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Santa Clara County bus, light-rail cuts coming

Original post made on Dec 22, 2009

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

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 12:56 PM

Comments (8)

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Posted by Ray
a resident of Castro City
on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Light rail is already a failure of MV. Cutting back service will just make it more irrelevant.

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 23, 2009 at 10:27 am

Rodger the comment on MV / Santa Clara County light rail. It's an unmitigated fiscal disaster, and its emphasis on N 1st Street corridor has been made irrelevant by the tech collapse. Their best response to this budget crisis would be to shut down the light rail system semi-permanently and maintain as much bus service as they can. They also must take a very hard look at cutting the excessive pension benefits and early retirements that they are offering their employees. Those are fiscal time bombs.

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Posted by Alex
a resident of Castro City
on Dec 23, 2009 at 11:11 am

Light rail would have been great if it had decent transfer connection to VTA bus 22. Walking from the MTV station to El Camino is not always the option, takes too much time. Reducing the service will also alienate ridership, and the spiral begins. I've bought a car a year ago when bus lines and schedules were changed, once in a car VTA is not an option. Think about it.

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 23, 2009 at 5:43 pm


Your personal comment about transportation issues is quite irrelevant in the a far more broad social and economic context of the issue. Light rail is a total failure in Santa Clara County, and we no longer can afford it. Public transportation is intended only for the truly poor who can afford nothing else. Light rail was, quite stupidly, intended for the middle- and upper-classes, who can afford to drive cars to work. It was and is a "truly failed business model." MV should apologize for its ignorant support of light rail.

As for your comment about walking from the MV to El Camino, it is a non-starter, unless you are handicapped. I walk 3+ miles per day, and that walk would be a blessing for me because it would clear my brain before and after work. Alex, suck it up, walk the walk, and get yourself in shape. I have no sympathy for lazy folks like you.

No regards, Bill

BTW, take a few classes in basic economics. You might actually learn some real-world info.

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Posted by NeHi
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 23, 2009 at 7:38 pm

One wonders what would happen if fares were reduced to $0.00. Wouldn't the public system be so well loaded that we could relax road improvements/maintenance and redirect $$ to public trans?

Or would it?

Should the budgets be separate?? What criteria could we use to support this?

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Posted by Mr. T
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 24, 2009 at 2:02 am

It's not about money or being lazy, it's about TIME. I've taken the bus and light rail to work, it takes an hour and a half door to door. In my car it takes 15 minutes. I've got a lot better things to do with my TIME then to waste with public transportation.

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Posted by Mark
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 24, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Light rail is a failure in part because it tried to solve what is now a 21st century problem with a 19th century concept -- trains. There is a system that could take over from: light rail, Caltrain, high speed rail, and buses. It's called SkyTran, and it's basically small 2-passenger computer-controlled cars that run on overhead monorails. See Web Link I wrote down many of its advantages over high speed rail, and got 36. Most of those also apply to light rail.

Why can't we move into new and operational technology, instead of being stuck with the past? I'm not financially involved, other than as a resident and taxpayer. If you would like my list of SkyTran's advantages, email me at

- Mark

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Posted by dfb
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 26, 2009 at 10:39 am

@Bill: Be more respectful of others and their comments. Basic economics also refute your points.

The greatest expense is in building out a rail system, not in operation or maintenance. Bus line costs are the inverse; they are cheaper to buy but the biggest costs are in operation and maintenance. They also need to be replaced more often so the costs of bus lines often turn out to be higher over a generation than a rail system.

The Mountain View to downtown S.J. light rail system was poorly designed. It is a perfect example of scope creep where the designers tried to reach too many places rather than focus on speed of service and future connections. It takes just over an hour to downtown S.J. by light rail when a car trip takes 35-45 minutes in the morning. The slow speed is due mostly to the many twists and turns the system takes.

It is personal stories like Alex's that cumulatively tell a story about the system's poor design and future needs. Stories like his are vitally important to the dialogue that needs to occur with regard to our transportation system.

Other cities also tell a story. Successful mass transit systems are used by all segments of society, rich, middle class, and poor alike. In that way, the VTA business plan makes both fiscal and economic sense. Unfortunately, the product was poorly executed and we ended up with an underutilized and unfinished light rail system.

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