Town Square

How about a new local bus to replace Rt 88?

Original post made by An Observer, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on May 31, 2007

Since the closing of the Alma shopping center more people will be driving to Mt View to shop. To reduce traffic a small bus could loop around south palo alto and the shopping center.

Then at school traffic times, morning afternoon, these busses could carry the students to Louis Rd area from Gunn.

Any thoughts comments on this?


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Posted by A resident
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 31, 2007 at 6:45 pm

Are you proposing the City pay for several small buses to replace the 88 bus presently paid for by the County? As a tax payer, I'm against this. The VTA made promises to North Santa Clara County when the half cent sales tax increase for transportation was passed by the voters. They should keep their promises and provide the bus service.

The 88 bus is full in the morning and afternoon with Gunn and Terman students. "Small buses" will not provide enough room. Bus drivers' salaries make up a large part of the cost of providing bus service. The more buses you have, the higher the cost.

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Posted by An Observer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2007 at 11:54 pm

I meant that the VTA should put the money up for this for the most part and the city should work with the VTA as Los Gatos does to get small busses runing thru their town.

With the Alma plaza being shut down for shopping a council person said that people in South Palo Alto should or can go to Mt View to do their shopping.

How many small busses and their scheduling needs to be worked out.

Also the bus service does not need to be free. The current city busses should not be free.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Years ago when a nickle got you a bus ride all the way up Mission in Frisco, a dime got you there in a Desoto, in comfort and much quicker. These were jitneys, allowed only on Mission. Time for jitney licenses here and let private industry work.

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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 1, 2007 at 4:08 pm

>Also the bus service does not need to be free. The current city busses should not be free.

Did you know that SF is considering ending the fares on Muni, because it costs them more to collect and deal with the fares than what the fares brings in? So free, may actually cost the city less.

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Posted by bruce
a resident of University South
on Jun 1, 2007 at 4:15 pm

The passenger no-charge shuttle in 2004 - 2005 was budgeted at almost $500,000. The city was to pay $338,000, CalTrain $120,000 and PAUSD $40,000. These numbers surely are larger 3 years later. CalTrain pays for the labor and maintenance costs so those are not included in Palo Alto's medical and retirement benefits obligations.

There are too many variables to make an accurate cost estimate now, but if the city gets in the shuttle/bus buiness, it should charge for the service. There would be more city employees, more labor costs with its generous medical and pension funding - in other words an increase in our bloated city bureaucracy. We don't need another "free" service draining our General Fund.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2007 at 4:57 pm

If free is the way to go because of the costs of collections, shouldn't we have free water, free electricity, etc because of those same type of costs?

I'v always assumed it was free (bus service in P A)because there is no real way of finding out how many people use the service if there is no accounting of the money collected. Or else there are so few people using it that the money collected, even at a $1 per ride it would cost more to count the money, etc..

Lets collect enough to pay for one half the cost to run the system. With gas at over $3 per gallon it probably costs $1 to go anywhere just for the gas.

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Posted by An Observer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2007 at 5:11 pm

After rereading bruces info I have more comments: If the city is spending over 300000$ they are, or we are in the bus service. If the sys costs $500,000 to run and there are actually only 500 different people riding it we are susbdizing each person $1000/year. What a rip off of the taxpayers. Are people in palo alto to poor to pay for a ride on the busses?

Also just where is the city's 300,000+ $ going? For gasoline? For overhead. For $100,000 plus benifits for each of the administration?

Where is the newspaper reporting on this "free" bus system?