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Town Square

VTA cuts MP bus service from train station

Original post made on Sep 6, 2007

Beginning next year public transit riders will no longer be able to travel from the Menlo Park train station to Stanford and other points south aboard a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority bus, thanks to the VTA's vote last week to end the service.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 4, 2007, 3:26 PM

Comments

Posted by KD, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 6, 2007 at 4:01 pm

A "mere" 400 riders, eh. That will be an additional 400 cars on El Camino. Oh, and that presumes the poor riders actually can drive as an alternative. I work in Mountain View between the train station and El Camino. I've looked into (and taken)the bus and taking the train. Due to scheduling, it's inconvenient because if you need to walk to either the stop or the station, it's hard to work a full 8 hours, plus take a half-hour lunch and not have to wait a long time for the bus. If you miss it, you are sentenced to waiting an additional hour for the next one. Realistically, it extends my commute by at least an hour (over the time it takes if I drive) to take public transit. It is a Catch-22 that they eliminate service because of low ridership, but have low ridership because of poor or inconvenient service. Transit is supposed to be a public service, partially subsidized by ridership, not existing solely because of ridership funding. People who WANT to use public transit would be incentivized by better scheduling and better convenience. VTA, Samtrans and CalTrain - LOOK at the schedules. If it's almost exactly 8 hours between the north and southbound directions, and the trains are an hour apart, it just doesn't make sense, and, accordingly, no wonder ridership is low. Additionally, the service to community colleges is horrible too. Zero transit after 6:30PM Friday nights to or from either CSM or Canada.


Posted by Disillusioned, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Sep 6, 2007 at 4:44 pm

The "logic" behind this service cut reflects the Dark Ages thinking of our post-1980s world: Government is merely a business, and if the "bottom line" for a public service is not met, throw out the service.

Of course, there's nothing in the Dark Ages accounting system that allows consideration of the big-picture costs of such things as millions of people with no health care, schools that can't meet high educational standards because they're broke, or -- applicable in this case -- thousands of additional vehicles clogging the roadway because there are no good alternatives to driving. What a benighted society we've become.


Posted by Martin Engel, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 9, 2007 at 11:49 am

Let me state this as simply as possible: Trains, like Caltrain, Dumbarton, or the promised high-speed train, are for well-to-do, white-collar professionals – the Blackberry, iPhone, and laptop crowd. (No Wi-Fi on Caltrain after all? What a shame.) Buses,on theother hand, are for blue collar, low salaried, often Latino employees, and 65% of those don't own cars.
Oversimplified? Read the statistics from MTC. Our municipalities wring their hands over the loss of train stops at their stations. We hear much less about bus routes being downsized. What all the regional transit operators, bus or rail, really care about is not you or I; it's their bottom line.


Posted by public transit supporter, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 10, 2007 at 5:11 pm

I'm sure they are under a great deal of financial pressure, but I hope that something can be done to help the transportation authority figure out how to maintain the existing service.