Wednesday, January 02, 2008

VTA board to approve Palo Alto bus changes

This Thursday, the VTA Board will vote whether to approve bus changes in Palo Alto that will take effect in July.

The recommended changes, which line 89 will be eliminated and line 88 will be expanded, is a result of a special transit study requested by Palo Alto. Palo Alto believes the original COA has neglected the transit needs of the city, particularly the students at Gunn High School.

The study finds that while downtown Palo Alto is a transit competitive market, the poor connection between the Palo Alto transit center and train station present as a barrier for choice riders. Also, even with a large employment base at the Stanford Research Park, it is not a transit competitive destination because of the low density and abundance of free parking, similar to the Golden Triangle and much of the Silicon Valley.

The study recommends that the new line 88 would be adjusted to serve the school market and the city operated shuttle would continued to serve the downtown market. The study has considered integrating the city operated shuttle and VTA but finds that challenging due to grant source's restriction on imposing fares.

If the VTA board approves the proposed bus changes, the COA changes will be in effect from January 14 until July. In July, Stanford Marguerite shuttle would be expanded to replace line 89, and resources that will be dedicated to line 89 will cover expanded line 88.

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