Rather than declaring a fiscal emergency as what Caltrain done two months ago, VTA is proposing to adopt a "negative declaration" for the proposed 8% reduction in service. By state law, transit agency needs to produce a document that would identify environmental impacts. One of the exemptions available to transit agencies is by declaring a fiscal emergency (eminent bankruptcy). On the other hand, a "negative declaration" is a finding of no significant impacts upon an initial evaluation. If there were to be potential significant impacts, the agency would have to produce a larger environmental impact report, which is normally done for larger transit projects.
In the draft negative declaration, VTA says the service reduction would produce a ridership drop of 3.1% on buses and 0.4% on the light rail. The ridership reduction would not have a significant on traffic nor air quality.
VTA will hold a meeting on the draft negative declaration:
Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium,
County Government Center
70 West Hedding Street, San Jose
Deadline for formal comment is August 31, 2009: firstname.lastname@example.org