Mountain View Voice

News - January 1, 2010

VTA to cut bus, light-rail service

by Bay City News

Major cutbacks in bus and light-rail service will hit Santa Clara County transit riders in January, the Valley Transportation Authority announced Dec. 21.

Starting Jan. 11, VTA will reduce service to help mitigate a projected $70 million budget deficit in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Weekday service will be cut 8 percent, Saturday service 10 percent, and Sunday service 16 percent.

The deficit is the result of a continued loss of state transit funding and a decline in sales tax revenue, VTA spokeswoman Jennie Loft said.

VTA bus lines that operated every 15 minutes will be cut to every 30 minutes or more. Line 76, which offers service between Los Gatos and Summit Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains, will be entirely cut. The River Oaks Shuttle will be discontinued after July 9.

"In general you're going to find service reductions primarily in areas and commute times when there's not a lot of ridership," Loft said. "On weekends you're going to find times in the morning and night when there's not a high volume of ridership."

Loft said the service reductions will save the authority around $6.4 million. VTA will look further for cost-saving strategies, such as deferring the purchase of bus rapid-transit vehicles, Loft said.

In addition to service cuts, the VTA has implemented many other cost-saving measures, including employee furloughs, wage freezes and a fare increase.

Information about service changes is available at www.vta.org/service_modifications.

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