Loading...
Item 04.08 - Santa Clara County Transit Dist. Bus Routes AGENDA: September 24, 1991 CATEGORY: Consent 4.8 , - DEPT.: Planning and Community Development \" TITLE: Bus Route Changes h~ , ,- i " - ~ , , RECOMMEND A nON Approving the recommendation of the Council Transportation Committee to approve most of the County Transit District's proposed bus service reductions, but urging recon- sideration of Line 104 service reduction and replacement of Line 35M* service. FISCAL IMPACT There is no fiscal impact for the City of Mountain View. However, retention of service on Lines 35/35M* and 104 would have a fiscal impact on the Santa Clara County Transit District (SCCTD) unless service is reduced on other routes. BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS For the first time in 18 years, the SCCTD is proposing to reduce bus service County-wide in order to stay within its operating budget. The District is focusing on routes that carry the fewest passengers. Thirteen of the 49 routes proposed for reduction serve Mountain View. Most of the changes are minor in that they eliminate early morning, late day or weekend runs with low ridership, or a segment of a route where alternative bus service is available. However, one route would be entirely eliminated (the 35M*) and two other route changes would adversely affect the efforts of large employers to implement Transportation Demand Management programs (Lines 104 and 117). Based on the analysis in the attached report, staff recommended that the 35/35M* route be modified to reduce service but that it not be eliminated. This route serves Mountain View residents traveling from the San Antonio Road area up Middlefield Road through Palo Alto and into Menlo Park where there are several very large employers. Staff also recommended that the Line 104 express bus continue to serve Moffett/Ames, but that a reduction in service on the Line 117 express bus be accepted because an alternative is available to its riders. APPROVED BY THE MOUNTAIN VIEW: CITY COUl'ICIL ON ~ AGENDA: PAGE: September 24, 1991 2 On September 16, 1991, the Council Transportation Committee reviewed and approved the staff recommendations, but asked for evidence of what NASA/ Ames would do to increase ridership on Line 104 in order to justify continued service. According to NASA's transportation coordinator, she will be making an extra effort to publicize the service, for example, in the agency newsletter. ~:J.U- Walter S. Cohen Planning and Community Development Director Approved by: ~G~ Kevin C. Duggan Ci ty Manager WSC/LM/CAM 859-9-17-91M1 Attachments: Staff Report-September 9, 1991 Council Transportation Committee minutes-September 16, 1991 Letter from Mr. John Nimmo CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW MEMORANDUM DATE: September 9, 1991 TO: Council Transportation Committee FROM: Lynnie Melena, Senior Urban Planner SUBJECT: Bus Route Changes RECOMMENDATION Send a letter to the Santa Clara County Transit District approving most of the proposed bus route changes, but urging it (1) to reconsider the reduction in Line 104 service to Moffett/Ames and (2) to consider, as a replacement for Line 35M, a modification to service on Line 35 during the morning and evening commute periods so that alternate runs continue from Mountain View into Menlo Park. BACKGROUND For the first time in its 18-year history, the Santa Clara County Transit District is proposing to reduce bus service Countywide. The proposed changes affect 49 of the District's 80 routes including 13 routes serving Mountain View. Overall, bus service in the County would be reduced by five percent. The changes are being circulated for public review and would be implemented in January 1992. The reductions are needed because the District's costs are expected to exceed revenues. A decline in sales tax revenue (from the County's half-cent transit sales tax) is a contributing factor. The District has aggressively tried to reduce operating expenses for support functions. However, providing service on the street is still the District's largest cost item. The proposed service reductions on selected routes are intended to maximize the efficiency of the entire system, and service that is eliminated is unlikely to be reinstated. Additional buses acquired during the next 20 years under the T2010 Countywide transportation plan are intended to provide higher levels of service during peak commute periods. In recommending service reductions, the District is focusing on those routes that are carrying the fewest passengers. Standards for minimum number of passengers have been established for each, with the specific standard depending on time of day and type of route (grid, feeder, express and bonus routes). 