1) Governor funds HSR, but bond delayed to 2008
Yes, you made a difference! In response to those of you who made calls to
support California High-Speed Rail in response to our last action alert, the
Governor's office started to take note and began asking callers what group
prompted them to call.
Governor Schwarzenegger kept the $14.3 million in the 2006-07 Budget to begin HSR project
implementation. Accordingly, this includes:
- completion of a financial plan,
- project management,
- identification of critical right-of-way acquisitions,
- development of a simulator for planning system operation and public
- $9 million for the beginning of detailed project design and related
He also did not take away massive amounts of money from transit operators
and in fact gave them an unexpected windfall which will stave off further
fare hikes and service reductions this year even with steeply rising fuel
costs. Congratulations and thank you for taking action!
The fight for HSR funding will continue next year, as the HSRA anticipates
needing an additional $103 M in fiscal year '07-'08 for engineering work as
well as right-of-way purchases.
Bond for HSR Construction Delayed to Nov. 2008
The Governor signed AB 713, delaying the high speed rail bond to the Nov.
text of the law]
Support for HSR is still perceived to be low and so, we will need to educate
the public about the merits of HSR and help with the campaign. If you're
interested in getting involved in this, please contact us.
2) Join the BayRail Alliance board
BayRail Alliance seeks enthusiastic and responsible people to join our
nonprofit board for a two-year term. Board members oversee the running of
the organization and make policy decisions. We are especially seeking people
with legal, financial or accounting expertise. If you are interested, please
BayRail Alliance Issue Updates, 7 June 2006
1) Measure A goes down!
We are savoring our victory as Measure A in Santa Clara County received a
stunning defeat yesterday! Thanks to all who helped defeat this
ill-conceived tax measure which would have enabled VTA to continue its
unsustainable commitment to the poorly-conceived BART extension.
The large margin of defeat while other local tax measures passed sends a
strong message to the county and to VTA that they've got to come up with a
better plan for using public funds.
The final result was:
We need your help now to convince VTA to develop a Plan B that includes
Caltrain Metro East and a better, more realistic and more affordable plan
than extending BART, without a new tax.
The VTA Project Advisory Committee is meeting tomorrow, Thursday to review
and approve an expenditure plan scenario to recommend to the full VTA board.
Thursday, June 8, 2006
City of Mountain View
City Council Chambers
500 Castro Street
Committee members include Supervisor Liz Kniss, Sunnyvale councilmember Dean
Chu, Cupertino councilwoman Dolly Sandoval, Supervisor Don Gage and San Jose
councilmember Forrest Williams.
Please call or e-mail these folks. Urge them to go back to the drawing board
and consider alternatives to BART that would be better and affordable
without a new tax, such as BayRail Alliance's proposed Caltrain Metro East
|Supervisor Liz Kniss|| (408) 299-5050|| firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Supervisor Don Gage|| (408) 299-5010|| email@example.com|
|Dean Chu|| CouncilDeanChu@yahoo.com|
|Dolly Sandoval|| firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Forrest Williams|| (408) 535-4902|| email@example.com|
2) Prop C fails, but Transbay Terminal still wins
Prop C to change how appointments are made to the TJPA board failed by a
large margin yesterday. However, we still feel victorious, because the San
Francisco TJPA board members unanimously voted to approve five different
resolutions at their meeting last Friday that will move the Transbay project
forward, ending the frustrating stalling tactics that prompted Prop C in the
See the following article:
advocates declare victory on Prop. C, end campaign
Keep high-speed rail planning alive (2 June 2006)
In the Bay Area, high-speed rail is an integral component of a comprehensive
regional rail study, set for completion next year. Unfortunately, the
Legislature and the Governor left planning for high-speed rail out of the
bond, as well as the current proposed budget. Please contact the Legislature,
especially Senator Perata, immediately to ensure that the High Speed Rail
Authority gets the $13 million it needs to continue the planning.
Take action: www.transcoalition.org/c/sus_hsr
(courtesy of the Transportation and Land Use Coalition)
BayRail Alliance Issue Updates, 15 May 2006
No on Santa Clara County Measure A needs your help!
