Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent special district that provides sustainable, accessible, community-focused transportation options that are innovative, environmentally responsible, and promote the vitality of the region.
VTA provides bus, light rail, and paratransit services, as well as participates as a funding partner in regional rail service including Caltrain, Capital Corridor, and the Altamont Corridor Express. As the county’s Congestion Management Agency (CMA), VTA is responsible for countywide transportation planning, including congestion management, design and construction of specific highway, pedestrian, and bicycle improvement projects, as well as promotion of transit oriented development.
VTA also develops the long-range Countywide Transportation Plan (CTP), which (along with similar plans from the other eight Bay Area Counties) forms the “primary basis” for the RTP/SCS adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. In turn, the CTP must consider the most recently adopted RTP/SCS to assure that the county transportation plans and the regional plan employ a common planning framework. VTA also implements and manages the county’s blueprint to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
VTA provides these services throughout the county, including the municipalities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga and Sunnyvale. VTA continually builds partnerships to deliver transportation solutions that meet the evolving mobility needs of Santa Clara County.
16: The County and 15 incorporated cities.
VTA’s Extension of BART to Silicon Valley–VTA is building a 16-mile, six-station extension of the existing San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) system into Silicon Valley. The project is being constructed in two phases. The Berryessa Extension, the first phase, is slated for completion in late 2017. Environmental analysis on the second phase of the extension to Downtown San Jose and Santa Clara is underway in 2017, with the opening of service anticipated in 2026.
Alum Rock-Santa Clara Bus Rapid Transit–VTA is building the Bay Area’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, the Alum Rock-Santa Clara BRT. The project will provide just over 7 miles of limited-stop rapid transit service from the Eastridge Transit Center to the Arena Station in downtown San Jose using Capitol Expressway, Alum Rock Avenue and Santa Clara Street. It features special hybrid vehicles with interior bike racks and Wi-Fi, enhanced stations, a stretch of bus-only lane, transit signal priority, and frequent service.
Santa Clara Pedestrian Undercrossing–Santa Clara is home to college students and tech employers and employees and attracts many visitors with its world class shopping and amusement parks. Many locals and tourists take advantage of its walkability and its public transit system. VTA is building an extension to the Santa Clara Station and a new access ramp so bicyclists and pedestrians can safely reach the Caltrain/ACE/Capitol Corridor platform as well as El Camino Real. The undercrossing spans 80 feet and runs under three Union Pacific Railroad tracks, functioning similarly to a tunnel. It encourages active transportation between in the Santa Clara Valley and eases congestion and improves air quality. The undercrossing is expected to open in Summer 2017.
Youth Outreach Program–VTA’s Youth Outreach Program is tailored to encourage Santa Clara County students to learn and experience the benefits of public transportation. The program’s goal is to teach children at an early age about the environmental benefits transportation plays in our communities. VTA partners with teachers in the county and educates students on transportation etiquette and how to read bus routes and schedules, and plays an information transit video that teaches students the rules to ride. Following the educational session element of the program, students have the opportunity to take a field trip traveling by VTA buses or light rail for free. Last year, the program reached over 55,000 students in Santa Clara County.
Section 100060 of the Public Utilities Code provides for 12 voting members to make up the governance structure of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Members include: two representatives (and one alternate) from the county board of supervisors; five council members (or the mayor) from the City of San Jose appointed by the city council, five city council members or mayors selected from among the city councils and mayors of all of the other cities in the county as provided by agreements among those cities.
The board member can only serve two year terms. And though only seven members are required for a quorum, it also takes seven affirmative votes to take action. See Section 100062. In addition, To the extent possible, the appointing powers “shall appoint individuals who have expertise, experience, or knowledge relative to transportation issues.” An alternate may vote in the place of a director represented by that alternate if the director is absent.