The South Bay’s biggest public transit agency is bracing for employee buyouts, fare hikes and reduced bus service to cope with a $46 million deficit in the next two years.
At a board meeting Thursday, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) approved a number of recommendations to address the shortfall in the coming year.
Taxes, which account for some 80 percent of the VTA’s income, have been going up in recent years thanks to a series of ballot measures, but it’s not enough to cover the agency’s burgeoning expenses.
VTA has proposed to scrap the 83/17 ”Next Network” plan and move to a 90/10 plan that would likely eliminate routes 63, 64, and 65 to SJSU.
— sjsuvoices (@sjsuvoices) December 5, 2018
Operating costs have doubled the pace of revenues for the past six years, according to staff reports. As a result, the VTA has tapped into its capital reserves, draining them from $50 million to $5 million in the span of 18 months.
The situation is unlikely to improve. BART’s arrival in downtown San Jose at the end of next year will require additional bus service and other costs associated with the 10-mile train extension from Fremont.
I made public comment encouraging investments to speed buses and trains and get more competitive service and more service per dollar; and revisiting old capital project that may not meet current needs
— Adina Levin (@alevin) December 7, 2018
The 12-member board considered a plan that would save $15 million a year by cutting service and generating an additional $2 million a year by raising fares at the rate of inflation. Another $1 million would be saved through voluntary buyouts.
Click here to read an overview of the cost-cutting plan.
— VTA (@VTA) December 7, 2018