1 The attached "Description of Proposed Changes" lists all routes proposed for service reductions. The routes in Mountain View have been marked with a large asterisk. ANALYSIS Most of the changes would eliminate specific runs or a segment of a route, but not an entire route. Generally, staff believes that the changes to Mountain View routes are minor in that they eliminate early morning, late day, or weekend runs with low ridership, or a segment of a route where alternative bus service is available. However, one route serving a portion of Mountain View would be entirely eliminated-the 35M that runs from the San Antonio Shopping Center, along Middlefield Road through Palo Alto, to the Menlo Park CalTrain Depot; and two other route changes give staff some concern in light of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) efforts. They are discussed below. · Line 35M provides direct service, during the morning and evening commute periods, between San Antonio Road and major employers on or near Middlefield Road in Menlo Park (e.g., the Stanford Research Institute, the U.s. Geological Survey, and other office centers). According to the the County, the five morning runs typically have between 1 and 8 riders. The low ridership may be attributable, in part, to the fact that the 35M duplicates the 35 route for most of its alignment. The difference between the two is that the 35 bus turns off Middlefield Road near Downtown Palo Alto and terminates at Stanford University, while the 35M continues to Menlo Park. One possibility would be to eliminate the 35M, but have alternate runs of the 35 line continue to Menlo Park. Unfortunately, this would reduce service for passengers headed for Downtown Palo Alto or Stanford, but there are other bus routes available to them. An analysis should be made of how many passengers may be inconvenienced. In any event, the 35M can probably be discontinued when the San Antonio CalTrain stop opens (in approximately 1-1/2 to 2 years) since CalTrain will then provide direct service from the San Antonio Road area to Menlo Park, with bus connections to Middlefield Road. Staff recommends that if the 35M is eliminated, the Transit District analyze the feasibility of modifying service on Line 35 during the morning and evening commute periods so that alternate runs continue to Menlo Park. This would be until the San Antonio CalTrain stop opens. . Line 104 is an express route connecting Piedmont Hills in eastern San Jose to Palo Alto. The route makes six runs each morning and each evening, and one of these six turns off U.S. 101 into Moffett/ Ames. The proposed change would eliminate the one deviation into Moffett/ Ames. According to the County, there are only four riders who disembark at Moffett/ Ames. The stop adds about nine minutes to the run. While ridership is certainly low, 2 elimination of express service to this area undermines NASA'S efforts to implement its TDM program. Staff recommends that the County reconsider this service reduction, and give NASA an opportunity to increase ridership. · Line 117 runs from west San Jose, along Route 85 to Whisman, Ellis, and ultimately NASA Ames. The number of morning and evening runs would be reduced from two to one. One of the two morning runs currently carries 20 passengers and the other carries 10. The la-passenger run would be eliminated, although riders would have the option of taking the other earlier run. Although this change may also adversely affect TDM programs of Mountain View employers, commuters do have the option of using the one remaining run. Therefore, staff recommends no action on this proposed change. CONCLUSION The Transit District has no choice but to reduce bus service in order to stay within its operating budget. In proposing these service reductions, it appears that the Transit District has made a sincere effort to improve the overall efficiency of the bus system while inconveniencing as few passengers as possible. While is difficult to support reductions in bus service when so much effort is being focused on encouraging people to take transit, staff concurs with the changes, except for the Route 35M and the Route 104 changes as described above. Prepared by: rX~~ Lynnie Melena Senior Urban Planner &J.