Tag: Palo Alto

Next Meetings For the “Next Network”

For transit in Silicon Valley, 2017 is off to a fast start.  In addition to changing its logo, colors, and tagline, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is holding meetings in January and February to take your input on its “Next Network” bus and light rail service restructuring proposal.  Recall VTA’s prior bus service restructuring in 2008 which has been documented, as a guide.

If approved by the VTA Board of Directors in April, changes will take affect this fall.

Public meetings have already been held in cities like San Jose and Milpitas, with more to follow until the end of February.  More on the VTA’s “Next Network” proposal – and some of our thoughts on it so far – are below.

Palo Alto Transit Center Closed Until Jan. 27

Due to city sewer replacement work, the Palo Alto Transit Center will be closed for bus service until January 27.  As a result, SamTrans and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus riders must board buses on El Camino Real and Quarry, near Stanford Shopping Center.  Here is the SamTrans bus boarding plan and the VTA bus boarding plan during the work.  Staff from both agencies are expected to be on hand to assist those who need transfers between these buses and Caltrain.  Meanwhile, Caltrain will still serve the Transit Center.

Next Network “Phase II” From VTA

One week after Measure B’s passage, more bus service reductions in Santa Clara County are being discussed.  At a workshop today in San Jose, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will propose to staff “an “85/15 balance between ridership-purposed and coverage-purposed services.”  What this could potentially mean:

If VTA pursues a more ridership-purposed transit network, routes that would be leading candidates to be decreased or discontinued are coverage-purposed routes located in the low density areas of Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and the Almaden Valley, East Hills and Evergreen areas of San Jose. Some of the riders in these areas depend on VTA for transportation and VTA is exploring alternatives to retain their mobility while lowering the per-ride subsidy that VTA currently pays, which generally ranges from double to triple the system-wide average per-ride subsidy.

Where VTA’s “Next Network” workshop will be held:

TIME & DATE: November 18 at 2:00pm
PLACE: VTA Auditorium at VTA’s River Oaks headquarters, 3331 N. First Street, San Jose
GETTING THERE: VTA’s headquarters is across the street from River Oaks light rail station.  It is also served bh the 58 bus line.

Special thanks to @CALHSR on Twitter for informing our group of this news item.

More information on VTA’s proposal will be posted this weekend.

Eugene Bradley
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users

Hoedown At the Hofbrau

The first of the debates for Measure B took place on Monday.  At the Santa Clara County Democratic Club at Harry’s Hofbrau in San Jose, both sides debated Measure B – VTA’s latest transportation sales tax proposal. Santa Clara County Supervisor and current VTA Board Chair Cindy Chavez debated the for side. Gladwyn D’Souza, San Carlos Belmont Group Chair at Sierra Club’s Loma Prieta Chapter, debated the against side.

Who do YOU think won last night’s Measure B debate? Please comment below.

Eugene Bradley
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users

Bus Crashes On Both Coasts

Photo courtesy nj.com

Early Friday morning, two New Jersey Transit buses crashed into each other in downtown Newark, NJ. Two people – including the driver of one of the buses – died as a result of the crash.  Seven bus passengers are in critical condition at a nearby hospital.

According to the Associated Press (AP), investigators are determining whether the bus driver killed in the crash ran a red light.  The same AP report mentioned that the intersection the bus crash occurred was one of the first in New Jersey to feature surveillance cameras that caught red light violators. That surveillance camera program was discontinued in 2014 amid controversy.

Later on Friday, in downtown Palo Alto, a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus jumped the curb and hit some newspaper racks after making a right turn.  While Palo Alto Online reported that no one was , it is rather interesting to note that the driver was allowed to continue the route on another bus.  This is something worth asking VTA, I have never heard of this practice after an incident involving a bus and passengers.

On behalf of the Silicon Valley Transit Users, our condolences go out to the hurt and perished in the Newark bus crash.

Let’s all be careful when riding – and driving the buses and trains…

Eugene Bradley
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users