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Buses remain empty along city's worst traffic spots

Original post made on Jun 18, 2016

It was morning rush hour, and Shoreline Road was jammed with cars, corporate shuttles and cyclists crossing Highway 101. There was also a VTA bus, with only three passengers.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, June 18, 2016, 10:30 AM

Comments (53)

Posted by Aghast
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 18, 2016 at 11:09 am

The shuttle buses, both private and city, are devoid of riders-much like the bike share program. Gee Whiz, who knew! More wasted dollars. Money better spent on the under-served (those with mental health and housing issues). It's tough to be "green" when politicians and the "pc" preach rather than ride public transportation themselves. In the mean time, these shuttles sit empty and idle the day away on residential streets. The city will soon hand out street parking permits to homeowners that have too many cars to park on their property. Too funny.


Posted by PA resident.
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2016 at 11:37 am

That bus route is packed with students going to Foothill college and is in need of expansion into Palo Alto. It is a shame that the reverse commute is not as popular.


Posted by J
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 18, 2016 at 12:35 pm

None of this should be a surprise to anyone. For starters:

- Many commuters live 10+ miles away, outside of Mountain View. That's an hour-long bus ride. And most people aren't dedicated enough to bike that distance.

- Even if you build more houses in Mountain View, not everyone is willing to move out of their existing house just to be closer to work.

- Even if Mountain View's bus or shuttle systems were convenient to most people (they're not), people in San Mateo or San Jose still have to get to the Caltrain or bus terminal in their area -- which could be miles away and/or require multiple transfers. If the first mile doesn't work for people, it doesn't matter how good the last mile is.

- And finally, even driving 5 miles within Mountain View and dealing with the traffic and parking is still much faster than waiting for and riding the bus (plus extra time padding if you actually need to be somewhere on a schedule), so don't be surprised when people value their time over "reducing congestion" or helping the environment.

In the end, I think the solution to making local public transit workable is moving away from fixed routes towards Uber/Lyft vanpool type pickups. Probably around the same time we get self-driving vehicles.


Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 18, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Maybe the city needs to do a better job of publicizing these bus routes? And VTA needs to design bus routes that are actually useful to city residents.


Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2016 at 4:35 pm

I agree, VTA is its best worst enemy. They aren't trying to cater to people who want to commute efficiently. Instead they are looking to serve poor people who can't afford a car who have all the time in the world to get where they are going.

In this day and age, somebody needs to shake them up. They need to do a better job of becoming alternative transportation. They need to advertise their service to commuters and then serve them.

I checked into looking for a commute to Sunnyvale from Palo Alto. It took 3 transfers and 2 hours for what is a 20 minute drive in good traffic at a cost of $5.25 one way. No commuter is going to do that as an efficient alternative to driving a personal car.


Posted by bjd
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm

@Mark Noack, thank you for writing this piece to bump the conversation up within the community.

I think Barry Chang got this one right when he said the VTA is focused on getting people where the VTA wants them to go, and not where people want to go. It is a problem both with the bus network and LRT service, unfortunately.

Last time I road the 22, I waited about 20 minutes for my bus to arrive. It is a bit of a long wait considering I was only trying to ride about 2 miles. While I was waiting, a Google Bus came and went, and took with it about 20 riders. I was the only one to board the VTA bus. It really made me think back to Mr. Changs sentiment.

For the private buses, one end of the route is obviously well-matched for its riders. And, the private company has the great benefit of being able to ask where their riders will be coming from, so they can plan their service around it. We should do more to encourage and improve these services, unlike what SF has been doing, for example by following through with the Shoreline Corridor Plan to create a reversible bus lane along the busy stretch of Shoreline Blvd.

One suggestion for the VTA specific to Shoreline, split Route 40 into two parts-- one serving Foothill and the other serving North Bayshore. Why? Because then, you can focus on improving service into NBS from MV's higher density areas, and create a high-frequency route, rather than the very poor frequency service that is now offered. High-frequency is a prerequisite for high ridership, particularly in the Uber/Lyft era.

