Recently, Santa Clara County Grand Jury issued a report questioning Santa Clara County's participation in the Dumbarton Rail project. At the same time, MTC proposes to rediret $91 millions of Regional Measure 2 bridge tolls funds into BART extension to Warm Springs. That money would replace the $145 million operating surplus from the SFO extension, which will never be fulfilled given flawed ridership projections.
As we examine Dumbarton Rail, what we must not forget is the 2004 Grand Jury report questioning BART to San Jose. Four years later, VTA is still dysfunctional and continues to make decisions based on politics.
What we also must not forget is that Dumbarton Rail was included in the 2000 Measure A just like the BART extension. VTA added Dumbarton Rail to the measure to make the tax appear more "balanced" across regions and to get support from north county cities like Palo Alto, which were suffering from traffic congestion coming off the Dumbarton bridge and were unwilling to build new roads through wetlands and neighborhoods.
Dumbarton Rail is currently under study and is facing some challenges, not too much different than BART. Unlike BART however, it doesn't have a group of dedicated delusionals who are willing to pay for it by destroying the transit system. Dumbarton Rail simply isn't expensive enough to bankrupt any transit agency.
By any measure, focusing on Dumbarton Rail is nothing but a distraction to one of the most harmful transit projects in the Bay Area, the BART extension. It also exhibits a double standard, in which it is okay for VTA to continue spending money on BART despite the failure of the 2006 Measure A, and not okay for a project that is also supported and funded by voters in San Mateo County, Alameda County as well as the rest of the Bay Area through Regional Measure 2.
As to the proposed fund diversion, MTC should be making its decision based on the voter disapproval of the 2006 Measure A. If MTC isn't sure, MTC can wait until after the November election.