The Santa Clara County Registar reports Measure B is now (as I write this) at the required 66.67% approval required to pass by just eight votes as of Monday’s tally. With thousands of ballots left to go, the VTA sales tax to fund BART to Fremont is too close to call.
Here’s my prediction if the final count shows this sales tax passing if Federal funds are received to fund the BART extension in to San Jose and Santa Clara.
* The sales tax revenue projections will be off by as much as 50%. The projections assume a growing economy, which is not what will have for the next couple of years. VTA announces service cuts on its existing bus and light rail lines and reduces funding for Caltrain.
* Finance costs will be much higher than projected because of the credit crunch. VTA announces more service cuts on bus and light rail lines.
* Construction costs is a hard one to call. This may be less expensive than projected because of an good supply of labor and construction materials. On the other hand, much higher costs for raw materials may offset some of that.
* Once operation begins, ridership and revenue will be far below projections, forcing VTA to cut service elsewhere in the system just like SamTrans had to do. VTA will eliminate all funding for Caltrain.
* Carl Guardino and all of those other Measure B promoters will still drive their cars to work, if they’re still employed in the Bay Area when the BART extension is complete ten years from now.
Ah well, what’s done is done.