Additionally, the clear missing connection into NBS is from Castro Caltrain, not San Antonio. Caltrain service is very frequent to Castro, and very infrequent to San Antonio. So, focus service at Castro. Fortunately the private shuttles are filling the gap rather nicely.

Last point, the VTA does not always seem open minded about changes to their service. For example at TransForm's "Let's Get Moving" event, Dr. Stefan Heck suggested that around 80% of VTA's buses would be cheaper run by outsourcing to Uber/Lyft (and with better service). VTA's CIO literally rolled his eyes and made no further comment about it. At the presentation for the VTA's tax initiative, half of the audience at the MV meeting expressed interest in reducing the scope of BART to not include Santa Clara (and put $300m elsewhere) the response was that the Board had never considered eliminating the station planned 16 years ago, and had no plans to have such a discussion. I'm not exactly sure what the point of this outreach meeting was, then. But so it goes.


Posted by Asheley
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 18, 2016 at 5:10 pm

I'd rather not get harassed and cat called by homeless people, thanks. Sorry but until people stop trying to be politically correct and address this issue I won't be riding a VTA bus again. This is something that happens every time you get on the bus, some issue with a mentally unstable individual. Last time I rode along El Camino was a few months ago and the driver had to pull over and ask the shirtless man to stop pacing the bus punching empty seats or he'd call the police.


Posted by VTA BLOB
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 18, 2016 at 9:12 pm

The VTA is like The BLOB seeking more power (and money). It has no other purpose. It just gets bigger. The BLOB was a science-fiction movie. The VTA is a horrible reality.


Posted by Amelia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 19, 2016 at 8:03 am

I agree with the others. I love the idea of public transportation, but VTA just doesn't work for me. It takes too long to get anywhere and I'm always approached by a crazy person on the bus who wants something or scares the heck out of me. And the cost is too much. And trying to read the service maps is confusing.

Caltrain, on the other hand, works great. It takes me directly into the heart of many cities quickly. It is expensive, but it gets me where I want to go fast.

More stations is not always best. More stops is not always best. VTA needs to completely re-think transportation.


Posted by Eric
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 19, 2016 at 8:46 am

The most direct VTA route for me to get to the Palo Alto VA hospital is for me to take Caltrain from Mountain View to the California Ave Station and then ride the VTA bus from there. No thanks.

The only way I would ride a VTA bus is if it were free, like a Disneyland shuttle. For many of the same reasons cited above by commuters, it is just not worth it to me otherwise in terms of time or money. Since my tax dollars have been paying toward VTA for many years, at least I could start recouping a bit of what I have put into the system.


Posted by Why not
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 19, 2016 at 8:50 am

PA Resident nailed it. VTA is a transportation system designed for another time period (50 years ago) or a high density population where driving is not an option.
The disconnect between VTA, Mountain View City leaders and REALITY is astonishing. Suburban bus programs struggle all over the US with the same problems listed by many: low ridership, unsafe/scary at night, odd pricing/routes for short travel, and ridiculous wait times.
Having just moved here a few years ago, its interesting to witness the discord between the supposedly high tech, progressive ideas of Silicon Valley and the antiquated systems that many local leaders don't want to update/change.


Posted by Vote NO
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2016 at 9:40 am

In the post above, "bjd" points out the disconnect regarding the VTA tax on the November ballot. VTA is asking us to vote for this sales tax increase even though they are the beneficiaries of three existing sales taxes, including a permanent 1/2 cent passed in 1976 that everybody seems to forget about.

Before increasing taxes YET AGAIN, waste needs to be removed from transportation projects. For example, VTA needs to eliminate waste and "gold plating" of the BART extension's cost by reducing the scope to eliminate duplicate facilities. Specifically, we need to eliminate the redundant and wasteful section between the San Jose and Santa Clara Caltrain stations. The BART segment from these stations would duplicate both the existing Caltrain line and VTA's 22 and 522 buses to a station that has approximately 1000 riders each weekday.

It's pathetic that VTA ignores these issues while asking us for more money.


Posted by Reason
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 19, 2016 at 10:02 am

Most residents in MV are supportive of VTA and its initiatives. Only a vocal few spouting nonsense are in opposition.

