Tuesday, April 29, 2008

VTA Board restructuring vote and more

VTA Board "restructuring"

This Thursday, the VTA Board will vote on three of the four elements of the proposal to tweak the VTA Board. The three elements to be voted include the 1) elimination of rotational representation by smaller cities, 2) reaffirm current policy of a two-year term but encourage cities to reappoint their representative to consecutive terms, 3) VTA Boardmembers should have prior experience on transportation policies (like serving on VTA PAC or CAC, or MTC, etc).

The final element, which would change city groupings by creating a city grouping just for south county, will be deferred until the August meeting.

Can't VTA put meeting notices on buses and light rail?

Two weeks ago, VTA staff claimed that it can't accept any of the "Sunshine Laws" recommendations presented by VTA Riders' Union. As to placing meeting notices on buses and light rail, VTA says:

One method for placing notices on VTA bus and light rail (revenue) vehicles is using car cards. VTA contracts with an outside vendor to place and maintain all internal and external advertising on revenue vehicles. This includes car cards and external bus boards. Under the terms of the contract, VTA is allocated 15% of the eligible advertising space for its own use. VTA uses this space for rider information, public safety and promotional activities. Due to the high volume of rider information and promotional activities, VTA is frequently at or exceeding the 15% usage maximum. Therefore if the Board desires to place additional meeting notices using car cards, VTA would amend its contract with the vendor to open additional space. Any change to advertising space would result in a decrease of annual revenues through the advertising contract.

It appears that VTA uses much more than 15% of the car card spaces on buses and light rail for their own internal notices and promotions rather than paid advertising, which is actually rare.

Is VTA afraid of its riders attending board meetings and addressing directly to the board? Is VTA Board chair Liz Kniss annoyed about hearing from everyday VTA riders?


Anonymous said...

Tonight's meeting was a joke. The controversial Green Valley / Berry Swanson tower project passed 7 – 0, despite vehement opposition from the community. 7 – 0!

The board totally abdicated their responsibility, and decided that tonight's issue would only be whether it was a good "land deal" for the VTA. Pathetic. The VTA cared deeply when they had first refusal over which builder to select, but now that the builder has been chosen, they're passing the buck to the SJC council to make the final determination on what type of development will be created. Be prepared for another ugly tower in the same vain as Tamien Station.

accountablevta said...

In a way, VTA is an arm for the City of San Jose by using transit "needs" to buy up land and then sell the land for development favorable for the City Council.