One Busy VTA Board Meeting3 min. read

There is something for just about everyone at tonight’s Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board meeting.  It all starts at 5:30pm at the County Supervisors’ Chambers, 70 W. Hedding St., in San Jose.  Here are directions by transit or automobile on getting there.

Details to focus on for tonight’s Board meeting agenda are as follows…

The Basics

Courtesy of Monica Mallon, here are some important agenda items for tonight’s Board Of Directors’ meeting:

ITEM 3 – Public Comment – ask for a reallocation for bus service, talk about why you want transit service to be better, talk about the express bus cuts, talk about anything else you want to talk about)

ITEM 7.2 – Operations Budget Amendment for the new ATU 256 contract which they are proposing to fund with reserves.

ITEM 7.3 – BART Silicon valley Operations and Maintenance Agreement – the agreement includes a lien on TDA (federal) transit operations funding. If approved this would promise to cut bus service by up to 21% if BART underperforms. You can talk about how a 21% service cut would negatively impact your life and the environment and why we need BART and local bus service and why they should be pitted against each other. It would be great if you could include something along the lines of “please consider other backstop funding sources other than the TDA lien.” I have been suggesting using funds that were suppressed to go to light rail projects (SR 85 and Vasona) that have been put on hold but you can also suggest using highways funds or other projects.

The goal with this counterargument: to prevent BART ridership under-performance from costing SamTrans money to run its buses.  This – and the ugly divorce – is detailed in this story from the East Bay Times from 2007.  Translation: let’s prevent VTA from using money to run your bus service as collateral for BART operating expenses.

ITEM 8.1 – General Manager’s Report – the report will include an update on BART Silicon Valley

ITEM 8.2 – Chairperson’s Report – this report will include information about selecting the VTA Board chair for 2020. The chair will be selected from Group 6 (SCC) so the board members who are eligible are Supervisor Chavez and Supervisor Cortese (both great options IMO).


Terry Christensen also reminds us that the VTA Board will vote on the name for our future BART station (formerly “Alum Rock”) this Thursday, November 7.  Mayor Liccardo and Council Members Carrasco and Peralez and the VTA staff have recommended our preferred name:  “28th Street/Little Portugal.”  And it’s on the consent calendar (ITEM 6.6), so no debate or discussion is expected!

This is a bit of a surprise (a bit sudden) but it’s great news and as a consent calendar item, we don’t think we need to mobilize our amazing support base (that’s you).

Finally, I will personally follow up on the driver shortage that has affected VTA bus and light rail service throughout Santa Clara County.

You don’t have to stay for all of the agenda items. If you want to just make a comment during general public comment, that’s okay. I just wanted to give you all the information on other items just in case. Our public comments have really been having a big impact so please come if you can! Please message us if you have any questions!

Don’t know how to speak at a VTA meeting? Here are tips on how to do that.

See you tonight in San Jose.

Eugene Bradley
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users