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Council balks at $100,000 shuttle study

Original post made on Feb 29, 2012

Would Mountain View residents really use a city-run shuttle service? On Tuesday evening, Mountain View City Council members said they hoped to answer that question with the help of academia, social media, local news outlets and online surveys instead of paying a consultant $100,000 to figure it out in a "ridership demand study."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 1:37 PM

Comments (13)

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Posted by Ned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm

And how much will each rider pay? Please don't tell me this is going to be free.

"I know the need is there," said council member Jac Siegel. "Seniors and youth talk about not being able to get across town, or to the movies."

-Really? How do you know the need is there?

"Describing his own preference, Means added, 'I'd say we want a party shuttle so we can go up and down Castro Street on Friday night and have fun.'"

-Please don't run again for City Council!

City Manager Dan Rich agreed with council member Laura Macias and others that using an online service such as Survey Monkey could be helpful in determining "how to proceed," but said he hoped the council would understand that such a survey is not "statistically valid."

-No kidding. So why do it?

How about the City Council work on cutting back costs and be done with these baseless ideas like no smoking zones, no drive thrus, and free shuttles.

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Posted by vfree
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

$100,000 would buy a bicycle for every shuttle user in Mountain View. It wouldn't hurt the seniors and youth to get out and walk either.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Feb 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Nice to see our city council excersize some fiscal restraint. I'm sure they can find a better way to blow that $100k.

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Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I for one would welcome this service within the city limits. In the 1970's I used the Dial-A-Ride system and I enjoyed it. All I had to do was to call the bus service and a bus came right to my house. But perhaps the time is right for a city shuttle service.

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Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Not spending the $100,000 on consultants seems like the responsible thing to do. I think the $175,000 to $1.6 million annual cost of a shuttle would be better spent on more bike paths. Once built, bike paths cost less to maintain. And I would bet each dollar spent on a bike path helps more citizens than a dollar spent on bus service.

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Posted by vet
a resident of Gemello
on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm

As an 87 year old WWII member of the VFW I can still walk a reasonable distance, but not far enough to get to the grocery store. Would like to continue living in my home in Mountain View as long as I can and would be willing to pay for using a shuttle.

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Posted by Ned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 1, 2012 at 7:08 am


Thanks for your service. Contact the Senior Center. I'm sure they can offer some assistance and services with programs originally and specifically designed for you. You might have to push through the crowd of newly-arrived seniors with their hands sticking out of their Mercedes Benzs to get help, however.

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Posted by Susan
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

There are many sources of transportation that are already in place. VTA has wheelchair buses, Outreach is available to qualified elders and those with disabilities, and a taxi is not really very expensive within the city. Please do not add other vehicles to our streets. Perhaps the transportation links could be put into the front of the phone book? Not everyone has a computer.

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Posted by Michael
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 6, 2012 at 8:11 am

People want to have transportation like Europe.
In Europe, the public transportation actually goes near where people live. Almost no one is going to get in a car off of Cuesta and drive to public transportation to park the car and get on a bus/train or Tram. The amazing trick no one in this country has figured out is... Make it so people do not have to get in the car in the first place.
Also, trams ride in the slow lanes of roads in Europe and the person driving it is expected to actually drive in traffic and stop at stop signs and lights just like everyone else. That saves having to buy property for tracks.

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Posted by lindaloo
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Agree with Michael! I love to walk, and my preference would be to combine public transit with walking as much as possible.

For me, it's a 45 minute walk to downtown MV, certainly pleasant and do-able, but a long way back if one is shopping and carrying purchases. Hopping on a free shuttle (or making VTA free for seniors, esp for short jaunts), would be great. I've got a stop right outside my house, but I'm not going to fork over the $$ for a 5 minute ride to downtown. It's more convenient to hop in the car instead, sad to say.

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Mar 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

Ideas for the shuttle. VTA and Mountain View share routes, get some of the business to buy travel cards for a discount. The shuttle won't be able to serve all of Mtn View but with North Bayshore, NASA, S.A. shopping center, if we could get a hotel(s), of course the Downtown train station. You don't need to spend 100,000 dollars, just have people reply on here. Onn the shuttle themself, make them smart looking, clean, easy to use and easy to understand. Free Wifi, no farebox board, passes or transit cards only.

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Posted by SP Phil
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm

For years I've been talking to friends about the advantages of having a route-specific shuttle system that will accomplish two things:

1. Fill in the gaps between existing public transportation forms/routes. There are big ones, like between El Camino and Central Expressway.

2. Encourage people to come downtown without cars.

An example of both of these is simply a shuttle that goes up and down Castro Street, between El Camino and Caltrain. That way people who take the 22/522 route along El Camino Real can connect to Caltrain for onward journeys.

A second example, since I leave in Shoreline West, is that such a shuttle would make it possible from me to get to Caltrain and, for example, go to SFO or SJC to meet friends, to depart on flights, etc.

Also, a shuttle on weekend evenings would bring even more customers to downtown restaurants and clubs without drunk driving risks and it could mitigate the severe parking situation on evenings. The naysayer above seems to think this would be frivolous, but the owners of business in the Castro Street area would most likely be very happy to see that.

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Posted by gcoladon
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm

gcoladon is a registered user.

I think some commenters have made a plausible case for why people might value transport between these different places. If the demand for a ride is there, why couldn't a private bus company operate this route, profitably?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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