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New TALC staff kicks off Save Our Transit Phase 2!

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  • asha.weinstein@sjsu.edu
    ... Stuart Cohen 02/04/2004 11:59 AM To: Stuart@transcoalition.org cc: Subject: New TALC staff kicks off Save Our
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2004
      ----- Forwarded by Asha Weinstein/SJSU on 02/04/2004 12:09 PM -----

      Stuart Cohen <stuart@...>
      02/04/2004 11:59 AM

      To: Stuart@...
      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
      transportation system.
      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
      socially just.

      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
      attached form.
      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
      volunteer trainings

      q Name:_______________________________________________
      q Organization (if any) we can include in sign on:



      Stop VTA from wasting $50 million on BART studies

      Thursday, February 5, 2004

      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.

      Mail To:
      Transportation and Land Use Coalition
      Christopher J. Lepe
      1367 Clayton Rd.
      San Jose, CA 95127
      Phone: (408) 729-3284
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