Grand jury report blasts San Jose-area transit agency's inefficiency

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority could also face work strike this week
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SAN JOSE, Calif. — A grand jury report has blasted the San Jose area’s public transit system as “one of the most expensive and least efficient … in the country,” the San Jose Mercury News reports.

The report released last week says the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which operates bus and light rail systems, is too big and too political to make sound decisions.

The authority’s chairwoman, Santa Clara City Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill, told the paper she agreed with many of the findings in the 61-page report, if not all of its analysis. She said she had made better governance a priority since becoming chairwoman.

The system covers only 9% of its costs through fare recovery. Taxpayers cover the remaining 91%, which works out to about $9.28 per passenger trip.

There may be trouble ahead of another type for the VTA. KQED radio reports its workers union has voted 912-92 to reject the agency’s “last, best, and final” contract offer, setting the stage for a strike as soon as this week. Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 265 had previous authorized a strike. They must provide 72 hours’ notice before striking.

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