Bus cuts meeting dates:
Monday, August 10, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Campbell Community Center, Roosevelt Community Room
1 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
County Government Center, Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium
70 West Hedding Street, San Jose
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.
City of Mountain View, Council Chambers
500 Castro Street, Mountain View
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.
San Jose Public Library, Almaden Branch
6445 Camden Avenue, San Jose
Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.
Dr. Roberto Cruz - Alum Rock Branch Public Library
3090 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose
Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Milpitas Public Library, Room A
160 N. Main Street, Milpitas
The following is the quick summary of the proposed service reductions:
Route discontinuation: 34, 43, 76, 101, River Oaks shuttle
Weekend service cut: 11, 13, 42 (Sunday only), 45, 46 (Sunday only), 81 (weekend service operate only between Cupertino Square and Santa Clara Caltrain)
Drop in frequency from 15 to 20 mins:
- Midday: 66, 68, 72, 73, 77
- Weekend: 25 (30 to 40 minutes west of Valley Med), 70
Drop in frequency from 15 to 30 mins: 10 (early morning), 13, 26 (cut midday short trips), 31, 60 (midday)
Drop in frequency from 30 mins to 40-45 mins:
- Midday: 14, 17, 18, 19, 27, 63
- Saturday: 40, 54, 82 (hourly Sunday), 180
- Sunday: 60, 47, 54, 71, 72, 73, 180
Drop in frequency from 30 mins to hourly:
- Midday: 37 (between Capitol and Winchester), 46, 48, 49
- All day: 39
- Saturday: 27, 31, 35
- Sunday: 57
Route change: 47 - combined with line 33 via Calaveras.
Light Rail: Mountain View service would end at 10:30pm. Two night bus trips would replace light rail from Tasman to Fair Oaks serving all LRT stops and run non-stop to Mountain View.
Nearly all bus lines will have some trips deleted and service hours reduced during early mornings and evenings. Line 22 would also have overnight service eliminated. Along with the proposed cut of SamTrans' overnight service, there would no longer be any overnight transit option available along the Caltrain corridor.
These proposed cuts are a strong reminiscent of the bus cuts VTA made in 2002 and 2003. During that time, VTA reduced service on many routes from 15-30 minute headways into odd headways of 20-45 minutes. Only during the COA process when service was added back on some routes by diverting resources from elsewhere in the system. This time, the same service is getting threatened again.
Some of the frequency cuts may look minor, but the odd headways proposed for many routes make transfers difficult. For example, lines 68 and light rail operate on the same headway and passengers have timed transfers at the Santa Teresa Station 4 times an hour. Under this proposal, timed transfer would only be available once an hour midday.
The more important question is whether VTA would restore the service once the economy recovers. After the cuts in 2002 and 2003, VTA did not significantly increase service levels and failed to meet the 2000 Measure A promise to increase bus service over the year 2000 level. Last fall, Michael Burns claimed that Measure B was necessary because bus service could not be decimated to fund the BART project. Right now, bus service is being decimated. If Burns does not agree to restore service to at least January 2008 level as soon as funding becomes available, then he is breaking his promise and therefore should not deserve any federal funds for a rail line to the Flea Market.
Tomorrow, VTA Riders' Union will hold a protest and a press conference ast 6:00pm at the San Jose Diridon Station over the proposed fare hikes and service cuts by not only VTA, but also by Caltrain and other transit agencies. Earlier in the day, Transform will hold an event in Downtown Oakland urging federal lawmakers to provide more assistance to transit agencies for operations.
Finally, the so-call no tax-hike state budget is nothing but a Republican scam to protect the rich and deceive the middle class. Through some budget manuvers to shift money from one pot to another, many local governments would be ending up with a larger budget shortfall, forcing them to cut service and raise taxes and fees beyond what they have already done. Under this settlement, AC Transit would lose an additional $6 million with their local taxes being "borrowed" by the state. AC Transit is already losing $26 million through the cuts in State Transit Assistance alone, which was diverted to cover the general fund shortfall.
East Bay taxpayers have been generous to AC Transit by overwhelmingly approving tax increases to protect bus operations and hold fares stable. At the end, it appears that their generosity have been exploited by Sacramento politicians.