BayRail Alliance urges you to vote NO on Measure A, a proposed half-cent
increase to the Santa Clara County sales tax on the June 6 ballot. If this
measure passes, it will encourage VTA to stick with their current plans and
will become more difficult for us to advance our
Caltrain Metro East
proposal. The county should come back to the ballot in November with a
reduced funding proposal that more closely matches the county's needs.
Read these articles:
Bum tax by a bad bunch by Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold
Measure A undercut case for tax boost by Los Altos councilman David
Casas, who recently completed a 2-year term on the VTA Board.
The outcome of the election is likely to be very close, according to a
recently released by the Mercury News.
The No campaign has an excellent mailer that we'd like to mail to voters,
but we don't have sufficient funds at present. If you'd like to support the
No on A campaign, please mail checks ASAP to
Citizens for Sensible Transportation
c/o Greg Perry
1030 Boranda Ave
Mountain View, CA 94040
FPPC id 1277694
Please include each your name, address, employer, employer's address, and
BayRail Alliance Issue Updates, 18 April 2006
Attend key VTA transit plan meetings
A VTA Project Advisory Committee has been convened to review and prioritize
the 2000 Measure A Project List plus a program of local streets, county
expressways, and bicycle and pedestrian path improvements; an expanded
Senior / Disabled Program; and the Sunnyvale/Cupertino Bus Rapid Transit
Please plan to attend the April 27 meeting to ask them to consider the
Caltrain Metro East proposal in lieu of BART, and to express your support
for Caltrain electrification and improvements.
For more information on Caltrain Metro East, please see
our South Bay Rail Vision page.
The Caltrain electrification program is now being phased to electrify to San
Jose rather than Gilroy, reducing overall electrification costs to about
$150 million per county. This is very reasonable and manageable compared to
the cost of many other transportation projects. The construction of the
5.3-mile Vasona Light Rail to Winchester station in Campbell cost more than
$200 million in local revenue. The BART extension would cost more than
$2,200 million ($2.2 Billion) in local monies to construct, plus another
1,900 million dollars in financing costs.
Leaders in southern Santa Clara County are asking that money that would
otherwise go to electrification in south county be instead allocated to
double-tracking and increase of service on that portion of the line,
including possible reverse-commute service and mid-day service.
The VTA Project Advisory Committee is comprised of five members of the VTA
Board of Directors including: Vice Chair Dean Chu, and Board members Don
Gage, Liz Kniss, Dolly Sandoval, and Forrest Williams.
This committee has already met twice. The remaining meetings will be held
throughout the county as follows:
VTA Project Advisory Committee
Thurs., April 27 @ 5:30 p.m. at Milpitas City Council Chambers Hall, 455 E.
Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
Agenda item: BART project
Thurs., May 11 @ 5:30 p.m. at VTA Campus, Bldg. A Auditorium, 3331 No. First
Street, San Jose.
Agenda item: Light Rail, Buses, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
Thurs., May 25 @ 5:30 pm at Cupertino City Hall, 10300 Torre Avenue,
Cupertino, CA 95014-3202
Agenda item: Pavement Management, Expenditure Plan Scenario
Thurs., June 8 @ 5:30 pm - location to be determined
Agenda item: Conclusion and Recommendations
High Speed Rail talk at TASC
Art Lloyd, member of the Caltrain governing board, will be giving a talk on
High Speed Rail in Mountain View before the Technology and Society Committee
Tuesday, May 2nd @ 11:45 a.m.
Golden Wok restaurant
895 Villa Street, Mountain View (cross street is Bryant)
$9.50 for lunch if you choose to purchase lunch.
14 March 2006 Issue Updates
1) Call your Assemblymember re: Infrastructure Bond Measure
Call now to keep High Speed Rail construction funded!
While the State Senate voted down the bond measure on Friday, negotiations for a
multi-billion state infrastructure bond continue in the Assembly. Please
contact your Assemblymember to make sure that High Speed Rail and increased
rail transit funding is a part of that.
Look up your Assemblymember's contact information at one of these sites:
Please also call Speaker Fabian NuŮez's office: (916) 319-2046.
