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Gilroy
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January 23, 2021

Letter: VTA refuses to change

When Don Gage was chair of VTA, it won “Worst in the Nation” Status from the MIT Study of all the Nation’s Transit Agencies. 

Despite three Grand Jury indictments, they refuse to change. It’s darn the torpedoes—full steam ahead. They worship Emperor Transit First, despite fraud, waste and abuse up the YingYang and growing worse each year. 

We could have more transport for less, but they’d rather shaft-shaft-shaft the motorists with higher and higher gas taxes.                            

Don’t ya’ know: socialism works for transit. Never private sector solutions, notwithstanding Uber and Lyft, shuttles and taxis, being much more for less. 

We could save gazillions on legacy public sector union pension funding, this generation and future generations. 

When Perry was VTA Chair, I tried to talk sense into him, brilliant attorney that he is, and me just a country lawyer. Got that great big smile of his; that’s all. 

VTA’s annual disbursements make Gilroy’s seem small in comparison. 

Let’s admit failure, and privatize. Emperor Transit First is stark naked, as I’ve said a few times from local governments’ podiums.

At the very least we ought to demand that those who govern transport at the transit agencies (VTA, COG, SCCRTC, TAMC, MTA, and the list goes on, and on and on) be elected. 

Be subject to the will of the voters. 

Have the consent of the governed. 

Pretty basic stuff in our democracy. 

But, as things stand, we get fraud, waste and abuse and don’t have a voters’ remedy, e.g., recall. 

VTA’s been a radical socialist failure since it was created, despite all the good they claim to be doing. Yep. Conceived insolvent; born bankrupt. 

Do we have an elected leader who will get them to tell us how much they spend driving empty bus seats around the county?

How often the bus is almost empty, except for the public sector employee driver, whose retirement benefits dwarf all those of all the small and very small business owners I know in South County, and have known for the past 40 years. 

I am reminded of Norm Mineta’s “crucial question in transportation” (1995): “What should government do? and What should it leave to others?” Norm was right then, and he’s still right. What answer do we give?

Joe Thompson 

Transportation Lawyers Assn.

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