VTA is reviewing a set of service changes, including changes that make transit service to San Jose airport nearly useless. The good news is that VTA is proposing a new Line 11 that would connect San Jose Diridon Transit Center to the San Jose International airport. This sounds like a brilliant idea, since Diridon is a major transit hub with full Caltrain service, the Altamont Commuter express, long-distance Amtrak service, light rail, and numerous buses. Unfortunately, VTA proposes a route frequency of every 30 minutes. Adding up to a 30 minute transfer to/from the main train or bus means that time-sensitive airport passengers are exceedingly unlikely to use this new route. If VTA’s goal is to attract airport passengers, the frequency needs to be much higher.
With the added transit connector to from Diridon to the airport, VTA simultaneously proposes to cut service to VTA connector line 10 from Santa Clara Transit Center to the Airport from every 15 minutes to every 30 minutes. So, in addition to adding a useless connection from Diridon, VTA is proposing to make the current connection from Santa Clara useless as well.
Airport passengers are time-sensitive and risk-phobic, wanting to take no chances at missing long-distance flights. If VTA wants these services to appeal to airport passengers, they should be more frequent. If Diridon 11 is intended to be the preferred airport route, the frequency should be at least every 10 minutes.
VTA is also proposing that the Diridon 11 should have a standard-priced fare; unlike the free 10 shuttle. For airport passengers who are paying up to hundreds for the trip, $2 extra is not a major deterrent, but a 30 minute wait is fatal.
If you do not want VTA to make its transit connections to SJC useless, come tomorrow to the community meeting on Monday, March 23, 6:30pm at the VTA Downtown Customer Service Center, 55-A West Santa Clara Street, San Jose, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
VTA is proposing numerous other route changes, including changes for service to Sunnyvale, DeAnza College, and other locations. Check out the list of changes, and give VTA feedback if they affect routes you’d use.
A revised transit service plan incorporating public comment will be presented to the VTA Transit Planning & Operations Committee on April 16, 2015, as well as VTA’s Board of Directors on May 7, 2015, for review and approval.