~ Walter Cohen Planning and Community Development Director ~ Kevin C. Duggan City Manager Attachments: Description of Proposed Changes 3 DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED CHANGES DiaI-A-Ride*--Service hours would be cut back to approximately 7:30 p.m. on weekdays. Line 10* (Santa Clara to Jose CalTrain Depot)--The portion of the route currently operating between the San Jose CalTrain depot and the Metro LRT station is largely duplicated by light rail and would be deleted. The routing on this line would be modified to operate between the Metro LRT station and Franklin Mall via the San Jose Airport. The frequency of service on this remaining portion of the route would be adjusted to operate approximately every 20 minutes on weekdays, and 40-45 minutes in the evenings after 7:00 p.m. and weekends. Line 13* (Almaden LRT Station to Almaden & McKean/New Almaden)--The frequency of service would be improved to operate at 15 minute intervals during the morning and afternoon commute hours. The northbound trip at 4:57 a.m. and the southbound trip at 5:16 a.m. would be deleted. These changes are in conjunction with changes proposed for Line 64. Line 14* (Downtown San Jose to The Housing Authority)--Service on this line is proposed to be deleted due to extremely low patronage. Other lines will continue to provide service nearby. Line 17* (First & Wren to Tenth & Chestnut)--The weekday counterclockwise trips departing First and Wren at 5:29 a.m. and 7:47 p.m. would be deleted. Weekend service would be discontinued. * Line 20* (Dixon and Milpitas to San Antonio Shopping Center)--Weekend schedule adjustments are proposed that would delete the 9:02 a.m. eastbound trip, and the 8:04 a.m. and 9:22 a.m. westbound trips. Weekend service would be modified to operate hourly after 6:30 p.m. Line 24* (Downtown San Jose to Palo Alto CalTrain Depot via Stevens Creek)--proposed changes would eliminate the selected trips serving the California CalTrain depot in Palo Alto (Line 88 will continue to serve the train depot). The 7:46 p.m. westbound trip is also proposed to be deleted. Line 25* (East San Jose to De Anza College via Valley Medical Center)--Midday service would be improved on weekdays to operate every 15 minutes between east San Jose and Valley Medical Center. The weekday 11:43 p.m. westbound trip is proposed to be deleted, and weekend service modifications have the 5:47 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. westbound trips operating only as far as Valley Medical Center. Line 26* (Eastridge to Sunnyvale/Lockheed)--The westbound trips leaving Eastridge after 7:00 p.m. on weekdays would only operate as far as Prospect and Saratoga. Weekend service hours would be cut back to approximately 7:30 p.m. Line 27* (Santa Teresa Hospital to West Valley College)--The weekend evening service hours are proposed to be cut back to approximately 7:30 p.m. * Line 34* (Santa Clara CalTrain Depot to San Antonio Shopping Center)--The eastbound 6:28 p.m. and westbound 6:26 p.m. trips are proposed to be deleted. * Line 35/35M* (Stanford University to Foothill College / Menlo Park Caltrain Depot to San Antonio Shopping Center)--The 35M trips operating between the Menlo Park CalTrain depot and San Antonio Shopping Center would be discontinued. Other weekday service adjustments would include: modifying the evening service to operate hourly after about 8:00 p.m.; terminating the 7:24 p.m. and 8:25 p.m. southbound trips at San Antonio Shopping Center; and deleting the northbound 5:46 a.m. and southbound 5:41 a.m. trips. The weekend evening service hours and frequency would be modified to match weekday. Line 36* (East San Jose to Vallco Fashion Park via San Jose Flea Market)--The weekday eastbound trip at 7:25 p.m. and westbound trips at 5:53 a.m. and 7:22 p.m. are proposed to be deleted. Line 37* (Bascom & Camden. to Monterey & Senter)--Weekday service would operate until approximately 7:00 p.m. and the weekend service hours would be adjusted to operate between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Line 38* (Winchester & Knowles to Monterey & Senter)--Weekday service would operate until approximately 7:00 p.m., and the weekend service hours would be adjusted to operate between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. * * ~ * Line 42 (Santa Clara Industrial Park from Lawrence CalTrain Depot)--The 2:40 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. trips are proposed to be deleted. Line 50* (El Camino Hospital to San Antonio Shopping Center via CalTrain Depot)--The weekday southbound trip leaving San Antonio Shopping Center at 5:51 a.m., and the northbound trip departing EI Camino Hospital at 8:15 a.m. on weekends, would be deleted. Line 51* (Moffett/Ames to Vallco Fashion Park)--The weekday schedule is proposed to be modified with the last northbound bus departing Vallco at 7:09 p.m. and the last southbound bus departing Moffett at 6:32 p.m. Line 52* (Foothill College to Mountain View CalTrain Depot)--Weekday schedule