Friday, October 17, 2008

VTA's PR spin

A day after being slammed with bad news, the VTA's PR department (also happened to be a taxpayer-funded propaganda department of SVLG) suddenly announced "record" ridership increases.

Well, VTA's ridership never broke any records. Systemwide, it is still more than 10% lower than the record ridership in 2001. Ridership on VTA buses was more than 18% lower than in 2001. Ridership increases on light rail helped compensate the loss of bus ridership. However, as we all know, VTA operates a larger light rail system (that replaced some bus lines) today than in 7 years ago.

Caltrain's ridership indeed broke record. Its most recent count showed the ridership exceeded the last record made in 2001.

Typically ridership numbers are not released this early, but VTA did so in an attempt to repair its image. If VTA is really interested to repair its image, VTA should be releasing new cost estimates for the BART project now, not after the election.


gatsbyinca said...

You guys are crazy...the headline is "VTA Marks Record September Light Rail Ridership". There was no claiming of all-time records, all time combined LR/Bus records, etc...just wanted to bash some more?

accountablevta said...

It is important to put whatever "records" VTA said it made into perspective.

Things like light rail extensions impact bus riders when longer routes are broken into shorter segments, which require transfers and an extra fare.

The PR staff don't ride the transit everyday, but it is their job to promote VTA's agenda.