July service changes
VTA's Transit Planning & Operations Committee will decide tomorrow on proposed bus changes for July.
VTA staff has originally proposed to change lines 11, 34, and 45 because of low ridership. After a series of public meetings last month, staff kept their recommendations for 11 and 34, and withdrew the proposal for line 45.
Unlike most public meetings in the past, VTA Vice Chair Margaret Abe-Koga (Mountain View) attended meetings in Mountain View on line 34 and in San Jose on line 11.
The proposal for line 11 is to eliminate the segment to the Market Center on Coleman and only provide service between Downtown and Taylor & 17th with a new route. The new route would have mostly two way service every 30 minutes (currently hourly) in that area and would offer better access to the City Hall and San Jose State.
For line 34, the plan is to reroute it to serve the senior center on Escuela Avenue. This proposal received support in the community.
Staff first planned to reroute line 45 down McKee between Alum Rock (in the foothills) and Capitol Avenue, and boost frequency from hourly to 45 minutes. VTA eventually withdrew that plan after receiving opposition from riders. The riders told the staff that the proposed 45 minute frequency wouldn't be as convenient because the schedule would be harder to remember.
Besides these three lines, VTA will also eliminate line 76 and the River Oaks Shuttle after receiving approval from the board last year. VTA delayed the elimination of line 76 until the end of the school year in June. The River Oaks Shuttle will run until July 9 when funding agreement expires.
Light Rail McDonald's wrap
McDonald's food isn't exactly healthy, but the fast food chain is supporting VTA service by wrapping light rail cars to promote french fries. Unlike the buses, the light rail cars have been ad free until a few years ago. At first, VTA place its own advertisements (like "New VTA") and was later expanded to other businesses.
Pictures below are taken by a VTA Watch blog reader.
VTA probably followed Caltrain's lead, which began wrapping its trains in 2004. Caltrain wrappings are rare because of the high cost.
VTA iPhone/iPod Touch app update
The author of the iVTA app recently released a new version of the software with improved functions. This application is particularly useful if you don't like to carry a lot of stuff and want to know what time the bus or the light rail will come.