Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The same false promises with Measure B

One thing that's true in Santa Clara County is that it is almost impossible to have a sincere, rational discussion about transportation. The delusionals are so obsessed about the BART brand that they're forgetting the fact that it is just a very expensive, non-standard train.

Measure B is all about them being delusional. 8 years ago, Carl Guardino at least tried the featherbed the 2000 Measure A with other projects to make it looked more equitable and fair. This time, with all the VTA failures, all they could sell is a BART brand and a BART delusion without mentioning "VTA" and "new tax." (try to search both phases in the article and you'll see.)

With little credibility left, the delusionals are trying to associate the BART project with all the poll-tested, feel-good buzz words of the day.

Reduce dependence on foreign oil? Reduce greenhouse gas emissions? As Scott Herhold wrote earlier, whatever fuel saving benefits are minimal: "By my back-of-the envelope figuring, the proponents' current estimate of 12,000 gallons of gas saved a day is only three-tenths of 1 percent of total Bay Area usage."

By the way, Caltrain already uses more diesel fuel than that everyday. VTA can do more to reduce oil dependence and emissions by spending just a fraction of the cost to electrify Caltrain. Instead, VTA/SVLG continue to delay the project and trying to mislead others by blaming San Francisco.

A full rail car removes 200 cars from the road? The reality is that neither a BART nor a Caltrain car has that much seating capacity. In fact, even with VTA's inflated ridership numbers, one out of three seats would be empty during the morning rush hours between Fremont and Milpitas. Also, more than half of the projected ridership would be diverted from existing buses and trains.

Of course we must not forget that the BART extension to Millbrae has failed to meet ridership projections and nearly bankrupted SamTrans.

One would wonder why these delusionals are hitting us again for another tax. 8 years ago, voters believed Guardino when he declared that the 2000 tax would be more than enough. After all these years, Measure B supporters could have chip in more of their own money if they really believed BART as a worthy form of investment. Instead, what they did was to shift more of the tax burden onto the residents in this county.

In 2003, Carl Guardino flat out rejected a proposal calling for a VTA payroll tax. If the employers wanted BART because it would somehow help them import more cheap labor from the East Bay, shouldn't they pay their fair share? After all, even a VTA-sponsored "economic study" of the BART project has indicated that workers from out-of-county would only spend about 5.7% of their income in Santa Clara County, mostly on their lunches.

Also, since 2005, SVLG has lobbied for legislation to exempt companies from paying sales taxes.

These days, there are too many false promises everywhere. It is time to have a sincere, rational discussion. Only a NO vote will help us get there.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why would I want the same idiots that run VTA to be in charge of a BART extension? I keep in mind that these are the same people that think 90 minutes with transit is acceptable for a 7.5 mile commute from the west part of Santa Clara (Lawrence/Benton) to North 1st and Trimble in San Jose (Yes, the same trip takes 18 minutes by car).

Anonymous said...

The 2000 Measure A stated that the tax would not be collected until 2006, meaning funding for all those projects have only been collected for two years. For someone so concerned with an organization spending money that it does not have or does not have yet, you should be glad. If VTA build all those projects in the last 8 years, only receiving Measure A revenues for two, they would be in an even worse place now. If that were the case, you'd be railing on VTA for needing to be more responsible. No matter what, you simply get off on kicking dirt at VTA.

Yes, I know VTA bus and light rail isn't the most efficient or practical when it comes to navigating the region, but at least it has plans.

You rat on BART for one reason you won't admit: BART will slash ACE ridership. When riders in the Dublin/Pleasanton and Livermore areas can stop abiding by four trains each direction, and can instead hop on one at their convenience (assuming there will be a direct dublin-san jose line), it'll make more sense to take BART. Those ace shuttles can easily be moved from Great America to Santa Clara, or they'll start from Milpitas.

accountablevta said...

If the 2000 tax supporters weren't planning to use any of the tax money before 2006, then they wouldn't have pursued a tax 8 years ago. Blanca Alvarado wanted to wait until 2002 to put a tax on the ballot.

When people raise questions in 2000 about bonding costs and other costs. The tax supporters just brushed those criticisms aside. They're trying to do the same thing this time.

So what is the point of spending $6-9 billions to get the same riders that are already riding ACE? Also, a direct route you mentioned isn't planned either. VTA couldn't afford to build it.

MikeOnBike said...

"assuming there will be a direct dublin-san jose line"

Doubtful. Without an expensive new flyover, trains would have to reverse at BayFair, which would delay the other lines.

I ride regularly between Fremont and Pleasanton. It's almost 45 minutes on a good day, if you don't miss the transfer at BayFair. On ACE, it's about 40 minutes between Pleasanton and Great America. There's no conceivable way BART can get you from Pleasanton to Great America in 40 minutes.

Don Crede said...

The Measure A supporters promote the measure as creating construction jobs and completing the heavy rail loop around the bay. The issue of whether the BART extension is the most cost effective way to close the loop around the bay. There is an option of extending Caltrain north which would cost a lot less. While it would not be able to carry as many passengers as BART initially, it could be expanded as ridership increased. It create fewer jobs, but the savings could be used to create jobs on other worthy projects.