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VTA Approves $1.3 Million For Study On Reduced Fares For Low-Income Customers

Low-income people in the county spend over 33 percent of their income on transit, the group conducting the study found.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has awarded the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority with $1.3 million for a two-year study on reduced fares for low-income customers.

The two-year study will begin in July through Santa Clara County's Social Services Agency.

Local organization People Acting in Community Together raised the issue to multiple city and county officials during a community meeting in September.

Officials from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Board of Directors who attended were Santa Clara County Supervisors Dave Cortese and Ken Yeager, San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo and Mountain View City Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga. Cortese and Liccardo are also commissioners for the MTC.

Currently, a monthly pass on the VTA system costs $70. A single ride costs $2.

"Low-income people in Santa Clara County pay the largest percentage of their income on transportation compared to any other county in the Bay Area -- over 33 percent," said PACT member Sandy Hietala in a report released last year titled "Moving Silicon Valley Forward: Housing, Transit, & Traffic at a Crossroad."

The study will be funded through the MTC's Transit Incentive Program.

Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

Jmc Gilroy February 06, 2013 at 07:11 AM
When does this STOP? $1.3 million for a study? No doubt paid to some outside consulting firm and I question why the VTA executives are unable examine these situations on their own and make the decisions that they are paid to make. Frankly, if they are incapable of such management decisions then they are the wrong people for the job. Perhaps Patch can report on the profit/loss reports on VTA. I'll bet they already operate at a substantial loss at a cost to the taxpayers and now they're going to spend another $1.3 million dollars of our money..

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