Most of us realize that we can't just keep adding lanes to roadways to support more automobile traffic. VTA has planned some great projects that will focus on moving people and not just cars.

Notice that there is not one single reasonable alternative option proposed by this misinformed minority opinion. Just a lot of unsubstantiated rhetoric and insults.

If we listened to people like that, we wouldn't have highways, trains, automobiles or a space program. Sorry gentle people, but the earth is not flat, human influenced climate change is real and vaccinations actually save lives!!!!


Posted by VTA BLOB
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 19, 2016 at 10:26 am

One alternative to wasting more money handing it to the VTA would be handing it to the county government headed by directly elected representatives called "supervisors." The VTA handles money like a group of drug addicts. You will hear more on this after the VTA's new tax measure is defeated in November.


Posted by VTA Waste
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2016 at 11:57 am

When you consider that VTA is planning to revamp their bus system to make
everything optimized for Bart in San Jose, you can see that it's not going
to benefit Mountain View one bit.

If local residents are supportive, this revamp is going to turn them off
completely.

So, no more money for VTA. There's still time for this proposal to go down in flames. The evidence of this is that they are making such a big deal about 20% of the funds
going to local cities.

What about the other 80%????


Posted by resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Posted by Aghast
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 18, 2016 at 11:09 am
"The shuttle buses, both private and city, are devoid of riders-much like the bike share program. Gee Whiz, who knew! More wasted dollars. Money better spent on the under-served (those with mental health and housing issues). It's tough to be "green" when politicians and the "pc" preach rather than ride public transportation themselves. In the mean time, these shuttles sit empty and idle the day away on residential streets."

This is worth repeating, thanks to the person who posted this.

I'm from Palo Alto, and we have the same difficulty with our politicians here. Pontificating and mostly not practicing what they're preaching.
Some mothers noted awhile back that they were lectured to put their daughters on the public bus to go up to Foothill College, and when they did, the had to stop after the daughters reported being harassed by unsavory men on the city busses. So don't reprimand anyone driving in a single person car up to Foothill College.
Meantime, its about impossible to drive across town (our city, Palo Alto); politicians and their staff do everything possible to do "lane reduction" and other "traffic calming" and avoid having efficient flow of traffic on major roads like Arastradero/Charleston; Oregon Expressway/Page Mill Rd; the connection of Alma/Sand Hill Rd/El Camino Real. How ARE people supposed to get across town?!


Posted by Kyle
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 19, 2016 at 2:42 pm

Google's busses are packed. What are you talking about, dude? Either you know nothing (likely) or you only see empty busses looping back to the beginning of the route (also likely).

They have a lot of riders because they go from where people live to a place where people want to go.

That formula would be a shocking revelation for the VTA.


Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2016 at 8:44 pm

This isn't news.

VTA's ridership has always been very light.

I'm willing to bet that Noack did not grow up around these parts.


Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2016 at 7:21 am

The question which should be asked when planning routes is to whom the route is being aimed. I am of the opinion that the best people to use a bus for their commute are regular commuters with a regular schedule which is fairly constant from day to day. The best category for this is school kids - particularly high school kids. Palo Alto does not have school buses and both our high schools serve kids from over 3 miles radius, and more.

The next demographic are people who work regular hours and unlikely to need to have offsite meetings elsewhere. These workers may have a free parking place provided by their employer, but there is no reason for this to not be thought of as a perk. Other countries do not have any obligation for employers to provide employee parking to all employees.

Suburban bus routes work in Europe and other places because the culture accepts that buses are an efficient alternative in cities as well as suburban areas. Parking is rarely given to employees but public transportation passes are often subsidized or purchased annually and the cost to employees is taken out of paycheck.

So many people who live and work in this area have lived in areas where bus travel is the norm. Young people are living in an age of Uber and ZipCars as becoming useful alternatives to personal car ownership. For them to use a bus for commuting could well be their normal way of doing things. After all, Google is providing luxury buses with free wifi, and they are able to work on their commute or at least use their devices for personal choice use. Commutes on VTA should be similarly designed.


