Transit - Getting around San Jose

Getting around is changing. BART will soon arrive, e-scooters are now everywhere, bicycle commuting is real and ride sharing is booming. These changes are efforts to close the “last mile” gap to public transit, and because congestion has made formerly short commutes unbearable. District 10 is a connection between our urban core and open green spaces. Transit options must work for our residents, and we deserve a maintenance program that keeps our commutes smooth rather than costing us more in vehicle service and repair. My vision includes:

Transit solutions that fit a neighborhood’s needs — public transit routes and schedules that work for the residents they serve

The major transit corridors of San José run through District 10 -  Highway 85, Highway 87, Valley Transit Authority’s (VTA) Light Rail & Buses, Almaden Expressway and other high traffic city streets. These pathways provide residents various options and directions to connect for their job or fun. However these corridors are managed by many different agencies so the speed to address our concerns moves as swiftly as the congestion during rush hour. Currently six members of our City Council have a voice on VTA. Whether or not this will be one of my assignments, I will advocate for District 10’s transit needs before the VTA, Caltrans and other transit agencies. Residents must be able to commute within San José or the Bay Area safely and with ease.

Transit innovation moving us into the future — embracing changes while keeping our residents safe

Bike lane expansions, e-scooters, ride sharing services and Mobile App livery systems “ride hailing/ride sharing” are changing the way that we get around to close the “last mile” gap that keeps many residents from using our public transit systems. As startups seek to innovate solutions to our transit needs, we have to make sure they are providing a quality service that is not a nuisance, as some have found the e-scooters, or taking advantage of the workers as ride-hailing becomes the new alternative. All of these solutions need to work within the larger framework of our transportation network.

Public transit systems are also drastically changing. Our VTA bus lines are facing further cutbacks due to budgeting struggles, and we are likely to see VTA Light Rail expansion into Evergreen. The biggest change will be BART’s arrival to San José, and the eventual entire revisioning of our Downtown with the Diridon Station expansion and Google’s investment project. These transit lines must be safe and accessible, especially for neighborhoods like Almaden Valley where residents will likely depend on the individual automobile to connect.

The individual automobile is perhaps the number one target of the green energy revolution. The impacts of climate change are real, and we need to find better alternatives to fossil fuel. We must undertake a balanced approach as we integrate these major changes. Areas like District 10 are still reliant on fossil fuels, but hybrid and electric cars have found success in Silicon Valley, affirming that we care about this issue. We can achieve progress without negatively impacting our families. 

Upgrading & Updating our infrastructure — ensuring our commutes are efficient, safe and maintained

In 2019, nearly 300 miles of San José’s roads will be maintained and serviced. This is the largest of such projects in many years and is already underway. Thankfully, many of the neighborhood streets in the South Almaden area will be serviced CLICK HERE FOR MAP LINK. These improvements are long overdue, and will only be successful with good communication between the City and residents. When residents are properly informed vehicles will not be left in the way, causing delays and problems for the crews and neighbors. It will be my focus as Councilmember, to continue these improvements across District 10, on time and on budget.

We have funding, we just need it to be available. 2016’s Measure B funds are slowly being released after legal setbacks, and the 2018 bond funds from Measure T give us the resources needed to improve our infrastructure and transit system expansions. I will work to make sure these funds are properly allocated, and projects get underway immediately. Many issues we face are complex, but the conditions of our roads and commute is felt by everyone, and it’s time the hub of innovation and technology finally delivered on a 21st century solution to this issue.

I will work with our city staff and regional partners to study our traffic lights and signal timings. How many times have you been sitting in your car wondering if the lights were timed better could our commutes be more efficient? We have the technology, we just need leadership to take the initiative to make it happen. San José’s brilliant minds and hard working families lose far too many hours sitting on congested highways and at inefficient or dangerous intersections, rather than spending quality time with family or friends, or even creating the new transit solution of the future.

City Hall’s duty is to ensure these new transit expansions are sensible and accessible for our all. I want everyone in San José to leave and arrive home safely every day, and do so with the greatest efficiency and ease.