What will be your strategy in dealing with the VTA to stop their proposed severe reduction of VTA bus service within Palo Alto, and to persuade them instead to improve their service in Palo Alto so more commuters working in Palo Alto will take VTA buses to their jobs in Palo Alto.

The political reality is that San Jose controls VTA – it has a majority on the Board through a combination of the proportional representation of the cities and representatives from the County Board of Supervisors. San Jose's priorities for VTA have been and will likely continue to be:

  • BART-to-San Jose
  • Bus service for those who have no alternative (for example, can't afford a car), with special emphasis on San Jose.

At a public meeting in December 2015, Cory Wolbach - the Council's alternative representative to VTA – stated that the VTA Board majority regarded Palo Alto as having "streets paved with gold" and that they tended to be unresponsive to the needs of Palo Alto. Of course, they may talk differently in the period before an election to raise taxes for VTA, such as now

Our long-term history with VTA has been one of decreasing services, with some fleeting "victories" in restoring service. While we can't give up entirely on VTA, I believe that Palo Alto's policies should be based on an expectation of very low service levels from VTA (the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result). Our focus for bus service should instead be on a combination the City's shuttle bus and integration with Stanford Marguerite Shuttle.

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