Posted by Member
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 20, 2016 at 2:52 pm

So they don't want to hand out building permits until this is all figured out? So why wasn't any of this fine for the thousands of construction projects already destroying our city? With 9 story giant high rises and massive constructs along El Camino it's going to be NYC in 5 years. Stop building new housing!!! Focus on quality of lie construction not cramming more people in!

Yes some guy is going to respond and say all this housing will decrease traffic because X theory and traffic flow patterns. Such a joke, be said average employment for any one place is like a year so people will always be on the move. More intersection have longer and longer lights and wait times. Look at San Antonio, just getting worse.

We don't need more people, we need better quality of life. Though it seems it's useless as they dole out giant construction permits to developers for rental housing like candy.


Posted by MV
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 20, 2016 at 3:06 pm

The VTA just does not work, first and foremost the whole El Camino Real bus route
does not work. What would work is a bus that ran El Camino though Palo Alto and Mountain View and then - went down to Stevens Creek somewhere in Sunnyvale. As someone who lives in Mountain View there is no where south of Sunnyvale on El Camino that I want to go to (unless you are going all the way to downtown San Jose, which I do not do). On the other hand it would be nice to have any easy way to get down to Westfield Mall or Santana Row. But the VTA would like me to transfer a few time to do that, and there ends my desire to take the bus.


Posted by DoctorData
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 20, 2016 at 3:14 pm

DoctorData is a registered user.

@Member writes of MV turning into NYC as if it was a bad thing. Has Member ever *been* to NYC?

Overall, though, the VTA seems to cling to its stubborn notion that if it builds, they will come. So instead of (say) running a light rail (or for that matter, even an unglamorous bus line!) up the wildly congested CA 85, the VTA pigheadedly continues to expand the San-Jose-centric system, despite the fact that the system as architected features one of the worst passenger-per-dollar ratios in the country as of 2012.

Web Link


Posted by NTouchone
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2016 at 3:53 pm

A number of previous commenters have hit the nail on the head in my opinion and that is the matter of the excessive amount of time it takes to use any of the "rapid" transit systems in the south bay. It takes an agonizing amount of time to go anywhere using the light rail, bus or CalTrain. Until an option is developed that can truly be "RAPID", little will change.

The legacy system in other cities work for a number of reasons. Primary is that compared to surface travel, they are RAPID. Most times of the day, you can go further faster on a New York Subway than you can on surface streets. Secondly, while the domiciles may be dispersed, there is a extremely large concentration on where the jobs are located. Here we have dispersion of both the domiciles and the jobs. Third, with the interconnection of the legacy systems, you can get to almost any location or with in a few blocks without a 2 mile walk once you exit your "rapid" transit choice. The pros and cons of a dedicated bus line down El Camino that will remove a lane is only going to a couple of significant impacts on traffic and ridership: Travel time for non-bus riders will increase and a lot of money - more money that could be spent on many other projects with more impactful results will be wasted.

In 5 years the same people asking why it's not working now, will be asking why the dedicated bus lane has had an impact.

Stop the social engineering and try solving the problem.


Posted by Done deal
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2016 at 9:59 pm

El Camino is the number one commute route for bus riders and their number one request is to increase speed and schedule reliability. Responding to user needs is how services improve.

By not resolving this need, ridership will not go up and satisfaction will degrade. These are the facts and have not been contradicted. Instead, there have been a lot of "cheap shots", insults and dramatic conspiracy theory stories.

Most everyone supports BRT. A few don't--they need to get over it.


Posted by Can't be serious
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2016 at 10:17 pm

@Done Deal you are correct in one respect, increased commute time is likely the number one request by bus commuters. The fact you conviently leave out is that it's ALSO the number one request of car commuters.

So basically you're saying is that bus commuter requests are more important than car commuters. Might I point out that bus commuters are by far the MINORITY, but yet you still are pushing this agenda that their request should take precedence.

I'm not making insults, conspiracy theories or cheap shots. I'm merely stating facts. You are pushing a HUGE MINORITY agenda. And the majority of us are really getting fed up.


