Last Thursday, the VTA Board passed the budget ,which included fare increases effective next January as well as cuts to paratransit services. As a part of the revised budget, VTA would also apply about $3 million from the federal stimulus package for preventive maintenance. By utilizing funds from the federal government, VTA would be less reliant on its reserve.
At the same meeting, the VTA staff told the board that future sales tax revenue could go even lower than what they projected in January. Because of that, they are preparing for further cuts to transit, especially if the management were not able to reach agreement with the unions on wage freeze and work furloughs.
Bus cuts at SamTrans?
While the SamTrans board is expected to pass a budget this Wednesday, the staff warns that transit cuts may be necessary to address the agency's structural deficit. The SamTrans' Chief Operating Officer told the agency's citizens advisory committee last week that the agency is planning for a service cut of up to 15%.
Transform pushes more Stimulus funds for operating cost
Transform (formerly TALC) is urging transit riders to contact Senator Diane Feinstein asking her to support bill SEC. 1202, which would allow transit agencies to use 10% of the federal stimulus funds for operation. At this difficult moment, preserving transit service and keeping the jobs we have is a form of stimulus by not making the local economic conditions worse.
A bus in China engulfed in flames, passengers trapped
Last Friday, a transit bus in Chengdu, China, bursed in flames while in service (disturbing videos and pictures) and was fully captured on video. The bus, which was packed when the fire started, resulted in the deaths of 27 passengers as they were unable to get out in time. The bus involved had mostly sealed windows and lacked emergency exits. Those who got out were able to do so after passersby broke the bus windows. In the video, burn victims walked out of the bus in need of medical attention. Authorities suspect arson to be the cause for the fire.
No. The headsign is correct. That bus is the 81 going to Cupertino Square on San Fernando Street heading eastbound. The bus actually made a U-turn after the driver forgot to turn left from San Fernando Street to Almaden. Instead of turning at the next block, the driver made a huge U-turn (not a 3 point turn) in the middle of San Fernando Street.