priorities in its long-range transportation plan, known as VTP2030
The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is wrong about priorities in its long-range transportation plan, known as VTP2030 (http://www.vtp2030.org/).
During discussion at the VTA’s Board of Directors Feb. 27 workshop, VTA has placed funding for bringing BART to San Jose as its top priority. This despite the fact that state and federal funding for the project remains uncertain. Funding to keep VTA’s buses and light rail running – as well as funding for Caltrain and the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) – are at the bottom of the priorities list.
Tier 1 projects are the highest priority projects that are the first such projects to receive (scarce) state and federal funding. Projects in Tiers 2 and 3 are least likely to receive (scarce) state and federal dollars since they are at the lowest priority. Analysis on VTP2030 is available at http://www.vtaridersunion.org/regional/vtp2030.html.
The Santa Clara VTA Riders Union (SCVTARU) is shocked that VTA continues to prioritize the San Jose BART extension despite the continued uncertainty of state and federal funding for the project.
SCVTARU fears the “BART At Any Cost” mindset instilled into VTA by BART supporters like the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group will only serve to destroy public transit in Silicon Valley. This mindset will only create more gridlock on our roads and more pollution in our air, making Silicon Valley unlivable and unfriendly to business. After cost overruns such as bond interest payments are factored in for the BART to San Jose project, at least $8 billion will have been paid by taxpayers over the next three decades on a white elephant that fails to relieve traffic.
What traffic will having BART in Silicon Valley relieve – when the only way you can get to the stations is in an automobile?
To that end, SCVTARU urges every concerned citizen in Silicon Valley to attend the following meetings listed below. Attendees should demand that VTA make better public transit for the entire Valley a top priority – such as buses, light rail like the Downtown/East Valley light rail extension, and commuter rail such as Caltrain, ACE and rail service near the Dumbarton Bridge.
There is a meeting from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Morgan Hill City Hall, Council Chambers, 17555 Peak Ave.
SCVTARU reminds VTA that voters in Silicon Valley demanded a transportation system that was efficient and balanced in November 2000. To that end, SCVTARU asks concerned citizens to join us in demanding that VTA focus its long-term funding and goals on efficient, balanced, and cost-effective transportation solutions that will benefit all of Silicon Valley.
founder of the Santa Clara VTA Riders Union