Monday, April 18, 2011

VTA to hold meetings on future bus plans

VTA is planning to hold meetings early next month on bus change proposals that would be implemented this July as well as next year. The bus plan is a part of the VTA's proposal biennial budget.

Monday, May 2 at 6:00 p.m.
City of Mountain View
500 Castro Street, Mountain View, 94041

Tuesday, May 3 at 3:00 p.m.
County of Santa Clara, Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium
70 West Hedding Street, San Jose, 95110

Tuesday, May 3 at 6:00 p.m.
Dr. Roberto Cruz Public Library, Community Room
3090 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, 95127
Served by VTA Bus Lines 25, 45 and 71.

Wednesday, May 4 at 6:00 p.m.
City of Morgan Hill Community & Cultural Center Hiram Morgan Hill Room
17000 Monterey Street, Morgan Hill, 95037

Monday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m.
County of Santa Clara, Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium
70 West Hedding Street, San Jose, CA 95110

Tuesday, May 10 at 6:00 p.m.
Campbell Community Center, Mary Campbell Room
1 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell 95008

For full details click on the title.

For this July, VTA proposes minor changes for the following routes: 35, 47, 54, 65, 68, 82, 102, 181.

Line 102, which goes from Santa Teresa to Palo Alto is experiencing overcrowding and the staff is surveying riders for the preferred trip time as they plan to add another run.

On line 181, the staff plans to add short trips between Milpitas and Fremont to make a 20 minute headway, but the frequency between Milpitas and Downtown San Jose will remain the same.

For January 2012, VTA plans the following:
Minor changes (involve some trip eliminations, shortening of some trips) - 10, 13, 18, 22, 25, 31, 35, 39, 46, 51, 55, 60, 64, 66, 68, 73, 77

Major changes
16 - Midday service would be eliminated.
23 - Weekday frequency would be improved to every 10 minutes.
26 - Short trips would be added between Lockheed and El Camino during commute hours.
45 - Saturday service would be eliminated. Weekday service would be shortened an hour early.
48, 49 - Weekday and weekend service all have reduced service hours.
57, 58 - Reduction in frequency
61, 62 - Slight reduction in frequency and service hours.
81 - Sunday service would be eliminated
101 - Service would be eliminated because it doesn't meet ridership standard.
102 - Stops in San Jose will be reduced to the Santa Teresa, Snell, and Ohlone light rail stations, and the line would also use new "premium express" buses.
103 - This line would use new premium buses and one more round trip would be added.
104 - This line would be eliminated. (VTA tried to get rid of it as early as 2007)
105 - This would be new line from Fremont BART to the Shoreline area (Google HQ) in Mountain View. This line would use the new premium bus and would have four round trips.
120, 121 - This line would use new premium buses.
122 - This line would use new premium buses, stops would be reduced, and one more round trip would be added. (Back in 2007 VTA staff recommended to cut the route)
180 - Some trips would be eliminated.
182 - One of the two round trips would be eliminated and stops would be reduced.
183 - This would be a new line from the Evergreen area to Fremont BART (Dave Cortese's pet route). This line would use new premium buses and would have 3 round trips.
328, 330 - One more round trip would be added.

For July 2012, VTA proposes the following:
11, 17, 34 - Ridership is still below standard and these lines are slated for elimination in 2012 unless ridership improves. Another public meetings would be held in early 2012. Line 11 and 34 have had ridership problems in the past, but because they go by senior facilities, a lot of people don't want these routes cut.

522 - VTA plans to extend service hours on weekdays from about 7:30pm to about 10:30pm. Saturday service would also be expanded and there would be service on Sundays.

14 comments:

Adam said...

You know, sometimes I wonder, is VTA _trying_ to encourage people to drive? Seriously.

arcady said...

The increase in service span on the 522 is a very welcome change, as is the increased frequency on the 23 and 26. I don't really have much opinion on the express buses, as I don't use them, but it seems like demand there depends greatly on the current economic situation and the particular companies located at the end of the routes.

Walfafalfa said...

