TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND
16 Monte Cimas Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
September 4, 2003
Jane Kennedy, Chair
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
3331 North First Street
San Jose, CA 95134
Re: Decision on BART Extension Minimum Operating Segment
Dear Chair Kennedy:
TRANSDEF is an advocacy organization devoted to improving transit and liveability in the Bay Area. We are very concerned by the Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor Policy Advisory Board's proposed action tomorrow, which would designate a Minimum Operating Segment as a means of reducing the initial project cost of the BART extension. This is an extremely significant decision, which is about to be made in very flawed manner. First, a decision of this magnitude needs to be made by your entire Board. It is our understanding that this decision will never be seen by your Board. Second, the difference between the alternatives to be considered is minuscule. Third, and perhaps most importantly, this decision is about to be made in a vacuum, prior to the Ad Hoc Committee determining what projects can realistically be delivered with Measure A funding.
If the BART extension is allowed to proceed as recommended, it would apparently consume all capital funds expected from Measure A. This would be a severe breach of faith with the voters.
We request that your Board discuss the following, as part of an urgency item:
1. Place the decision on Minimum Operating Segment on the next Board agenda.
2. Consider that decision in light of the recommendations from the Ad Hoc Committee as to what projects can realistically be delivered with Measure A funds.
3. Ask staff to prepare a diverse set of alternatives, with dramatic differences in cost.
At a minimum, this would require extension alternatives ending in Milpitas or
Berryessa, so that they do not require tunnelling.
4. Ask staff to use realistic land use projections based on ABAG's Projections 2003.
The projections used so far for this project are severely over-optimistic.