prevent VTA from going bankrupt.
  • In October (with unexpected help from the local press) we successfuly fought the VTA’s attempt to waste $7.7 million of your tax dollars on out-of-state public relations firms and several East Coast-based government lobbying firms.  We published an online alert which detailed the out-of-state consultants and lobbying firms who would have benefitted from this waste of your tax dollars.  While we were unsuccessful in getting VTA to use the $7.7 million to rescind its third fare hike in three years, we sent a strong message to VTA that we will publically expose futher attempts to waste our tax dollars.

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2003

  • In February, 2003, we presented our ideas for increasing revenue to the VTA’s ad-hoc Financial Stability Committee. As a result of that report – two of those ideas (charging developers “transit impact” fees and bonding against 2000 Measure A revenue to preserve bus service) have been implemented already.
  • In May and June 2003, we gathered over 200 people to attend and speak out at VTA Board meetings. As a result, the VTA’s Board of Directors is forced to “find the money” to save our transit service from possible service reductions in January 2004.
  • In December 2003, we created a transit guide for the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau on getting to the Silicon Valley Football Classic via VTA buses.

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2002

  • Our lobbying (with your help) has helped place Caltrain schedules, light rail and bus maps, selected SamTrans schedules, and schedules for AC Transit’s 217 aboard VTA services that connect with these respective companies.
  • In 2002, information we provided to riders of the 74 and 77 bus lines for a VTA contact for bus shelters resulted in the installation of a bus shelter on Great Mall Drive near the entrance to the Great Mall.

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2001

  • In January 2001, while VTA only gave official notice 4 to 5 days before the meetings took place, we alerted riders – two weeks before official VTA notices – about proposed bus service cuts VTA was making for April 2001 due to the shortage of bus drivers and mechanics. As a result of the unexpected turnout at meetings, VTA had to scale back some of the service cuts.
  • In April 2001, we worked with the Caltrain rider advocacy group Peninsula Rail 2000 in making the VTA Board of Directors withdraw a resolution to not support the reconstruction of the Transbay Terminal in downtown San Francisco. This resolution, if it passed, would have sent the wrong message to Caltrain riders in Santa Clara County that the VTA is provincial and does not care for regional solutions.

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