Tag: accountability

Needed: Directly-Elected VTA Board Members

Inside the Santa Clara County Supervisors' chambers.

Inside the Santa Clara County Supervisors’ chambers where VTA Board Of Directors’ meetings are held.

Tired of reading story after story on how VTA wastes your money and is mismanaged?  Tired of being forced to drive in traffic gridlock because of VTA’s service cuts over the years, rooted in their mismanagement? Now is your best chance to help change it all for the better.  The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) wants your input on how it seeks to be governed in the future.

VTA created a survey to take your input, which includes several questions.  They are also taking your phone calls at (408)952-4200 to take in your input, until December 6.  A public meeting will be held December 20 to further discuss restructuring; details will be posted when information is available.

Recall back in June on how the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury trashed VTA’s poor governance in their 61-page report.  A story from the Mountain View Voice on the Grand Jury report sums up one key recommendation:

The grand jury report lays much of the responsibility for this dysfunction on the VTA Board of Directors. The 12-member governing board consists entirely of political appointees who must be currently serving as city council members or on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Often, board members face a steep learning curve, and it doesn’t help that they often lack any experience in transportation, finance or management of an agency of this size, the report says.

Having a directly-elected VTA Board of Directors is something our group has been fighting for since 2003. Back then, we were known as the Santa Clara VTA Riders Union (SCVTARU). A story in the November 12 edition of the Silicon Valley Business Journal gives some examples of how other transit agencies throughout the nation are governed.

In that online survey and at (408)952-4200, make sure you ask VTA to have a directly-elected Board of Directors.  You can do that on Question #6 in the survey.  In Question #7, make sure to ask for public transit service throughout Santa Clara County, not just for downtown and East San Jose.

It is past time to bring much-needed accountability to public transit in Santa Clara County.  Part of a better nation, as Internet essayist Jim Wright would remind us, starts when you elect a better government.  Let’s start fighting for some of that better government for public transit today.  Getting that better government starts when YOU take that survey and make that phone call.

Eugene Bradley
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users

Driver Shortage At VTA

Ever wonder why your Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus or light rail train sometimes does not show up as scheduled? VTA has a shortage of drivers, that’s why.

More on what is going on – and what YOU can do to get VTA to resolve this latest crisis – is below.

This Thursday, Sam Comes To Our Club

The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board Chair will see some of his managers this week.  San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo – also VTA Board Chair this year – will be our guest at our group’s upcoming meeting this Thursday in San Jose. 

TIME/DATE: Thursday, April 26 at 6pm
PLACE: San Jose Peace & Justice Center, 48 S. 7th Street (between Santa Clara and San Fernando Streets), San Jose
GETTING THERE: Many VTA bus lines like the 22, 522 Rapid, 72, 73 and Highway 17 Express stop near the Peace and Justice Center.  There is limited bicycle and automobile parking behind the building, so it’s advisable to take public transit to and from the building.  There is also wheelchair access behind the building.

The agenda and a toll-free dial-in number to the meeting follow…

San Jose Mayor Liccardo Wants More VTA Service Cuts

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo wants to repeat failed history.  In his first Chairperson’s Report at the January 4 Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board Of Directors’ meeting, he advocated for further reductions in VTA transit service to help close a $20 million operating deficit this fiscal year, and a $26 million operating deficit in 2019.  He announced the formation of a committee to address VTA’s structural operating deficit, and provide solutions.  The gist of Mayor Liccardo’s comments start at the 2:00 mark of the audio clip above.

Learn more about how this service cut strategy fails to resolve any VTA operating deficit – and what YOU can proactively do to change history in your favor – below.

Next Group Meeting: August 30 in San Jose

svtru group gathering 07262016

Please join us at our next meeting on Tuesday, August 30 at 6pm in San Jose.  At our upcoming meeting, we will discuss:

  • VTA’s “Next Network” bus restructuring proposal and what can we can do to maintain bus service in Santa Clara County
  • Whether to support or oppose “Measure B” – VTA’s latest transportation sales tax proposal
  • Other ideas you have that you are willing to work together with us on

Here are directions to the San Jose Peace and Justice Center, where we meet most every month.  Note that the Peace and Justice Center has wheelchair access.

Can’t make our meeting in downtown San Jose on Tuesday?  Contact our group to get a dial-up phone number for our meeting.

See you Tuesday night.

Eugene Bradley
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users