Although next month's service changes are nothing compared to what occurred in January 2008, VTA nonetheless is announcing it onboard buses. While the July service changes mostly involve reallocation of resource, some service was removed (by not reallocating it) because of the budget constraints.
However, with rising unemployment and drop in sales taxes, VTA internally is planning for a 10% service cut possibly for October and move the approved fare increase date from January to October. These changes would require public meetings and board approvals, which need to happen soon.
Other agencies have done more planning earlier in preparation for service reductions. AC Transit has proposed a plan to reduce service by almost 15% after a series of public meetings. SamTrans is also preparing for a cut of up to 15% and scheduled public meetings in July to receive comments. While details are pending, SamTrans cuts most likely involve trimming express service and elimination of overnight routes. AC Transit's cuts involve drawing a new bus network in Hayward and Fremont, as well as elimination of some routes in other cities.
On the other hand, VTA hosted public meetings last year and is spending money now to promote cost-neutral service adjustments. Is VTA leaving us unprepared for significant service reductions soon after?