Category: Advocacy

Our (and other) transit advocacy efforts in Silicon Valley.

Highlights of FTA Meeting in Berkeley Last Night

Last night, members of the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) met at UC Berkeley for a public information session on (strengthening) public transit civil rights rules.

During that meeting, FTA staff noted it was the best community turnout seen on public transit civil rights rules amongst its meetings nationwide. The last such meeting will be in Atlanta on November 17.

One FTA official at the meeting challenged regional agencies like the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) to engage “environmental justice” populations (minorities and the poor) in making public transit decisions. FTA officials also mentioned that historically low-income and minority people have been negatively affected by transit projects. FTA officials also mentioned that agencies like VTA must include the public and use public input in their transit service decision making.

This is definitely something I will get our group to strongly consider adopting, to help fight future VTA service cuts and fare hikes. More information on what FTA is doing is here.

Eugene Bradley
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users

Notes From Our Group Meeting Last Night

About 6 people attended the Silicon Valley Transit Users’ meeting last night. Some notes from that meeting:

Judy P. informed us that our partner, the San Jose Peace & Justice Center, will have a Peace Fair on December 3 in San Jose. We’ll have a small table there.

Chris L. of TransFORM informed us on status on the Valley Transportation Authority’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project along El Camino, Stevens Creek and Alum Rock Ave. While the Alum Rock Ave. portion is 2 years ahead, there are numerous flaws. One flaw along Alum Rock Ave.’s BRT project: sidewalk space is sacrificed for the dedicated bus lane along Alum Rock Ave. in eastern San Jose. There is still time to give input on the Stevens Creek BRT project. He proposed helping us get transit riders in Silicon Valley more involved with the BRT projects.

Megan F. from San Jose Cool Cities echoed Chris L.’s comments and suggestions. She reminded us that Sunnyvale is

We also suggested taking photos inside crowded VTA buses and light rail. This will help counter many of the claims in transit news comment areas that the buses and trains are empty.

Our group is strongly considering support for VTA’s BRT project but will need to correct many of their flaws. More on what BRT is – and what VTA can do to better promote it – are in an upcoming blog post.

Meeting started at 6:15pm and ended at 6:45pm.

Eugene Bradley
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users

Weekend Update-Sept. 16, 2011

This is your Silicon Valley transit update for the weekend of September 16, 2011. This guide will cover Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus, light rail, and Caltrain service to the following events this weekend:

  • California Home & Garden Show in San Mateo
  • Football games for the San Jose State Spartans, Cal Bears and San Francisco 49ers
  • San Jose Sharks training sessions at Sharks Ice @ San Jose
  • American Indian Powwow & Market in San Jose

Weekend Transit Update-Sept. 9, 2011

This is your Silicon Valley weekend transit update for September 9-11, 2011. It’s your guide for Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and Caltrain service to events throughout Silicon Valley.

This update includes public transit information on events like

  • Mountain View’s Art and Wine Festival this weekend
  • San Francisco 49ers’ home opener vs. Seattle this Sunday at 1:15pm
  • San Jose Earthquakes soccer v. Chicago Saturday night at 7:30pm in Santa Clara
  • San Jose Giants’ playoff baseball on Saturday and Sunday @ Municipal Stadium in San Jose

This comes on the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. To that end, you are strongly encouraged to stay safe when riding any VTA bus, light rail or Caltrain this weekend. You are also strongly encouraged to report any and all suspicious activities to the authorities as soon as possible.