Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Nice Try 

San Jose Business Journal | Budget compromise breathes new life into BART funding | 2005-07-11:
The full transportation funding was a big issue for Silicon Valley businesses, which have been vocal in supporting the $4 billion extension of BART to San Jose. Santa Clara County taxpayers will pay for much of the project themselves, but the project also needs $649 million promised by then-governor Gray Davis in 2000.

The VTA is asking for $170 million this year. But the VTA will be competing with 140 other projects for the $678 million in traffic congestion relief funds....
Look carefully at the new life the San Jose Business Journal (BJ) is claiming for the BART project. Under Gray Davis the project was to get nearly $650 million. Now they must compete with 140 other projects for a collective pool of $678 million. Divided evenly between all of them that works out to $4.8 million for the BART extension to San Jose. That is less than 1% of the originally promised state funding.

Even if BART gets all of it, there is still the problem of the lack of federal funding the tax payers were promised would make up the difference between local sales tax, state funding and the true cost of the extension, now estimated by Cipola at $5 billion.

But let's be realistic. The state cannot get away with putting all of its transportation funds into one project--or even two. It will have to help fund a variety of projects, which will reduce significantly what it can contribute to the BART extension.

As positive as the BJ wants to be about the BART project, this just is not enough to save the ill-conceived BART extension.
One other reason the BJ had a rosy picture of the San Jose BART extension is that it is also a member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG)...


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