Remember about six weeks ago whenI wrote this?
VTA will divert funding from Caltrain and their existing transit services to pay for service to Fremont from San Jose.
Well guess what? I told you so.
“It’s clear we can’t see the BART project getting money if we’re spending our local money on other projects,” said VTA General Manager Michael Burns. “That just doesn’t add up.”
I also wrote: “The sales tax revenue projections will be off by as much as 50%.” And gee, look what the VTA board learned last night:
There’s not enough cash to build the $6.1 billion BART extension along with the more than a dozen projects approved by voters eight years ago. That half-cent sales tax may produce $2 billion less than originally forecast.
What is VTA specifically talking about cutting right now?
- Caltrain electrification.
- Light rail expansion.
- Express buses.
- An airport people mover.
And I think we can expect more cuts as VTA looks realistically at their finances, just like SamTrans was forced to do after their regrettable involvement with BART: I foresee less frequent bus service, a cut in weekend service, even entire lines getting cut.
What especially angers me is Michael Burns’s ridiculous statement that Santa Clara County voters overwhelmingly and consistently say they want BART in the South Bay: “Given that voters have endorsed BART not once, but twice,” says Burns, “from the staff’s perspective the priority is clear and that priority is BART.” The people certainly voted for BART, but they likely did not understand that a vote for BART was a vote against every other South Bay transit system. And the first vote in 1996 was not specifically for BART, but for VTA funding in general.
Read the entire article here. Sorry about the negativity on a Friday, but I’m truly angered after reading about VTA’s BART planning meeting. I’ll try to post something a little more positive later today.