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State bill seeks to take politics out of VTA governance

Original post made on Feb 20, 2021

Responding to years of complaints about poor governance at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, state Assemblyman Marc Berman has introduced a bill that would shift oversight of the agency away from elected politicians.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 19, 2021, 3:38 PM

Comments (4)

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 22, 2021 at 10:41 am

Online Name is a registered user.

"Of the two seats not controlled by San Jose, one would go to a resident of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto or Sunnyvale. The other seat would go to a resident of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara or Saratoga."

And what insures Palo Alto will finally get represented? Nothing.

Remember when our "leaders" urged us to support a tax increase for which we got nothing because the VTA belatedly concluded our shuttle duplicated their service. It would be special if people representing us did their homework.

Plus the VTA still has a Middlefield bus stop 5 car lengths from Embarcadero. Guess what happens to turning and through traffic when the bus stops for several minutes as required regardless of whether anyone's waiting. It looks like something out of Keystone Kops film or a 3d World intersection.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2021 at 12:37 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

VTA basically said that they will not improve services in Palo Alto because we have our own shuttles.

Has anyone told VTA that the shuttles are no longer running and we require better services?


Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2021 at 2:01 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

I think it is great that someone is trying to tackle this important, longstanding problem. However, please help me understand how this proposed change would improve the situation. The article describes the change but it doesn't explain how this new structure would solve the problem.

The current VTA Board has 18 members (12 of whom vote). It is dominated by self-serving San Jose politicos. The new Board would have 9 members (a less unwieldy number) but San Jose still gets TWO seats and Palo Alto would now have to share a seat with even more communities (adding Sunnyvale and Milpitas). This would seem to further dilute Palo Alto's voice.

Also, 5 seats will be appointed by Santa Clara County Board. Every single member of that Board has a piece of San Jose in their district.

One more piece of information is relevant, I think. If you look at a VTA heat map of transportation activity in the county, only Palo Alto is as hot as downtown San Jose. This, of course, is due to Palo Alto's proximity to Stanford University and the research park. It strikes me that transportation activity should also be reflected in the board's make-up. Communities like Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas (with whom Palo Alto will now share a seat) will have very different transportation interests. Sharing a seat with them makes little sense.

Please help me understand, HOW does this change solve the problem?


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 22, 2021 at 5:02 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

The VTA is and should be about political oversight by elected leaders who can be held accountable. To kinda quote Mel Brooks in "Blazing Saddles", "We don't need no stinking unelected bureaucrats." What we need is oversight by highly intelligent, elected and MODERATE leaders who are willing to resist politically correct ignorance and highly destructive VTA mandates that destroy the quality of life in SCC.


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