The best way to avoid VTA wrath is to live in Downtown San Jose where everything is there. The VTA is almost non-existance and doesn't work. If you live away from downtown, start driving. It's an automobile oriented community and it's transportation system is unreliable.

amandainsjc said...

As my experience with the 23 tonight showed, (the bus driver left a few minutes late and hence I ended up waiting for a half an hour for the 26, which I just barely missed) the VTA really needs to work on transfers. Well, bus drivers need to leave on time, but more thought needs to be given to transfers. *That*, more than anything, is what i want.

arcady said...

amanda makes a very good point here, and I think the planners and supervisors at the VTA need to understand this much better than they do. It can seem that a bus being 4 minutes late isn't such a big deal, but a bus being 4 minutes late can lead to a rider being 30 minutes late, as can a bus being 1 minute early if it results in the rider missing that bus.

amandainsjc said...

Here's another one: the last NB 54 from De Anza leaves at 8:40 and supposedly arrives at Lockheed Martin at 9:02. The SB MV-Winchester lrt goes through there at 9:00. Actually, with most NB 54's its a literal race to make it to the light rail. And lets not talk about syncing Caltrain with lrt in Mountain View. That's a disaster.

I don't have too high of hopes this problem will get addressed.

amandainsjc said...

And sorry for the thread spam, but I have a feeling that fixing the transfer issue would be an easy, painless way for the VTA to improve its image with riders, especially of the coveted upper-middle class white collar variety who often get screwed over by poor transfers with Caltrain and light rail. *That* would be an important demographic to win over.

Anonymous said...

Just some corrections:
Lines 102, 103 will operate one less trip... Most of the expressess will see less service as VTA try to cater to select market and match those times according and brand new premium express, so this makes scheduling tight.

I think these changes are more in the form of taking service from particular areas and moving it elsewhere. Definitely not a fan of 522, the increased service on Line 522 and 23 isn't warranted. There are too many areas in the county that need and have asked for service or a restoration of service. VTA's main priority should provide available public transportation as an option - especially since we all pay taxes to support its operation.

amandainsjc said...

anonymous-
I think the worth of the 522 (and the hopefully soon to be implemented 523) sorta depends on how you use it. If you're just travelling from, lets say Los Altos to Palo Alto, it really doesn't matter too much, but for long trips up and down the length of El Camino (between PA and downtown SJ) the 522 is a godsend. Likewise, taking the 23 from downtown SJ to De Anza is...well, its sorta something for masochists.

ajf said...

The idiocy of transfers on VTA is the one thing that makes me rage. I regularly use LRT, Line 68, 55, 22, 23, and 27.

I'm always missing transfers late night from 22 -> 68 and sometimes have to wait an hour for the next 68. Transferring from LRT at Blossom Hill to 27 is almost humorous the number of times i've seen the bus pulling out of the parking lot as the train was just pulling in.

I totally agree with you amanda, fixing the transfers would go a long way in improving VTAs image.

Kai Wetlesen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kai Wetlesen said...

**edited to fix transposed letters**

I'm entertained (well, enraged actually) at how the VTA has constantly left West SC County out in the lurch as far as north/south transport goes. One would almost think that the whole world wanted to go to San Jose! WRONG! West of Lawrence Expressway, we've endured nothing but service cuts (except now Line 26). But living in Cupertino is living in a black hole, at least with regards to being able to get around without a car. I really wish that VTA would consider restoring some service here! For example, to get to west Cupertino (old Monta Vista) one has to wait a whole hour for the 51 bus, with NO service before 7:00 AM and zilch after 6:00 PM, with nothing (of course!) on weekends. Pathetic!

Of course they cite low ridership. *headdesk* DUH! We can't switch to the other lines we need, a la Caltrain, LRT, etc. For example, if the first northbound trip left just 6 minutes earlier those riders could easily catch the northbound Baby Bullet. Again, DUH VTA! I personally wish we citizens could hold every last employee there in the Forbidden City accountable (by firing them)! In fact, I would love to start with the top, by replacing each delusional board member with an elected representative of each area of the county. Of course we taxpayers have no choice in the matter, how nice!

amandainsjc said...

Kai-
I think I recognise your name from De Anza-you are another CS student, right?

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