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Santa Clara County supervisors vote to oppose bloated spending plan for BART

Original post made on Dec 18, 2020

County supervisors came out in formal opposition Tuesday to a plan that would pour sales tax money into extending BART at the expense of other transportation projects over the next decade.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 18, 2020, 9:34 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by Stop It
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2020 at 10:18 am

Stop It is a registered user.

VTA’s Board structure is loaded so San Jose can out-vote the small towns in north and south County. What Board Members in the SJ voting block lack in scruples, they make up for in greed.

I voted against Measure B because there was no written guarantee in it that we wouldn’t be robbed again for BART.

Now Palo Alto is to lose its share of grade separation, road repair and transportation funds we had coming.

And this from VTA, ranked near the rock bottom as worst such agency in the nation. This corruption must stop.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

Please share this article with friends, it’s important northern Santa Clara County taxpayers understand how they are “ripped off.”
Also request our local government representatives represent us effectively - sometimes one thinks they mildly object - but really in fact supported Carl Guardino, etc., really...
Though the SC County BOS comes off as helpful here, much more needs to be done for northern Santa Clara County taxpayers to be served by our elected and non-elected government officials.
It’s incredible that Palo Alto serves as a cash cow for these outfits such as VTA!
Read the audits of VTA - not good.
Believe me, I WANT effective transit, which we do not have here, but we also need sensible and fair leadership.
You CAN email your representatives, you know....worth doing. Thanks!

Posted by Bill Hough
a resident of Los Altos
on Dec 19, 2020 at 8:27 am

Bill Hough is a registered user.

I write as a taxpayer, resident and voter living in Los Altos.

I completely agree with a letter written by County Supervisor S. Joseph Simitian. As he states, "the Measure B 10-Year Outlook needs to serve the entire County to the greatest extent possible, including by avoiding or minimizing reductions in the annual formula programs (Local Streets and Roads, Bicycle/Pedestrian, and Transit Operations) and maintaining progress for the capital projects in the other programs which are already under way."

There is enough money for BART: the 2016 Measure B was the third Sales tax passed since 2000 to pay for transportation in Santa Clara County. In November 2000, the voters approved Measure A, a 30-year half cent sales tax devoted to specified public transit capital improvement projects and operations including BART. 2008 Measure B was a 1/8-cent, 30-year sales tax to pay BART for operations, maintenance and improvements.

VTA should consider "value engineering" BART by canceling the unnecessary part of the line from San Jose to Santa Clara that duplicates existing Caltrain and 22/522 bus service. VTA should also use less expensive tunneling alternatives under Santa Clara Street. If additional money is necessary, raise taxes on the rich tech companies that will directly benefit from BART service. Don't gut 2016 Measure B.

Posted by Jeremy Erman
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 19, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Jeremy Erman is a registered user.

For years, VTA has said it has a fiscal emergency and needs to cut bus service to compensate, yet it always finds money for BART. VTA has passed multiple taxes and secured grants to fund BART while moaning that their finances are so bad that they have to cut bus service, especially anything that doesn't serve San Jose.

VTA opened BART to San Jose after years of delays in the middle of a pandemic while running reduced bus service. But they still want to prioritize building BART to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara Transit Center even though this duplicates existing bus, light-rail, and CalTrain service.

It would seem sensible to put BART on hold for a few years and spend 75% of Measure B funds to restore basic transit service. Once the existing transit systems that people rely on to get around Santa Clara County are in good shape, they can expand BART. But right now, it just takes away from money that is desperately needed elsewhere.

VTA will say they can't do this. But if they can always find money for BART when they need it, why can't they find money for buses?

Posted by Realignment
a resident of Community Center
on Dec 19, 2020 at 2:32 pm

Realignment is a registered user.

Palo Alto should secede from Santa Clara County and join San Mateo instead. Our needs and interests are much more similar to San Mateo County than to San Jose.

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