adjustments would result in the last northbound bus leaving Foothill College at 6:55 p.m., and the last southbound bus leaving the Mountain View CalTrain depot at 6:39 p.m. Line 54* (Sunnyvale CalTrain Depot to Westgate)--The weekday morning schedule would be modified slightly to reduce service frequency and improve route efficiency. These modifications would include discontinuing the southbound 6:06 a.m. trip and the northbound 6:26 a.m. trip. Line 56 (Fair Oaks & El Camino to Milpitas via Arques)--Schedule modifications are proposed to provide peak commute hour service only. Eastbound trips departing Fair Oaks & El Camino from 8:45 a.m. to 2:08 p.m., and westbound trips departing weller & Main between 9:21 a.m. and 1:50 p.m. would be deleted. Additionally, the last westbound trip departing Milpitas at 6:16 p.m., would be deleted. Line 59* (East San Jose to Great America)--The eastbound trips departing Great America at 5:37 a.m., 8:28 p.m. and 9:19 p.m., as well as the westbound trips departing Morrill & Cropley at 7:25 p.m., 8:22 p.m. and 9:12 p.m., are proposed to be deleted. The midday service would be modified to operate every 45 minutes on weekdays. Saturday and Sunday service would be discontinued. Line 61 (Camden & Branham to Lockheed via Scott)--The southbound schedule would be modified to delete the 2:10 p.m. trip departing from Lockheed. Line 64* (Alum Rock & Miguelita to Almaden Valley via Downtown San Jose)--Schedule and route modifications for Line 64 are proposed in conjunction with those proposed for Line 13. The southern terminus for Line 64 would be relocated to the Almaden LRT station from its present location at Almaden Expressway and via Valiente. Service enhancements are proposed for Line 13 to maintain an acceptable level of service into the Almaden Valley. Additional schedule modifications would include deleting the first weekday southbound trip leaving Alum Rock and White at 5:09 a.m., and deleting the last southbound trip on weekdays and weekends that leaves First & Santa Clara at 12:29 a.m. Line 65* (Gish & First to Almaden Valley via Leigh)--The weekday evening schedule would be modified to operate hourly after approximately 7:30 p.m. This would require deleting the northbound 6:51 p.m., 7:51 p.m. and 9:21 p.m. trips, as well as the 8:09 p.m. southbound trip. Weekend evenip-g hours would be cut back to approximately 7:00 p.m. The last northbound bus would depart the Almaden LRT station at 7:19 p.m., with the last southbound departing First & Gish at 6:56 p.m. Line 66* (Milpitas to Santa Teresa Hospital via Downtown San Jose)--The last southbound trip departing Milpitas at 12:28 a.m. would be deleted. Line 67 (Monterey Highway & Ford Road to Almaden Expressway & Foxworthy)--The weekday and weekend. service hours would be cut back to approximately 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. respectively. On weekdays, the last eastbound trip would depart Almaden and Foxworthy at 8:09 p.m., and the last westbound trip would depart Monterey & Ford at 7:55 p.m. The last trips on weekends would depart at 7:22 p.m. in the eastbound direction and 7:19 p.m. in the westbound direction. In addition, the 5:42 a.m. eastbound morning trip would also be deleted. A minor routing change by Oakridge Mall would be implemented to operate on Winfield to Blossom Hill, continuing to Santa Teresa and regular route. This modification would improve connections with Line 27 on Blossom Hill Road. Line 70* (Milpitas to Capitol LRT Station)--The proposed service modifications would include eliminating the first northbound trip departing Jackson & Alum Rock at 5:11 a.m., .and increasing the weekday level of service to operate every 20 minutes before 6:00 a.m. Line 71* (Mi1pitas to Evergreen)--The weekday 5:15 a.m. southbound trip is proposed to be deleted. Line 72* (Downtown San Jose to Monterey & Sent~r)--The first three weekday southbound trips are proposed to be deleted. The first southbound trip departing downtown would be at 5:21 a.m. The first southbound trip on weekends, at 6:28 a.m., would also be eliminated. Line 73* (Downtown San Jose to Snell & Capitol)--Schedule modifications are being proposed for weekday service. The southbound trip departing downtown at 5:24 a.m. would be modified to start the trip from the Senter & Tully timepoint at 5:39 a.m. The last northbound trip departing Snell & Capitol at 8:31 p.m. would be deleted. Line 74* (Milpitas to Eastridge)--The level of service would be reduced to operate every 30 minutes during the peak commute hours. Line 76* (Los Gatos to Summit Road)--The last trip departing downtown Los Gatos at 6:55 p.m. would be deleted. Line 77* (Milpitas