TAKE ACTION! How YOU Can Support VTA’s Service Increase Proposal8 min. read

Several people are seated aboard a VTA bus moving within the City of San Jose.  Seats have grey backs. Camera faces front of bus.
Several people are seated aboard a VTA bus.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has just formalized a proposal to radically increase bus and light rail service in Santa Clara County. That proposal will start to go thru various committees at VTA starting this week.

Fellow public transit advocate Monica Mallon informs us that VTA’s “Visionary Network” proposal envisions an 83% increase in bus and light rail service throughout Santa Clara County. This would take place over the next few years, should the proposal be approved by the VTA’s Board of Directors at their June 1 meeting. Read Monica’s blog for details.

Here’s more on VTA’s service increase proposal, how transit riders will benefit, and how YOU can help make it happen.

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What is VTA’s Service Increase Proposal?

VTA’s “Visionary Network” proposal is their long-range plan for future bus and light rail service in Santa Clara County. Here’s how staff at VTA describe the proposal:

…The Visionary Network will define how transit service in Santa Clara County should look over the next 30 years, including street corridors it should serve in the future, how often buses and trains should arrive, how early and late-night service should run, and what bus stops and stations should look like and provide. By the end of the process, it should reflect a shared vision between VTA, each of the 15 member agency cities, and all residents of the county. 

https://www.vta.org/projects/visionary-network

This YouTube video from VTA below further describes their Visionary Network proposal.

Source: VTA

Currently, VTA’s Visionary Network proposal has

  • Monday-Friday, bus service under the “Frequent” and “Rapid” brands running every 10 minutes from 4am-1am
  • Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays, bus service under the “Frequent” and “Rapid” brands running every 15 minutes from 4am-1am
  • “Local” branded bus lines would now run every 20-30 minutes from 5am-midnight, 7 days/week (including Holidays)
  • All VTA light rail lines would run every 10 minutes Monday-Friday, and every 15 minutes on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays. Would also include shuttle bus service from 11pm-1am and 4am-5am along the lines to cover late night and early morning service.

Of course, hours would be extended on all bus and light rail lines. Here’s more on how riders would benefit in different parts of Santa Clara County.

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North County (Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Sunnyvale)

Here’s how transit riders in North County will benefit in the Visionary Network proposal:

Also, for how Orange Line light rail would serve Mountain View and Sunnyvale…

Speaking of Sunnyvale…

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West Valley (Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga)

Here’s how these cities benefit in the Visionary Network:

South County (Morgan Hill, San Martin, Gilroy)

This is how riders of VTA’s 68, 84, 85, 86, 87, and 568 Rapid bus lines will benefit in South County:

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San Jose

Here’s how light rail in downtown San Jose would operate under the Visionary Network proposal:

As for North San Jose:

As for buses and light rail serving the Diridon Station and SAP Center area:

And for South San Jose…

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Santa Clara and Milpitas

Here’s how riders in Santa Clara and Milpitas will benefit from the proposal:

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How Will VTA’s Proposal Be Funded?

From the Question & Answer section of Monica’s post:

Q: How will VTA be able to pay for the visionary transit network?

A: As I mentioned earlier, the visionary transit network will cost around $190 million dollars annually on the operations side and capital costs will be at least $500 million dollars for the initial investment. State and federal grants are available to cover the capital costs, but there are currently no grants for operations funding to run the service. So VTA will have to lobby for new operations grants to be created, increase local taxes, or find other revenue sources to pay for the visionary transit network.

https://medium.com/@monicamallon/what-is-the-vta-visionary-transit-network-how-to-support-it-c546fa1d12ef

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When Will VTA Discuss the Proposal?

VTA staff will continue to discuss the proposal at several committee meetings this month. From Monica’s blog post:

May 18, 2023 12:00 PM ā€” Administration & Finance Committee

Zoom meeting link for the May 18, 2023, Regular Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86992834598.

Call in for the Regular Meeting:
Zoom one-tap via smartphone:
US: +16692192599,,86992834598# or +16699009128,,86992834598#

Via telephone dial: US: +1 669 219 2599 or +1 669 900 9128
Webinar ID: 869 9283 4598

For South County (Morgan Hill, San Martin, Gilroy) residents, we’ve learned there will be one teleconference location. That location is at Gilroy City Hall, Administration Conference Room, 7351 Rosanna St, Gilroy, CA 95020. VTA’s 85 bus stops on

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What If I Can’t Make the Meeting(s)?

Contact the VTA Board of Directors’ member representing your city or area. Mention the Visionary Network proposal and how you would benefit from having more bus and light rail service.

Alternately, email the VTA Board of Directors’ Secretary Office and mention the Visionary Network proposal, and how you would benefit.

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Conclusion

We’ll have more news as soon as information becomes available. Stay tuned.

Eugene Bradley
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users