Financial Woes at Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

A $25 million operating deficit will inspire some soul searching, and structural changes.

1 minute read

December 8, 2018, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

Gary Richards reports from the Silicon Valley, where the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is dealing with a $25 million annual operating deficit and considering drastic measures like cuts in bus service, buyouts of retirement age employees, and fare increases.

"Over the last six years, operating expenses have grown twice as fast as revenues. Sales taxes account for roughly 80 percent of VTA’s income, but the rate of growth has slowed while expenses continue to increase," according to Richards. The VTA has been dipping into capital reserves to cover operating costs, but that money is running out quickly.

Richards indicates that a VTA committee has already figured out how much they can save by various measures—$15 million a year on reduced bus service and $2 million in higher fares. The VTA has also commissioned a report by Jarrett Walker and Associates that recommends adjusting bus routes to a high frequency grid.

Friday, December 7, 2018 in The Mercury News

stack of books

Planetizen’s Top Planning Books of 2023

The world is changing, and planning with it.

November 24, 2023 - Planetizen Team

Close-up of 'Red Line Subway Entry' sign with Braille below and train logo above text in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Red Line Extension Could Transform the South Side

The city’s transit agency is undertaking its biggest expansion ever to finally bring rail to the South Side.

November 24, 2023 - The Architect's Newspaper

Diagram of visibility at urban intersection.

How ‘Daylighting’ Intersections Can Save Lives

Eliminating visual obstructions can make intersections safer for all users.

November 27, 2023 - Strong Towns

Red San Diego Trolley light rail train at station with passengers walking on platform and Spanish-style dome building in background.

San Diego Trolley Nation’s Most Popular Light Rail

The system's ridership benefited from an extension project and free transit for youth.

39 minutes ago - Axios

Aerial view of San Jose, California downtown at night.

San Jose Affordable Housing Development Gains Approval

A proposed project is moving forward with reduced building heights and all-affordable units.

1 hour ago - The Mercury News

Green painted bike lane protected by rown of parking.

Oklahoma City Begins Work on Parking-Protected Bike Lane

The project is part of the city’s broader plan to improve bike and pedestrian infrastructure and road safety.

2 hours ago - The Oklahoman

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

"Rethinking Commuter Rail" podcast & Intercity Bus E-News

Chaddick Institute at DePaul University

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.