to Evergreen College)--Weekday service modifications would include a midday turnback of northbound trips between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at Old Oakland Road & Brokaw. Passengers wishing to continue north into Milpitas during these times could transfer to Line 66 on Old Oakland Road. Also, the 5:30 a.m. southbound trip departing Milpitas is proposed to be deleted. Line 81* (East San Jose to Vallco Fashion Park via Downtown San Jose)--Midday service would be improved to operate every 15 minutes between McKee & White and Park & Almaden on weekdays. Line 82* (Hedding & 17th to westgate)--The weekday evening schedule would be modified to operate hourly after approximately 7:30 p.m. This would require deleting the 8:17 p.m. northbound and 8:13 p.m. southbound trips. The weekend evening service hours would be cut back with the last northbound trip departing westgate at 6:37 p.m. and the last southbound trip departing 19th & Mission at 6:43 p.m. ~ * * * Line 83* (Downtown San Jose to Good Samaritan Hospital)--The northern portion of the route, between the Curtner LRT station and downtown San Jose, duplicates much of light rail and is consequently proposed to be eliminated. The retained portion of the route would be between Good Samaritan Hospital and the Curtner LRT station. Evening service would be cut back to approximately 7:00 p.m. on weekdays and 6:00 p.m. on weekends. Line 84* (Palo Alto CalTrain Depot to San Antonio Shopping Center)--Weekday service is proposed to operate between the approximate hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday service is proposed to be discontinued. Line 85* (Tenth & Hedding to Lawrence & Moorpark)--Proposed weekday schedule modifications would delete the first eastbound trip leaving Tenth & Hedding at 5:07 a.m., and the first westbound trip leaving Lawrence & Moorpark at 5:22 a.m. Evening service would also be modified by deleting the eastbound 8:55 p.m. and 10:25 p.m. trips, along with the westbound 11:17 p.m. trip. Line 86* (Stanford Shopping Center to San Antonio Shopping Center)--The weekday evening service hours would be shortened with the last northbound trip departing San Antonio Shopping Center at 6:30 p.m. and the last southbound trip departing Stanford Shopping Center at 7:16 p.m. The first northbound trip departing San Antonio Shopping Center at 5:28 a.m. would be eliminated. Line 88* (Veterans Hospital to California CalTrain Depot)--Schedule changes are being proposed that would impact service hours, days and frequency. The last weekday trip in each direction, 7:18 p.m. clockwise and 7:35 p.m. counterclockwise, would be deleted; midday service would be modified to operate every 45 minutes from the current 30 minute schedule; and weekend service would be discontinued. Line 104 (Piedmont Hills to Palo Alto)--The last evening trip departing the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital at 5:51 p.m. would be discontinued. The morning and afternoon deviation into Moffett/Ames would also be eliminated. Line 117 (Camden & Branham to Moffett/Ames)--The morning trip departing Camden & Branham at 6:50 a.m., and the corresponding evening trip departing the NASA/AMES Research Center at 4:45 p.m., are proposed to be discontinued. ;' -* * * Line 126 (Winchester & Latimer to Lockheed/Moffett Industrial Park)--This line is proposed for deletion. The service is duplicated by local transit services resulting in low patronage. Line 127 (Almaden Expressway & Camden to Lockheed/Moffett Industrial Park)--This express line duplicates much of the routing covered by Line 128. Therefore, it is being proposed to terminate the line in the Great America Industrial Park and modify the northern end of the route to serve businesses on Patrick Henry, Old Mountain View-Alviso Road and Great America Parkway. Service to the Lockheed/Moffett Industrial Park would continue to be provided by Line 128. Line 140* (Fremont BART to Mountain View)--The southern terminus for this line is proposed to be relocated to the Mountain View CalTrain depot on Castro street. The line would no longer provide service between the train depot and the San Antonio Shopping Center. Line 145 (Eastridge to Mountain View Industrial Area)--The last eastbound trip departing the Mountain View CalTrain depot at 5:59 p.m. would be deleted. The remaining trips would be rescheduled to better meet shift times in the industrial parks. Line 180* (San Jose CalTrain Depot to Fremont BART)--The last weekday northbound trip leaving San Jose at 12:08 a.m., along with the last southbound trip from BART at 1:03 a.m., are proposed to be deleted. Line 304/304A* (Palo Alto/Mountain