The fight for better overall public transit in Santa Clara County continues on Thursday evening in San Jose. Our own Monica Mallon from San Jose has more on what YOU can do.
As many of you may know, Measure B (transit sales tax) passed in 2016 and was held up in the courts until earlier this year. The ruling made it clear that it was 100% legal for the board to reallocate funds with a 3/4 majority vote.
After we found out about this, we started mentioning reallocation in our comments at VTA board and committee meetings. We also created a proposal for the FY 20-21 budget that included canceling duplicative highway interchange and using the funds (~$50m) for transit operations (bus and light rail service).
The board did not accept our proposal but at the most recent VTA Board Meeting in August after they voted to eliminated another route (the 65), Sup. Chavez (VTA Board Of Directors’ vice-chair), asked the board to consider reallocation. In her comment (video below) she said that current bus routes are going in the wrong direction and urged the board to find ways to change Measure B and turn things around.
1. The meeting is at 70 W Hedding Street and it is accessible by bus lines 61, 62, 66, 181 and both light rail lines. Bike parking is available in front of the County Building and car parking is available at the Civic Center Garage (171 W Hedding).
2. If you want to make a public comment, fill out a blue comment card (they are on the table in the back on the right) and bring it to the secretary (front of the chamber on the left). Better service is not on the agenda, so please write that you want to speak on item #3 (general public comment).
Public comments are only two (2) minutes. Time yourself ahead of time and try to be concise. They will cut you off at two minutes.
3. The current state of transit in Santa Clara County is frustrating but don’t yell at the board members. We are trying to bring them over to our side. Instead, use the County’s climate emergency resolution as justification and talk about how better transit service will benefit your life and the planet.
4. You don’t have to stay for the entire meeting but if you want to here’s the full agenda: http://santaclaravta.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx…
If you are on the fence, please come! This is going to be our last chance to advocate for better service for awhile and bad things (public-private partnerships) will probably happen if they don’t change directions soon. There are people on the board that want to do the right thing, we just need to turnout and give them the justification they need to move forward. Every voice and every comment helps!
Feel free to message me if you have any questions! If you decide to come, you don’t have to stay for the entire meeting. Public comments are right at the beginning and usually only last 30 minutes at most.
What If I Can’t Come To the Meeting?
Call or email a member of the VTA Board Of Directors who represents where YOU live in Santa Clara County. Read the full roster of VTA Board Of Directors members here.
For instance, in the City of San Jose, contact Mayor Sam Liccardo at (408)535-4800.
Live in Santa Clara? Teresa O’Neill, City Council member, is chair of the VTA Board Of Directors until December 31. Contact her at (408)615-2250.
In East San Jose, you have two (2) choices. Contact County Supervisor Cindy Chavez at (408)299-5020. You can also contact San Jose City Council Member Raul Peralez at (408)535-4903.
Those in the North County (Palo Alto south to Sunnyvale) can email Mountain View City Council Member John McAllister here. Live in South County (Morgan Hill, San Martin, or Gilroy)? Contact Morgan Hill City Council Member Larry Carr at (408)779-7259. In the West Valley (Cupertino, Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Los Altos, or Los Altos Hills), contact Rob Rennie, Mayor of Los Gatos, at (408)354-6801.
This will be an ongoing effort, until we get commitment from the VTA Board Of Directors on a workshop where reallocation of highway funding to transit operations will be discussed and voted on.
See you on Thursday.
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users