The Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury dealt a harsh blow to the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), revealing a massive budget gap, dysfunctional governance and plummeting ridership. Below are some key takeaways from the recently released report.
That’s the VTA deficit after the agency drained its capital reserves from $49.5 million in 2017 to $5 million in 2018 to keep funding its operations. In response to the funding gap, VTA officials plan to up fares, slash service hours and introduce a voluntary early retirement program.
The change in ridership from 2009 to 2018. Despite that downward trend, the VTA increased the number of its employees and the number of buses and trains.
The rate at which the VTA’s light rail budget has grown in the past five years, even as ridership declined by 15 percent.
The cost of the Eastridge Mall light rail extension, which is expected to only attract 611 new riders by 2025.
The cost to taxpayers for every new rider gained through the Eastridge light rail transit extension’s first year of operation.
Source: Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury