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 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 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 concluded 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 (now known as TransFORM) and formed the Santa Clara VTA Riders Union.
In November 2008, we changed our name to 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 by getting involved. The best way to do that is to be a part of our group.
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
Is there ways to bring to vtas Attention leaving people behind at bus stops that are having medical emergencies? It has happened to me more then once and i brought it to their attention every time but it still Happens. It happened a few days ago I fell getting off the 22 bus and after getting off I fell again due to being lightheaded and short of breathe and the driver saw me did nothing and said nothing and left me in the bushes trying to get medical help. It’s happened more then once but seems it’s not being took seriously!!!
Good that you started this.
I’ve been riding the bus for a few years but moved to San Jose in June which has done me in. I finally go tired of the early morning nightmare commute on the 522 and started a petition. I was planning on taking it to the first El Camino corridor meeting on the 22nd but thought I would ask your opinion if that a good venue. I’m over 350 signatures during a few days of commuting. I probably could have asked your opinion first or thought more about the wording but I was just fed up one day and started it. Most of the people on that 522 will sign the petition but would never come to a meeting or call into Customer service to complain.
Petition summary and background The service on the “Rapid” 522 line is very poor during commute hours. Almost every day the buses are late, causing missed connections or too small, non-articulated buses, forcing people to stand in the aisles. Every 15 minutes on this main artery is clearly not frequent enough. This is a hardship for the people who depend on this line to get to their work in the morning or home in the evening to families and daycare. It is extremely uncomfortable when you are traveling a long distance from San Jose to Palo Alto and the buses are overcrowded. The schedule does not accommodate workers who start and end their work later in the day.
Action petitioned for We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge the management of the VTA to increase the frequency of the 522 Express and extend the times to later commute hours. All of the commute hour buses should be the articulated buses to accommodate the riders comfortably for the long distance. Come ride with us and you will see that the line is far from “Rapid” and too overcrowded to make it a safe ride.
Will you be going to that meeting?
Thanks for writing and commenting. I’ll have more about the situation with the 522 Rapid during peak hours – and more on how issues to VTA should be properly addressed to get results – tomorrow (Sunday).