Thursday, July 16, 2009

VTA July update

The VTA Board will meet today at noon. Here's some of the items on the agenda:

Hybrid bus procurement

The item would authorize the agency to purchase 107 low floor hybrid buses to replace the older buses on the current fleet. Three manufacturers have submitted proposals: Gillig, Orion, and New Flyer. Funding for this purchase is provided by the Stimulus funds and 2006's Prop 1B. The staff will come back to the board once a vendor has been selected.

October fare change

As reported earlier, the VTA board will likely approve the scheduled fare change from January to October. The staff report also says that they're planning a service reduction for October. VTA is experiencing a 21% drop in sales tax revenue, which VTA earlier anticipated for a 8% decrease. Even if the board gives approval for a service reduction, it is unlikely that the staff will be able to conduct proper public outreach required for an October service cut.

Labor agreements

VTA has settled with three of its unions (TAEA, SEIU, AFSCME). The new agreement would not provide wage increases and would impose mandatory furloughs, but would not result in any employee layoffs unless the economic condition goes dramatically worse. VTA has yet to reach an agreement with ATU. Without an amended agreement, it is likely that VTA will have to further reduce service and layoff ATU employees to cut costs.

Hamilton station settlement

The Hamilton light rail station was built on top of a berm connecting to an overpass. After service started in 2005, the station area has experienced earth settlement and require frequent maintenance on the track to make sure the track is properly aligned. The VTA Board is expected to approve a contract to fix the settlement issue. In the meantime, VTA has reduced powerwashing on the platform to cut the amount of water seeping into the berm, which is causing the settlement.

The repair will require two weekend light rail shutdown in that area.

UPDATE: VTA has confirmed an 8% service cut for January as reported here earlier in the comment section.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope the VTA do not purchase GILLIGs. I am hoping for New Flyers.