Monday, January 11, 2010

VTA obituaries: 33, 43

Two VTA bus routes got discontinued effective today:

33 - (Jan 10, 2000 - Jan 10, 2010) This line was created exactly a decade ago. Before the opening of the Tasman West LRT, line 20 was the main bus route between Milpitas and Mountain View along Tasman. (At that time bus 20 took 237 to get between Zanker Road and Milpitas as Tasman Drive was yet to be built over Coyote Creek.) Also at that time line 74 provided service to the McCarthy Ranch Shopping Center.

With the opening of the Tasman West LRT in late 1999, line 20 was discontinued, and line 74 was extended to connect with LRT at Baypointe, where all LRT riders transferred between Tasman and First Street trains. Line 33 was created to fill the gap left by line 20 between First Street and Milpitas. The first version of line 33 went from Baypointe to the Weller & Main bus stop in Milpitas via McCarthy Ranch.

Over the decade, that line changed alignment several times. As light rail went further east to Alum Rock in 2004 and line 74 got discontinued, Line 33 remained the local service for the McCarthy Ranch and the areas north of Tasman. Eventually in January 2008, it went only from I-880/Milpitas Station to the Great Mall Station via McCarthy Ranch.

Starting today, line 47 will provide service to McCarthy Ranch via Calaveras. The trip will be quicker from the Calaveras area but will take much longer if transferring directly from the light rail. Also the shopping centers south of 237 will no longer have any bus service.

43 - (January 14, 2008 - January 10, 2010) That number was used before its latest reincarnation in January 2008. Ten years ago, line 43, along with line 41, provided feeder service from the Lawrence Caltrain station to the north Sunnyvale/Santa Clara industrial areas. These lines were eliminated back in 2002/2003 as VTA suffered from the dot-com bust and its original 2000 sales tax projection went to hell.

Two years ago, VTA reestablish that route as a Sunday only service along Capitol Expressway between Alum Rock LRT and Eastridge. That line filled the gap left by 522, which provides service along Capitol Expressway on weekdays and Saturdays. Before 2008, line 31 provided service between the Alum Rock light rail and Eastridge, except that took side streets parallel to the expressway. Without line 43, getting to the Alum Rock light rail from Eastridge will be more difficult if not practical on Sundays. Lines 70 and 71 will continue to provide north-south service between Milpitas and Eastridge, except that those lines will connect with light rail further north closer to Milpitas.

Of course we cannot forget that lines 11 and 13 have lost all weekend service, as well as lines 42, 45, and 46 that have lost Sunday service.

Are there more cuts on the way? Who knows? What we know is that the economy is still not recovered and that Sacramento's broken politics will remain a threat. Michael Burns will say that he's trying to preserve as much of the service as he can, but you also got VTA Chair Sam Liccardo who appears to remain clueless about what everyday transit riders face.


Iin Chang said...
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Iin Chang said...
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Iin Chang said...

Actually after 20 was discontinued due to light rail extension to mountain view, 74 wasn't extended to baypointe; it was rerouted to baypointe station; staying on tasman dr and no longer serving mccarthy ranch, so line 33 was created to fill the gap left by 20 at tasman in zanker area and 74 from mccarthy ranch to weller and main transit center (line 35 from when 20 was discontinued in late 1999 to this day still fills the gap from san antonio shopping center to mountain view). Eventually as light rail extended eastward to alum rock in 2004, 74 was discontinued and the weller and main transit center was moved to great mall transit center and from then the 33 was rerouted to great mall from weller and main. The 33 still served Baypointe and saw some changes in the routing but by 2008 33's service from Baypointe to I-880/Milpitas was eliminated, in which it became a loop from Great Mall to McCarthy Ranch and back to Great Mall. Of course in 2010, 33 was eliminated and 47 today serves McCarthy Ranch, but there is no service to Milpitas Square or in between 237 and Tasman to this day.