Traffic-fighting nonprofit looks to expand services | May 19, 2023 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 19, 2023

Traffic-fighting nonprofit looks to expand services

Palo Alto Transportation Management Association hopes to distribute more transit passes, enlarge its geographic reach

by Gennady Sheyner

It's been a bumpy and circuitous ride for the Palo Alto Transportation Management Authority (PATMA), the nonprofit charged with encouraging commuters to ditch their cars and rely on trains, bikes, scooters and other active modes of transportation.

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Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 18, 2023 at 11:27 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Did the authors, CC, the Finance Committee and Ms Burt bother to read the many articles like the one Web Link today on the growing budget deficit,. esp. the section "No Rescue for Public Transit"?

Do they know the reasons that transit ridership has tanked -- remote workers, layoffs, increasing violent crime on public transit etc etc -- and did they consider them before allocating more of our money for commuters when commuting is down as can be seen by all the empty and closing offices?

Posted by DebbieMytels
a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2023 at 3:56 pm

DebbieMytels is a registered user.

Commuting may be down for office workers who can work from home, but the "essential workers" who staff restaurants and retail shops don't have an option to work from home. As our downtown areas come back to life, we need to be sure that the shops and eateries that remain there are staffed -- and providing them with transit passes can make their finances easier and their lives more predictable. We need to support the continuation of the TMA and its programs.

Posted by OnlineName
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 18, 2023 at 4:08 pm

OnlineName is a registered user.

I agree in principle but doubt their ability to manage programs more successfully than in the past.

If you read the article you'll see the pathetucally low numbers of transit passes they managed to give out at the peak. I also remember all the stolen and discarded $4k bikes. At least this time they're using refurbished bikes.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 18, 2023 at 5:20 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

The Fastrak Express lanes are the only lanes moving on 101 at busy times. For anyone who has to drive them to get to work, they are stuck in traffic or have to pay!

Can't something be done about them?

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 18, 2023 at 5:48 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Surely PATMA is working on getting those essential workers free access to the FastTrak Express lanes rather than forcing them to bike or e-skateboard on crowded dangerous roads.

As for serving low-paid essential workers, remember how they gave bonuses and Lyct rides to city workers who've elsewhere to get their low numbers up?

While I do agree with the idea in principle, past programs were a huge waste of money with no oversight you had to wonder if their creators were getting friends if family stock from Uber, Lyft and all the bike startups.

Posted by marc665
a resident of Midtown
on May 19, 2023 at 1:20 pm

marc665 is a registered user.

Let me see if I understand this: PATMA (Justine Burt) gets paid $176,000 to give away $110,000 in various transit passes. Can some tell me why the various transit passes can't be managed by the city clerks' office? We have an Office of Transportation, why are they not doing this service?


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 19, 2023 at 3:22 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@marc665, excellent question!

Good to see the transit folks are carrying along the traditions started by Mr. Rodriquez and Mr. Mello.

I eagerly await the probing followup questions for Ms. Burt and those who approved this spending. Also looking forward to the photo array of all the "essential workers" walking, biking, taking scooters from the East Bay and South Bay cites where they live.

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