Posted by Shame....
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 20, 2016 at 10:28 pm

"Might I point out that bus commuters are by far the MINORITY..."

OMG. Donald Trump lives in Monta Loma. Yes, more Hispanics and African American ride the bus than what is seen on CalTrain, a Google bus or town car service. So what! Why should minorities be discriminated against by keeping bus lines slow?

This is America. Let's treat each other with respect, regardless of skin color. Thank you.


Posted by Can't be serious
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2016 at 10:51 pm

Oh for gods sake....when I say minority I mean there are far (and I mean FAR, like, as in EMPTY) fewer supporting busses than cars. I could care less what color or country or socio-economic background anyone is from. But by all means, go ahead and turn it into another agenda.

SIGH.


Posted by More Trumpism
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2016 at 11:19 pm

Rail against minorities and when called out, THIS is your explanation??? "
"when I say minority I mean there are far (and I mean FAR, like, as in EMPTY) fewer supporting busses than cars..."

What are "supporting busses"??? Lord, read Tea Party propaganda makes my head hurt. Since they have no science, reason or even plain old facts to support their arguments, they make up terms.

Hillary--please beat Mr. Trump!!!


Posted by SWAN song
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 21, 2016 at 6:34 am

SWAN song is a registered user.

Shame and More Trumpism - you are totally reading that wrong and derailing the conversation. 'Can't Be Serious' isn't talking about minority ethnic groups. Read it again (or give it a rest).


Posted by Babar
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 21, 2016 at 11:52 pm

When will we learn that bigger is not always better, and more is not always good?


Posted by @Babar
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2016 at 12:30 am

So true. It is ridiculous to depend on our roadways to support almost empty vehicles. Fast and efficient alternatives are needed...and needed fast! BART should have connected the Bay Area YEARS ago, were it not for NIMBY obstructionists messing it up. Now we have gridlock and the cost of implementation is so very much higher. Thanks s lot!

VTA knows what it is doing. The citizenry needs to step aside and let them do their job.


Posted by reside
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2016 at 9:10 am

If anyone thinks that the VTA knows best, he or she has not lived here very long. Plus BART made a big mistake of not using standard rail, if they had it would be easy to add a third rail to existing tracks. That's what's done all over Europe, and don't mistake a city train system with a subway.


Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Darin is a registered user.

Re: "VTA knows what it is doing."

Yes they do. Unfortunately, VTA's goals do not seem to be the same as the goal of the citizenry, which is merely to get where they need to go as conveniently as possible. In VTA's efforts to optimize specific numbers, they are offering proposals that would make it less convenient for people (including bus users) to get where they need to go.


Posted by Eric
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2016 at 3:17 pm

The VTA has one goal- to do things that will attract federal grant dollars. Improving transportation and actually serving the needs of residents isn't even on their radar


Posted by Chris
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Some facts that people in 2016 have to accept.
1) BART was designed over 50 years ago. San Mateo County was not thing of the 21st century.
2) VTA like BART has a strong Union.
3) UBER/Lyft so far have been reducing public transportation ridership and increasing congestion.


Mountain View and Palo Alto should do a detailed survey of where people arriving at destinations in the city are coming from.
If it is within the city, set up locally funded service to transport them. Use parking revenue and employee taxes.
If people are coming from outside the city, provide transit vouchers to these people and work withVTA or private contractors to set up express buses for common origin points.


Posted by ProSensibleTransit
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2016 at 8:28 am

Wow, what a surprise! (Yes, that was indeed sarcasm.)

VTA is a bloated, self-serving, head-in-the-sand agency whose sole purpose, evidently, is 1) spending heaps of public funds on projects with lofty goals yet no basis in reality, and 2) making excuse after excuse once those projects inevitably fail, then assuring the *next* ones will.

