VTA Employee Recreational Vehicle Parking6/25/2018 6:08 PM |
A recent news cycle has focused on VTA employees who park their recreational vehicles overnight as a way of dealing with the housing crisis here in Silicon Valley. RV parking permits are a free accommodation for those who are eligible, not a program or employee benefit.
Allowing overnight accommodations on VTA property is an attempt to help alleviate challenges being experienced by a number of employees who choose to live out of the area. Although this is a by-product of the local affordable housing situation, it is not a sustainable solution that VTA will serve long-term, and parking permits are being phased out thru attrition.
Media reports have associated the discontinuation of this accommodation with planned future development of VTA properties. This is simply not true. There is no relationship between allowing some employees to stay overnight and VTA’s joint development program.
As a responsible steward of the public’s money, we’ve attempted to balance the need to attract skilled and qualified employees for this critical job responsibility with our obligation to provide safe and cost effective service to the public. The regulation required for this type of accommodation puts a strain on critical VTA resources (security, facilities, managing and maintaining the permits) and is therefore not sustainable for us to continue.
While we’ve made this accommodation for some employees who do not live in the area, VTA cannot assume the responsibility for the increased costs of housing or living in the Bay Area. VTA provides a compensation package for bus drivers and mechanics that is substantially above that of peer agencies for similar job classifications. In addition to a higher salary, these employees are eligible for overtime pay. The medical and retirement benefits also compare more than favorably with private employers.
With regards to future planned development near transit, VTA’s Affordable Housing Policy calls for the inclusion of lower income units in housing development projects. Adding more affordable housing options close to transit can only improve this situation for employees who choose to live outside of the area and commute long distances into work.