New TALC staff kicks off Save Our Transit Phase 2!
- ----- Forwarded by Asha Weinstein/SJSU on 02/04/2004 12:09 PM -----
Stuart Cohen <stuart@...>
02/04/2004 11:59 AM
Subject: New TALC staff kicks off Save Our Transit Phase 2!
Transportation and Land Use Coalition
South Bay Alert
1) New TALC staff kicks off Save Our Transit Phase 2!
2) Stop VTA from borrowing $50 million to study an extension they can't
afford: CALL your VTA Board member TODAY or go to the board meeting
Thursday night, February 5. For a great editorial about it http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/7870973.htm
more info below on both issues below!
Save Our Transit: Phase 2
1) Save Our Transit phase two
The Transportation and Land Use Coalition (TALC) has hired Christopher
Lepe to organize our Save Our Transit campaign for the South Bay. VTA
will be faced with many hard choices in Spring 2004, and TALC wants to
work with all of our member groups and the community to make sure the
voice of transit riders is heard over the din of special interests
Just as in the spring and summer of 2003 when VTA adopted our
recommendation to save the bus system for 2 years, this campaign for
transportation equity will only be successful with your help.
With an impending 21% bus cut in 2003, The Transportation and Land Use
Coalition (TALC) and many community groups did what was once thought
impossible; we convinced VTA to borrow funds to avert cuts until early
2005. Now, TALC is following up on this success with a new South Bay
Campaign to stop VTA from making service cuts in 2005 that may be 25-30%.
The focus of the campaign will be educating and empowering transit riders
to have a powerful voice in decisions concerning our South Bay public
Empower the Community
VTA's transit plans must reflect the needs of the people who use
the transit system on a daily basis. TALC is planning to host several
community forums and rallies to give a platform for the voice of the
people of the South Bay to be heard. We are launching a campaign to reach
out directly to bus riders and get them involved in the fight for a just
5000 Voices: 1 Message
Our goal, by April 2004: 5000 bus riders involved in saving the system.
We need 50 dedicated volunteers to educate and gather signatures from 100
transit riders. We need hundreds of people to attend VTA meetings this
spring, so please join us by filling in the information on the other side.
Only through public pressure will we ensure that our transit system is
How You Can Help -- Save our Transit!
Yes, Sign me up to help with the campaign.
q Send me information and petitions to sign up 100 bus riders
q Contact me to come to VTA meetings and Save Our Transit rallies
q Hand out flyers in my neighborhood
q Help in the office with mailings, data entry etc.
If you would like to sign on in opposition to the continued bus cuts and
in support of the East Valley Light Rail extension please fill out the
q Sign us up as organizational supporters of the Save Our Transit Campaign
q We can publish articles in our newsletters (hard copy and e-mail)
q We would like to have TALC speak to our members or board
q We have office space that could be used for occasional meetings or
q Organization (if any) we can include in sign on:
FEEL FREE TO FORWARD TO OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
Stop VTA from wasting $50 million on BART studies
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Thursday, February 5, 2004
5:30 PM BUT AGENDA ITEMS ON BART WON'T START UNTIL AT LEAST 6 P.M.
AND PROBABLY LATER
Board of Supervisors' Chambers
County Government Center
70 West Hedding Street
San Jose, California
Note items 11 and 17 on the board agenda
Published Wednesday, February 4, 2004, in the San Jose Mercury News
Mercury News Editorial
BART spending: Hold off for now
Millions could be wasted if construction is a decade away
The Valley Transportation Authority is poised to take a major step
Thursday toward building BART to San Jose. But if the board is
prudent, it will wait.
On the agenda is a $51 million contract for preliminary engineering of
the tunnel that will carry BART through downtown San Jose. The
problem is that actual construction could be a decade or more away,
and at least some of the engineering work might need to be redone --
some of that $51 million wasted.
BART's boosters say the vote is just a formality. The board agreed
last year to move ahead with preliminary engineering, at a total cost
of $170 million, for the extension from Alameda County to the Santa
Clara Caltrain station.
But a few things have changed since then:
* The Federal Transportation Authority has decided not to recommend
the BART extension for funding. VTA has counted on some $834 million
over a number of years from Washington for the $4 billion project.
Congress could provide the money anyway, but if BART does not end up
in the new five-year transportation spending bill being negotiated
now, its financing will be pushed back for years.
* Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not just put off spending on BART and
other transportation projects, as Gov. Gray Davis did during last
year's budget squeeze. The new governor has proposed eliminating the
whole transportation funding program. Davis had pledged $760 million
toward BART, and $629 million remains unpaid. If Schwarzenegger's
proposal stands, BART advocates might have to start from scratch.
Neither of these developments is necessarily fatal to the project.
Area officials have been beating a path to Washington to lobby
Congress for BART funding. And transportation agencies all over
California will be pressing the governor and Legislature not to
dismantle the state's transportation program.
By summer we should have a better idea of BART's prospects. If things
are looking up, it might be appropriate to move ahead with preliminary
engineering. Then, when money arrives, VTA will be ready to go. And
the progress will help show dubious funders outside Santa Clara County
that this region is serious about building BART.
But the board has a responsibility to avoid authorizing work that may
have to be re-done. It's important to show momentum, but risky
spending won't impress anyone.
Transportation and Land Use Coalition
Christopher J. Lepe
1367 Clayton Rd.
San Jose, CA 95127
Phone: (408) 729-3284