VTA to buy 70 hybrid buses with stimulus funds

The board of directors of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority voted unanimously last week to authorize the purchase of 70 environmentally friendly hybrid buses using federal stimulus funding.

The 40-foot diesel hybrid buses will be provided by Gillig LLC, a transit bus manufacturing company based in Hayward, according to VTA officials.

On Thursday night, the 70 buses were authorized to be bought using $42.4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"The federal stimulus funding is benefiting the Bay Area in several ways," VTA General Manager Michael Burns said in a statement.

"First, Santa Clara County residents reap the environmental benefits from these buses. Secondly, the local economy benefits because VTA will be purchasing these buses from a bus manufacturer located in Hayward," Burns said.

Dennis Howard, president of Gillig LLC, said that 35 jobs are being created and sustained by the bus purchase contract, which will also support 1,272 suppliers, vendors and other indirect jobs.

The buses will also help VTA comply with new state and federal emissions requirements. They have the most advanced environmentally friendly technology available on the market, replacing older buses purchased 11 and 12 years ago, according to VTA officials.


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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm

USA is a registered user.

Mr. Math wakes from his siesta and blurts out -- long division, it's not that hard people!

Indeed it is not. For example, $42.4 million dived by 70 is just over $605,714 per bus. Now, if you divide that number the average cost of a regular diesel bus, $302,857, you end up with the number 2.

So, why is that number 2 instead of something a little closer to 1? Mr. Math responds with a sophomoric comment about the VTA and "number 2" but then appends a more useful comment about hitting Google to see what others are doing.

It turns out that this hybrid bus cost problem is spreading fast than Al Gore's carbon footprint. Web Link For example, the taxpayers in Greensboro are getting $714,000 buses. Web Link

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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm

USA is a registered user.

"VTA holds meetings to discuss service cuts" Web Link

Mr. Math said, "don't bother me with this one. Even Euclid could draw a straight line between these two stories."

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Posted by Mr. Whatever
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2009 at 6:31 pm

"Even" Euclid could see that the money given to the VTA to buy those buses was earmarked by Washington for that specific purpose, and could not be used for another purpose such as regular service expenses.

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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2009 at 7:08 pm

USA is a registered user.

... which frees-up millions that the VTA had budgeted on plain old diesel buses.

That dispensed, Mr. Math will now go study new health care funding plan, Web Link

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Posted by not so fast
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Not dispensed. Did you think the VTA had already set aside $42.4 million for a bunch of diesel buses this year? "Oh good, now that the feds bought those buses for us, we can spend it on other stuff!"

What I hate about this kind of "analysis" is that it makes a mockery of real people doing hard work and making hard decisions. It all seems so simple to you in your armchair.....

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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2009 at 11:11 am

USA is a registered user.

not so fast -- Fair enough. I have has to listen to whiny armchair quarterbacks for the last eight years. Now that Obama has shown that it is OK to house terrorist in Gitmo and tap phones and that Pelosi has stated that it is unpatriotic to question the government, I have some satisfaction in the Karmic payback as I now get to be the whiny armchair quarterback. However, I do understand that it is easier to complain that to do the work, so I respectively defer to the fine people at the VTA. (Though I still question the situation that has arisen where we, the taxpayers, are paying a ridiculous price for buses when at the same time scrambling for funds to keep the buses running.)

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Posted by not so fast
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2009 at 11:36 am


Thanks for your measured response. I don't know if this whole stimulus strategy will work, and reasonable people can and do disagree about it. I think (at least, I'm HOPING) it'll stop the bleeding anyway.

So now we know that the VTA and some Hayward bus company got some help. As for us regular homeowners, is now the time to get double-paned windows, low-flow toilets, solar panels, etc? Will the govmnt double-down and pay part of my expense, while at the same time boosting the economy by creating work for people? That's the story I've heard, but I'm not sure if it's happening, and would love any input people have on it.

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Posted by southbay reader
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 11, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Hooray! It's about time!

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