View to South San Jose)--Service modifications are proposed that would eliminate the reverse commute trips operating southbound in the mornings and northbound in the afternoons. The trips operating in the peak commute direction would only operate between the Santa Teresa LRT station and the Mountain View CalTrain depot (Central Expressway and Moffett/Castro). Service would no longer be provided on the portion of the route between the Mountain View CalTrain depot and Palo Alto. COUNCIL TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE MINUTES SEPTEMBER 16, 1991 Commi ttee Members Present: Councilmember Pat Figueroa, Chairperson; Mayor Art Takahara and Councilmember Dena Bonnell (alternate) Staff Present: Kevin Duggan, City Manager; Larry Janda, Public Works Director; Walter Cohen, Planning and Community Development Director; Lynnie Melena, Senior Urban Planner; Tim Ko, Deputy Public Works Director; Dennis Belluomini, Traffic Engineer. Public Present: Mr. John Nimmo and two other members of the public. The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m. by Chairperson Figueroa. Mayor Takahara had notified Chairperson Figueroa that he would be a little late. Item 2. Bus route and schedule modifications proposed by the Santa Clara County Transit District. Ms. Melena explained that the County is being requested to reconsider two changes to the bus routes. The first is Line 35M that runs up Middlefield Road from Mountain View to Menlo Park and the other is an express bus service to the NASAl Ames area. The changes being proposed are the cancellation of line 35M and the elimination of service to NASAl Ames on Line 104. There is a letter from Mr. John Nimmo, chair of the Menlo- Middlefield Commuter Committee to the City Council opposing the changes to Line 35M proposed by the County. Councilmember Bonnell asked where the County is proposing a reduction of service, is there an alternative being suggested for the bus riders and if we know how many people these changes are affecting. Ms. Melena responded that she is not certain how many people will be affected by the changes, but the County was able to provide information on the number of riders of specific routes and the reason for reducing the service. With respect to alternatives, in many cases, bus riders could take an earlier or later bus as there are other buses on the same route. In addition, there are few bus route segments that would be eliminated, such as a line that runs from the -4- Castro Street area to the San Antonio Center. However, there are several others bus lines making the same runs so there are alternative buses. Councilmember Bonnell commented that it doesn't appear that the proposed changes would leave whole groups of people without bus service. However, riders may have to modify their schedule. Ms. Melena responded that based on the analysis by the County, this is generally true. However, the alternatives do not hold true for two changes that staff is recommending the County to reconsider. For example, to use Line 35 to get to destinations that were previously served by Line 35M, riders would have to transfer twice going up Middlefield, then to downtown Palo Alto to EI Camino Real then back to Middlefield on three different buses. Councilmember Bonnell ask what are the chances the County will accept our request to reconsider. Ms Melena responded that it is uncertain. However, the staff report has been sent to the County and County staff will include the City's comments in their staff report. Mr. John Nimmo commented that he and another member of the public present, are regular bus commuters and occasional riders may not be aware that the line is being considered for cancellation. Mayor Takahara explained that when he had talked to Mr. Nimmo on the phone that Mr. Nimmo had indicated there were not many riders on line 35M. Mr. Nimmo agreed and stated that the ridership had been disappointing. The run in the morning usually has about 10 to 12 riders, and at the most 15 riders. Many times, it is less than that. He indicated that his committee of commuters to Menlo Park has been trying to increase ridership but this effort has been difficult and understands why the route is being proposed for cancellation. His hope is that the County would perhaps reduce the number of runs but to keep the line to allow ridership to build up. Chairperson Figueroa commented that the recommendation by staff appears to be the best that could be hoped for given the very low ridership on Line 35M. Mr. Nimmo concurred with this. This item will be considered by the County Transportation Commission on October 9, 1991. Chairperson Figueroa encouraged Mr. Nimmo