Urge him or her to ensure that:
1. The HSR bond stays on the ballot and is delayed but not canceled.
2. To meanwhile provide at least $1 billion in the infrastructure bond for
HSR, to buy and preserve critical right of way.
3. To take the money from proposed new dams and surface water projects,
which the environmental community strongly opposes. Dams cannot be made
seismically safe; moreover these projects destroy lots of habitat. More
about those projects (courtesy of PCL):
- The Governor said he needed one new dam to be funded under the bond
in order to support it. The Senate gave him that dam (the reconstruction of
Perris Lake in Riverside County which provides up to 800,000 new acre feet
of water for the state water project).
- The Assembly amendments allow funding for two more dams (the
so-called "Temperence Flat" and "Sites" dams in Northern California), both
of which are years, and billions of dollars, away from even being found to
- The Assembly amendments also allow state taxpayer dollars to be
used to subsidize costs that should be borne by big agribusiness and other
large water users to address the adverse environmental effects of their
over-pumping water from the Delta.
- The Assembly amendments also allow state taxpayer funds to be used
to subsidize the costs that should be borne by big developers landowners to
provide flood protection for new homes they build.
2) BayRail General meeting this Thursday, March 16, 2006
3) Attend TJPA meeting Thursday, March 16
4) Support New SF Ballot Initiative for Transbay
Please see Caltrain/Transbay Terminal updates and alerts page
for these two items.
5) Attend VTA Project Priorities Meeting, Thursday March 23
VTA has created a Project Priority and Revenue Advisory Committee to "review
and prioritize the Measure A project list and create strategies to secure
sufficient revenues to fund the project list."
The first meeting has been set for
Thursday, March 23, 2006,
Building A, Auditorium
VTA River Oaks Campus
3331 N. First Street, San Jose, CA
Please attend and let them know that you consider Caltrain electrification
and improvements and speeding up existing transit to be a top priority!
Several Caltrain improvements were not completed under the previous Measure
B program. Don't let VTA make the priorities "BART and nothing else!"
6) TALC Summit in Oakland, April 1
This year's Summit will be at the First Unitarian Church in downtown
Oakland. Pre-registration for the event guarantees you the low price of $10,
which includes breakfast, lunch, materials, and valet bike parking.
Registration for walk-ins is $20.
Volunteers get free admission. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call
510-740-3150 and ask for Hoang if you're interested.
Learn more and register now.
7) MTC Draft Transit Connectivity Plan comments due April 14
You're invited to comment on the MTC Draft Transit Connectivity Plan. The
consultants are particularly looking for input on Chapter 4, the
Recommendations section. The Plan can be viewed online and downloaded in pdf
format from the MTC Web site at www.mtc.ca.gov. Copies of the draft plan
also are available for public review at the MTC Library at 101 Eighth Street
in Oakland, and at major public libraries in each of the nine Bay Area
counties. You may request a copy from the MTC Library by e-mail at
email@example.com, or by phone at 510.817.5836.
Comments on the draft plan must be received by MTC no later than 4 p.m.,
Friday, April 14, 2006.
31 February 2006 Issue Updates
Support funding for High-Speed Rail (HSR)
There is little support for California High-Speed Rail in the legislature at
present. One Assemblymember recently said, "Many of my colleagues just think
it is an expensive alternative to Southwest Airlines". This ignorance is
partly due to high turnover in the legislature created by term limits. It is
important for us to keep reminding our legislators of the benefits of HSR,
and that we want high-speed rail to be built.
- A recent study found that HSR would save 6 billion pounds of CO2 from
being emitted into the atmosphere each year.
See High Speed Rail and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the U.S. (prepared by the Center for Clean Air Policy
in LA, and Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago)
- HSR provides tremendous economic benefits for the state, creates many
- The California High Speed Rail Authority
is close to completing environmental studies for the project.
It is imperative that they be given enough funds to at least complete those
studies and to begin purchasing land to build the line in key areas before
further development makes it impossible to build HSR.