Not long ago, I asked VTA why there isn't a single-fare program in place, in which, like in San Francisco, riders can take one line, transfer to another and get to to their destinations on a single fare (as long as travel time is within, I believe, 90 minutes). As it is, VTA riders have to purchase separate fares if they want to, say, transfer from a bus to light rail and get anywhere close to their destinations. What was VTA's reply? Not a word. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

(Side, but related, note: VTA's BRT "plan" is utterly laughable; day and night, nearly empty 22 and 522 buses roll along El Camino -- after decades of opportunity to make that a viable public-transit corridor -- and now VTA wants more of the same, by carving up El Camino in *hopes" of adding to those precious few riders.)

I'm exceedingly pro-transit and ped/bike; heck, my car is my last resort. But I can help but call out VTA for its monumental missteps and extraordinary cluelessness when it comes to legitimately solving transit problems -- which is, after all, at least it's purpose.

Anybody care to respond/rebut/set me straight on this?


Posted by No rebut needed
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 23, 2016 at 11:23 pm

I believe your statement:

Day and night nearly empty 22 and 522 busses roll empty along El Camino Real

speaks for itself


Posted by @ProSensibleTransit
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2016 at 11:40 am

I'm in your camp. I seldom use my car, opting for my bike or my feet usually. I would love a really progressive transit system, but it cannot/will not be brought about by the VTA. They are an extremely wasteful bureaucracy that has been good at one thing: spending out tax money as if it would explode if they didn't.

I'm so tired of the incessant continual assault on my wallet from this gov't bureaucracy. No more $ for you VTA, the solution is in your control, it's called cutting internal costs to free up the money you desire. VTA has the money, they just would rather spend all of yours instead of cutting any of the high paid do-nothings.


Posted by Over and over???
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2016 at 7:17 pm

So boring... Same two people posting and reposting their desire to pay no taxes yet enjoy all the transportation infrastructure that have already been built and funded by those who came before...

Most locals would like both and extended BART and fast transit on El Camino. I would like to see bus fare be reduced to the same toll that cars pay to use El Camino: ZERO. That would increase ridership, reduce traffic congestion and improve the air quality. Dramatically!


Posted by ivg
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 24, 2016 at 7:56 pm

"Notice that there is not one single reasonable alternative option proposed by this misinformed minority opinion. Just a lot of unsubstantiated rhetoric and insults."

Fair point. Let's break this one down.

Boondoggle: Santa Clara BART station.
Alternative: Retrofit light rail so that trains can go faster.

Boondoggle: BRT on El Camino.
Alternative: BRT on Lawrence Expressway. We already have bus/carpool lanes there, for a bus that only runs a few times a day. These lanes are at the right, where it's convenient for riders to get on and off. And, as far as I can tell, Lawrence is more congested than El Camino.
Alternative: BRT on Central Expressway, terminating at Sunnyvale Caltrain (via non-BRT extension along Mathilda). There's unused space in the median just waiting for a project like this to come along, unlike El Camino, which is full.

Boondoggle: Local buses that loop around and don't really go anywhere.
Alternative: Run local buses along straight lines, such as the entire length of Middlefield, and let people transfer if they need to. Stanford Shopping Mall? How many people who take local buses can afford to shop there?

On the bright side, VTA does appear to be making an effort to learn from its past mistakes, such as acknowledging that its services don't match demand. Let's give them a little bit of credit.


Posted by Under and under
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 24, 2016 at 10:45 pm

As in "underhanded".

Same one person posting in favor of VTA and claiming "most people" when clearly most are NOT


Posted by Supporter
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 24, 2016 at 11:13 pm

Well I support VTA's efforts to make transit great in this area. It's sad that there are still a few individuals still complaining that MV approved the BRT program. I guess every community has a few characters that refuse to realize the truth.


Posted by ProSensibleTransit
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 26, 2016 at 5:58 pm

@Over and Over??

What "transportation infrastructure" might we be "enjoy"-ing? The virtually empty, frequency-challenged buses that don't allow same-fare transfers? Ever think that the existence infrastructure might be enhanced and, therefore, desirable with, a bus system that, oh, I dunno, actually works??

C'mon. The only enjoyment to be had from all this is by VTA employees and contractors, as they justify their existence and extract chunks of money from public coffers under the pretense of building a REAL transit infrastructure.

