In a Mercury News article today, VTA General Manager Michael Burns tries to justify the BART design contracts despite the lack of operating funds:
"We can make the argument that we can build the system,'' Burns said, "but we clearly do not have the money to operate the system. We need to come to a decision point on this over the next 18 months or two years.''
To Mr. Burns: Please stop using coded words that people like Carl Guardino can understand. Fortunately, BayRail Alliance executive director Margaret Okuzumi translate the phase into layperson's term:
Any VTA board member who votes for this is essentially saying they want VTA to put another tax on the ballot in 2008, and is presuming that such a ballot measure will be successful.
Also to Mr. Burns: Bad transit hurts all transit. The BART extension was ill-conceived and underfunded since 2000. Last June, voters clearly rejected to pay more taxes into this transit black-hole. This "stay the course" BART policy will only further erode voter confidence on VTA and all mass transit. Why would voters support transit in the future when the signature VTA project will bankrupt VTA, destroy bus service, and fail to meet ridership projection?