Please send letters of support to the Governor and six key state legislators
who will sit on the Joint Conference Committee on the Infrastructure Bond.
Ask them to provide funding for HSR and local transit in the infrastructure
bond package. Instead of the current split which gives 91% of transportation
bond money to highways and roads, the split must be made much more favorable
to public transit including at least 10% for local transit, 10% for commuter
rail and 10% for intercity rail. Ask them also to keep the High-Speed Rail
Bond on the ballot for November 2006 so that California's voters can decide
whether or not they want high-speed rail.
contact key senators:
Dennis Hollingworth (Room 5064)
Kevin Murray (Room 5050)
Wesley Chesbro (Room 5035)
CA State Senate, Room # _[as above]__
Sacramento, CA 95814
John Laird (District 27)
Judy Chu (District 49)
Rick Keene (District 08)
PO Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-00+(insert District #)
Save High Speed Rail: Emergency lobbying in Sacramento Tuesday, January
The California High-Speed Rail project, which could save 6 billion pounds of
CO2 from being produced per year, is on life support. Senator Perata had
originally proposed including $1 billion for HSR in his $10 billion bond
proposal, but now it looks like the project may be knocked off the funding
list altogether. The Governor's $222 billion spending plan contains not a
penny for HSR.
To save HSR, we need an immediate and strong outcry to let our elected
officials know that we support this important infrastructure project. Ask
Senator Perata and your local state legislators to support
funding HSR today. Please ask them not to cancel the $10 B bond measure
planned for the ballot on Nov. 2006. At the very least, the HSR project
needs $1B to finish environmental studies and to purchase land until voters
approve a larger bond measure to build the project.
A senate hearing on the Governor's bond proposal in Sacramento is scheduled
for this Tuesday, January 31 at 1:30 pm. If you would like to join other
BayRail Alliance members in traveling to Sacramento for this lobbying
effort, or would like to help mobilize others in support of the project,
please contact Brian Stanke at (415) 350-2318.
For more information, see:
Schwarzenegger scheme will kill CA high-speed rail plans (Thursday, January 26, 2006, in the San Francisco Chronicle)
High Speed Rail and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the U.S. (prepared by the Center for Clean Air Policy
in LA, and Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago)
MTC Transit Connectivity Study
Bay Area citizens are invited to comment on MTC's Draft Transit
State legislation -- Streets and Highways Code Section 30914.5(d) --
requires MTC to adopt a regional transit connectivity plan by May 1,
2006. Once adopted, the Connectivity Plan shall be incorporated into the
commissionís Transit Coordination Implementation Plan pursuant to
Section 66516.5 of the Government Code. A public hearing is required at
least 60 days prior to adoption.
This plan shall focus on, but not be limited to, feeder transit lines
connecting to regional rapid transit services, and the connection of
regional rapid transit services to one another. MTC will adopt
performance measures and collect appropriate data to monitor the
performance of the Connectivity Plan. The plan will be evaluated by the
Commission as part of the update to its regional transportation plan.
MTC will hold a public hearing to receive oral or written testimony on
the proposed Connectivity Plan during MTCís Commission meeting,
scheduled for Wednesday, February 22, 2006, at 10 a.m. (or immediately
following the Bay Area Toll Authority Committee meeting, whichever
Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter Auditorium
101 Eighth Street, Oakland
(across from the Lake Merritt BART Station)
Copies of the Draft Transit Connectivity Plan will be available for
public review as of February 10, 2006 at the MTC-ABAG Library, located
at 101 Eighth Street in Oakland, California, and at major public
libraries in each of the nine Bay Area counties. You may request a copy
from the MTC Library by e-mail at
or by telephone at 510/817-5836. The plan will also be posted on the
Comments on the draft plan must be received by MTC no later than 4 p.m.,
Friday April 14, 2006. Written comments may be submitted to MTC's Public
Information Office at 101 Eighth St., Oakland, CA 94607; faxed to MTC at
510/817-5848; or sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After considering public comment, the Commission is scheduled to adopt
the proposed Connectivity Plan at its April 26, 2006 meeting. For more
information, contact the MTC Public Information Office at 510/817-5757.