It really is shameful what VTA gets away with -- how it passes off its woeful lack of foresight and capability somehow as actual "performance."

At some point, Santa Clara County citizens, we've all got to call out VTA as the emperor with no clothes!


Posted by Naked Emperor
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2016 at 8:37 am

ProSensibleTransit: "At some point, Santa Clara County citizens, we've all got to call out VTA as the emperor with no clothes!"

Start by voting NO on November's sales tax measure.


Posted by Empty head
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2016 at 9:39 am

[Post removed due to offensive language/personal attack]


Posted by 3 taxes is enough
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 27, 2016 at 9:46 am

We are already paying 3 different taxes to VTA. As you can se, they will always want more. Send the message that its time for VTA to tighten belts if they need more money.


Posted by Pro Transit
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2016 at 10:01 am

We pay far less on public transit than any industrialized nation!. By voting yes, we can show that we are trying to right past wrongs.


Posted by Naked emperor is exactly right
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 27, 2016 at 2:55 pm

"We pay far less on public transit than any industrialized nation!"

I hate to break it to you, but this county pays far *more* for public transit already (multiple sales-tax add-ons, and now VTA is even hungry for yet another) than we ever did in the Oakland-Berkeley area where I lived for decades, where we had far better basic transit services. I got around constantly by bus there, it was widely used and convenient -- you were rarely more than a few blocks from a bus line, and they coordinated and complemented each other. Kept a car but rarely used it. I still know people there who commute to SF by bus. Silicon Valley got built up later and with more of a car-culture layout, but there is real irony in the way we pay so much for transit services here, and yet they are so wretched -- VTA and its clique of San-Jose political-machine masters steering the big resources to their pet projects, with very little benefit to this part of Santa Clara County. Joe Simitian's big breakthrough was to quantify and publicize that inequity last year -- hats off to him and his diligent staff! -- but it's high time we did something about it.


Posted by Naked? Really?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Sounds like delusional paranoia to me. VTA transit services FAR MORE passengers than the beloved CalTrain and yet there are a few loud spoken individuals who continue to beat the drum of No New Taxes!

George Bush-type economic strategies almost destroyed this country and if we aren't careful, Trump will drive the final nail. Let's ignore this Tea Party rabble and keep investing in a solid transit system!


Posted by ProSensibleTransit
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm

@Naked? Really?:

Before we can "keep investing in a solid transit system" let's first actually BUILD a solid transit system -- something VTA has failed miserably to do. And by solid, let's define it as something people actually choose to take instead of their cars.

Yes, there may be a bus line or two that actually gets more than a few passengers at at time, but they're the minority. (Don't mean to keep going back to this, but the 22 and 522 on El Camino is absurdly underutilized.) The point is, so few people utilize the system as it is that it's impossible to justify it in its current state.

Once again -- and VTA, you really should pay attention here! -- the easiest, most logical thing can do is implement a fare-transfer program, whereby one fare will get a passenger anywhere in the system (within a specified time period). That would make the system more attractive to and economically viable for passengers. For the life of me, I can't understand why VTA hasn't done this -- or responded to the suggestion I made -- because it's so freakin' simple!


Posted by infrequent transit/frequent voter
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2016 at 6:41 pm

A Vote for Margaret is a Vote for?
A strong supporter of VTA management / and the original BTA center-of-El-Camino plan is running for City Council in November 2016. You will have a chance to vote FOR or NOT FOR Margaret Abe-Koga. If you liked her VTA policies/votes when she was on their oversight board - you have another chance to put her in office.

Myself - there are much better candidates available - with much more sensible understanding of these issues.


Posted by Comparison
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2016 at 8:02 am

I don't understand... Why is Caltrain considered "better" than VTA?


Posted by ProSensibleTransit
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 28, 2016 at 8:41 am

@Comparison:

"Why is Caltrain considered "better" than VTA?"

Well, maybe because Caltrain actually manages to attract passengers, get people out of their cars and usually fill up its trains. So, instead of a comparison of Caltrain and VTA, it'd be far more accurate to call it a *stark contrast.*


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