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pro-transit and environmental groups oppose additional VTA tax

Original post made by Steve Ly, Los Altos, on Oct 13, 2016

Three pro-transit and environmental groups, BayRail Alliance, the Sierra Club, and Silicon Valley Transit Users are urging a “no” vote on the upcoming VTA sales tax increase. VTA proposes to use Measure B funds to extend BART beyond San Jose Diridon Station to Santa Clara Station, completely duplicating existing Caltrain service. This is a clear example of VTA’s poor decision-making. It explains why Caltrain supporters like BayRail Alliance still cannot trust VTA.

The groups believe that the funds to run BART trains between San Jose and Santa Clara would be better used to boost Caltrain frequency to a BART/light rail level of service between Palo Alto and San Jose.

Visit to read more and join the No on B Campaign.

Comments (3)

Posted by Frank
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 14, 2016 at 12:43 pm

From the website, a key reason to oppose the tax increase:

"Station to the Santa Clara Caltrain Station.

VTA wants to use Measure B sales tax dollars to tunnel BART beyond the San Jose Diridon Caltrain Station to the Santa Clara Caltrain Station. This segment is already served by Caltrain and it is under capacity, while duplicating this existing service with BART is estimated to cost at least $800 million. VTA may not even be able to buy the land needed to construct a new BART station at Santa Clara, and the City of Santa Clara doesn’t support mixed-use development near the station needed to drive high transit ridership. Duplicating existing Caltrain service with BART is an incredible waste of limited sales tax dollars."

VTA already gets three sales taxes. They should not get a fourth.

Posted by Peter
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 14, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Let's see if I have this straight. VTA wants to spend billions on a BART line connecting Santa Clara with San Jose. This route is already served by Caltrain and VTA's 22 and 522 bus lines. Meanwhile, up in Palo Alto they want to gut bus service under something called "Network 90." And they want more money to pay for this craziness. Vote NO!

Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 15, 2016 at 11:04 am

NO on B!

VTA wants to gut North County bus service under its "Network 90" plan at the same time that they're asking voters to approve yet another bump in the sales tax. Santa Clara County residents are already paying three sales taxes to VTA, a permanent 1/2 cent that was approved in 1976, plus the more recent Measures A and B, whose revenues are mostly going down the BART sinkhole. Plus, we're paying a Vehicle Registration Fee on top of that. Yet this is not enough, they want more tax money to flush down the BART toilet while eliminating local routes.

VTA is asking the voters for a fourth sales tax increase yet they refuse to “value engineer" their expensive projects. There is no reason that the BART extension needs to duplicate existing bus and train service
between the San Jose and Santa Clara stations. And the proposed Bus Rapid Transit on El Camino could be constructed at lower cost by eliminating the dedicated center lanes and converting the curbside lanes to HOV use during peak hours.

Money saved from cutting the “gold plating" from big capital projects could be spent on supporting the bus system, including saving routes threatened under Network 90. Until VTA learns to use its existing resources more efficiently, vote NO on more taxes.

This tax is being pushed by Carl Guardino and the grossly misnamed "Silicon Valley Leadership Group," whose rich corporate members stand to benefit most from the hugely expensive BART extension. Rather than increasing sales tax A FOURTH TIME, maybe these rich companies need to step up and pay higher corporate tax.

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