From 1960 to 1982, James R. Mills was a highly productive member of the State Legislature during which he served with distinction as the State Senate’s pro-transit Transportation Committee Chair and later as its President pro tem. During his time in the Legislature he was a consistent champion of improving passenger rail and other forms of public transit. He was justly proud of his legislative accomplishments which helped create the extensive and highly successful San Diego Trolley system and brought significant public transit improvements to many other parts of California. Mills died on March 27, 2021 at age 93.
Assembly Bill 1091 (Mark Berman) proposes to address a problem that has detracted from the Santa Clara VTA’s effectiveness for decades. In the last 17 years three successive grand juries have called attention to the VTA’s management, operational and capital improvement practices and recommended ways of improving the situation. These recommendations have been largely ignored.Continue reading
Assembly Bill 455 (Rob Bonta) tries to address the long-standing need to increase transbay bus ridership by calling for a dedicated bus lane on the Bay Bridge, beginning with a plan to be completed by January 1, 2023. Even before COVID, ridership on transbay buses was dismally low. For instance in 2019 AC Transit’s transbay ridership with its 27 separate transbay bus lines was only 13,000 riders a day.
AB 455 is unfortunately based upon the false premise that improving bus flow on just the bridge and its approaches is all that’s needed to give transbay bus ridership a major boost. We seriously doubt this.Continue reading
With the federal government poised to lavish $2 trillion or more on State and local governments, now might be a good time to take stock of how well equipped the receiving agencies are to use hundreds of billions of incoming new dollars in prudent and productive ways.
Given the Bay Area’s dismal recent record of managing large amounts of capital, the prognosis is not good. Before identifying causes it is necessary to provide a small sampling of the results.Continue reading