The VTA Board of Directors unanimously approved, at its May 2 Board meeting, the final recommendations outlined in the 2019 New Transit Service Plan.
The Board also requested staff to examine a few items within the plan and report back to the Board at a future date.
Those action items include:
- Coordinate with Morgan Hill and Gilroy city staff to explore developing a first/last-mile solution to serve the social services facility on Tompkins Court in Gilroy
- Board member Cindy Chavez will work with the County of Santa Clara and VTA to ascertain if there is a better location for the social services facility
- Explore developing first/last mile solutions and other ways to serve the corridor
- Work with the residents along the current route to market the service and attempt to increase ridership
- Examine options that can address transportation needs of middle schools in the area
- Evaluate and present all options for future Express Bus program, including alternative solutions
The final transit service plan will be implemented with the start of BART service to Santa Clara County projected for late 2019. The plan includes:
- (70) service changes across VTA bus and light rail compared to the Next Network plan
- An expansion of VTA’s core network of frequent routes to serve an additional 266,000 county residents over today
- Approximately 1.5M annual hours of bus service and 171K annual hours of light rail service, which is approximately the same amount of service as today’s transit network but about 125,000 fewer hours of service than adopted in the 2017 Next Network Plan
First shared as a draft in January 2019, the 2019 New Transit Service Plan was a modification of the Board-adopted 2017 Next Network plan with goals of better connecting VTA transit with the Milpitas and Berryessa BART stations, increasing overall ridership, and improving VTA’s farebox recovery rate.
In response to a structural deficit, the 2019 New Transit Service Plan added three new parameters set by the VTA Board of Directors in December 2018:
- Reduce the plan’s overall service level equal to today’s service level (the Next Network plan would have incurred a $14.7M increase in annual net operating costs over today)
- Adjust the network’s ridership/coverage balance to 90 percent ridership and 10 percent coverage
- Minimize service cuts in South County
Throughout March, VTA planners reviewed and assessed thousands of community comments received during the six-week public comment period in January and February for the Draft 2019 New Transit Service Plan. The final draft plan was then presented to VTA committees in April.
We thank the community for their ongoing engagement and feedback throughout this process.
We will continue to keep you informed as the service changes are implemented.