Chair Jones Sets the Stage for 2022
VTA Board Chair 2022, Chappie Jones
San Jose Vice Mayor, and VTA Board Chair, Charles " Chappie" Jones

New year, new Board Chair.

San Jose Vice Mayor Charles “Chappie” Jones has officially taken the helm as Chair of the VTA Board of Directors. Morgan Hill Mayor Rich Constantine is the new Vice Chair.

After thanking outgoing Board Chair Glenn Hendricks for his courageous leadership throughout the year, Chair Jones outlined his goals for 2022.

The Recovery of VTA’s Workforce and Transit Service

2021 was a devastating year for VTA, the repercussions of which we continue to navigate.

Chair Jones applauded VTA General Manager/CEO Carolyn Gonot’s focus on “building our team, retaining our talent, and restoring our service.”

Amidst a significant driver shortage, VTA has doubled the rate at which Operations hires and trains new operators, in an effort to keep up with attrition, due largely to promotions and retirements.

“I care about the future of this organization and the talented staff that make VTA possible,” said Jones. “And [I] understand and value the crucial role it plays in connecting and enhancing our region.”

Advance Transportation Solutions Through City/County Collaboration

Chair Jones is well-versed in the multi-jurisdictional collaboration that is required to get things done.

As the elected City Council member for San Jose’s District 1 (borders Campbell, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Santa Clara), Jones is leading efforts bring high-capacity transit to the Stevens Creek Corridor between Diridon Station and De Anza College.

Jones will also serve this year as President of the Cities Association Board of Directors and has 7 years of experience on VTA Boards and Committees.

“As your Chair, I am here to listen to your needs, wants and desires,” Jones stated to his fellow Board members. “I look forward to working with every one of you in representing all of our cities and County as a whole.”

VTA Board Vice Chair Rich Constantine Speaks at Route 568 Launch Event
Morgan Hill Mayor, and VTA Board Vice Chair, Rich Constantine speaks at VTA's Rapid 568 launch event at the Gilroy Transit Center in 2021.

Fight Climate Change Through Sustainable Mode Shift

More than half of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. Jones admonished that more  must be done to battle the effects of climate change.

He advocates fostering changes in travel behavior away from cars toward transit, biking, and walking, and urged the support of VTA’s efforts in this realm.

Cities are piloting local transit solutions, like Via in Cupertino and the Community Shuttle in Mountain View. San Jose is also developing a Transit First policy to further its 2030 zero emissions goal.

VTA’s own fleet is stepping into a greener future, as we convert to zero emissions vehicles.  Acknowledging the $1 trillion Infrastructure law recently passed, Jones urged his colleagues on the Board to champion the transit needs of Santa Clara County, with strong preparation to demonstrate those needs and active planning for the future.

Strengthen VTA Governance

Citing a local assemblymember’s effort to change the structure of VTA’s Board, and a VTA-formed task force to recommend governance improvements, Chair Jones appealed to fellow board members to create a collaborative effort toward making needed changes within VTA. Jones expressed a hopeful outlook for the new year in working to “move VTA forward in a meaningful way.”

He looks forward to meeting the challenges of 2022.

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