and other members of the public to attend that meeting to comment on the proposed changes. Ms. Melena explained that changes are also proposed for line 104. Councilmember Bonnell asked if we had received any comments from NASA/ Ames about the changes. Ms. Melena responded that she had a discussion with their transit coordinator about this two week ago and that they intend to go the the hearings to speak against it. -5- Councilmember Bonnell asked if this item will go before the City Council with a recommendation. Mr. Duggan responded that the item will go before the Council next Tuesday as a consent item recommending that staff's comments be forwarded on to the County. Mayor Takahara commented that the staff report stated a recommendation that the County reconsider the service reduction to give NASA the opportunity to increase ridership through TDM. Although this may be desirable, it does not seem to be a strong enough reason to retain the service. There are only 4 riders. Ms. Melena responded that she had hope to hear from NASA about what they plan to do to increase ridership and include their comments in the staff report for the Council meeting. Chairperson Bonnell suggested that the staff report to Council should include a statement that the service reduction on Line 117 is acceptable so that it won't appear that the City is against any change being proposed in Mountain View. Chairperson Figueroa made a motion to approved staff's recommendations with changes as discussed, seconded by Councilmember Bonnell. The motion passed unanimously. -6- 339 Nita Ave. Mountain View, CA 94043 September 12, 1991 Mountain View City Council Mountain View, CA 94025 Council Members: The Menlo-Middlefield Commuters Commitee (MMCC) , a group of concerned citizens who work near Middlefield Road in Menlo Park, is extremely concerned about the proposal by Santa Clara County Transporation Agency (SCCTA) to discontinue Route 35M. I discussed this issue by phone with Mayor Takahara and am writing this letter to express this concern. We are also circulating a petition, currently with about 40 signatures of Route 35M riders, requesting SCCTA not to cancel this service. Route 35M starts in Mountain View and runs along Middlefie1d Road in Palo Alto and Menlo Park to the Menlo Park Caltrain Station. About one-third of the riders, including myself, are Mountain View residents The route is especially good as a commuters' route because it goes in essentially a straight line through major residential areas and ends in a major commercial/industrial area in Menlo Park SCCTA began the original Route 35, with service nearly equivalent to the present 35M, in 1981. In a major reorganization of SCCTA routes, it was proposed in 1987 that the Menlo Park portion of this service be deleted. That proposal was the start of a long series of hearings and official meetings during which many concerned citizens. organizations (including MMCC) , and city officials offered criticisms and suggestions. The end result was that Santa Clara County recognized the need for mass transit to the Menlo-Middlefield area. To continue meeting this need, Route 35M was started in 1989 as a peak-commute-hour replacement for the Menlo Park portion of the original Route 35. The current proposal calls for cancellation of this route without substitute service. The only available public transit alternative would be a long and indirect trip requiring multiple transfers, impossible for regular commuters The number of riders on this route is significant, though admittedly less than desired. To increase the ridership, on this route as on others, has been difficult in an era of cheap gasoline and free parking. Yet 35M still is a fast, straight route, potentially attractive to commuters who work in Menlo Park Several groups, including MMCC and the Menlo Park Transportation Systems Management program, have been trying to promote mass transit in this area. Until the ridership can be built up. it would make much more sense to keep the route in place, on a reduced schedule if necessary This proposed cancellation also raises the broader issue of adequate mass transit across the county line Route 35M i~ one of only two SCCTA routes that cross into San Mateo County, so its loss would leave very little bus transportation into that county from the south. In contrast, SAHTRANS has ten routes that go into Santa Clara County. Our committee urges the City of Mountain View to oppose this service cancellation. Please let me know if we can be of help WiLh these matters. Sincerely. r- j 1f~'r John R. Nimmo Chair, Menlo-Middlefie1d Commuters Committee (415) 329-4537 (work) (415) 969-5295 (home)