Thursday, September 25, 2008

Guardino robs everyone to pay for his pet project

In an effort orchestrated to promote Measure B, the California Transportation Commission plans to allocate $239 million to backfill whatever VTA wasted on the BART project. Gary Richards, as biased as usual, neglected to mention that Carl Guardino, the brainchild of Measure B, sits on the CTC. How could the timing be more perfect to create an illusion that VTA could afford BART?

Guardino and SVLG will do whatever they can before the election to create that illusion. The only news that they will withhold until after the election is the ugly reality of further transit cuts. 7 years ago, just 5 months after the 2000 Measure A passed, VTA announced its first transit cut.

Rather than a real "momentum" as the MTC spokeperson claimed, it is just another zero-sum game, like the diversion of funds from the Dumbarton Caltrain extension. An ugly reality is that the Bay Area just lost $238 million in transit funds this year alone because of the state budget crisis. With the current state of the economy, expect further cuts in transit funds in the years to come.

Other than that Guardino scored political points to deceive voters, what has the Bay Area really gained?


arcady said...

Wow, that's some pretty significant money even in terms of capital funding. Could probably pay for the DTEV light rail, right there, after all, it's just 4.2 miles of street-running construction. By the way, I've been reading the DTEV EIR, and it really seems like they're pulling things out their backsides here. Among other things, they don't consider through-running DTEV with the Vasona line (and running Mountain View-Eastridge and Baypointe-Santa Teresa, for example), they want to keep both the 22 and 522 running all the way to Eastridge parallel to the LRT, and there's no good reason given for single car only operation either. If the existing bus ridership were just transferred to light rail, it would be enough to run 2-car trains every 15 minutes. In fact, assuming the light rail runs as fast as the 522 goes now, it would take less time to run the light rail from Diridon to Eastridge as it does to Tasman, so the whole thing might even be doable with little to no net increase in operating hours for the light rail, though at the cost of somewhat reduced service on North 1st, but a much better connection from the Vasona Line and the train station to Downtown.

All that said, I think it might be time to go looking for a job at VTA headquarters, because honestly it seems like I'm better qualified to run it than they are.

Anonymous said...

If and when single-car LRT see revenue service, Line 522 would not be routed to Eastridge, Line 523 would probably be scaled back to Bassett, since the DTEV EIR does call for a new route on Alum Rock to make local stops.

The 568/522 would probably more than likely merge as one route operating between S. San Jose to Palo Alto.

I agree that the DTEV EIR is fluff, and given the amount of money being (proposed) spent, we might as well apply to run VTA too.