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CTS- Cupertino Transit System

Is Cupertino ready for a transit system? 58,000 citizens and growing. . .

Is it a timely and meaningful question to ask; is Cupertino ready for our own transit system?

I believe the answer may be yes; at least for the beginning of a discussion.  I have made a few posts to the blog, in jest, that teases the question; if you recall, there was The Coop HoHo, the Coop Monorail and Coop Big Dig.

Our particularly well-governed City of Cupertino has gone from 50,000 to 58,000 citizens between census taking and is expected to continue growing.

The way the Coop was originally envisioned (or maybe there was no real plan and it evolved) resulted in a spread out suburban environment resulting in the need to travel mostly by motor vehicle. You know, go to one business, jump back in your car and go to another making 3 to say 5 start and stops in a trip to town.

In these trips around town it is not uncommon to travel to a near-by city and do your shopping there, resulting in the loss of business to our City and less tax revenue to say fund a local transit system.

In the event Measure C passes perhaps some of the expected increase in Hotel Tax revenue to the City could be used to fund a feasibility study on this issue. I believe the increase is expected to be around $450,000 per year.

After my in-jest blogs I was indicted with "you will never use it Gary." Who knows, that is not the point?

My guess is that many students, seniors, visitors, handicapped and employees at the new Apple headquarters will use it and maybe that is all it will take to make the idea work. Certainly local business should embrace the concept to make it easier for consumer and visitor dollars to remain in the Coop.

I believe there are two more hotels planned for Cupertino as well as the Main Street project, both of which should embrace the concept of a Cupertino Transit System.

Seed for thought and open conversation here on the Patch.  What say you on this issue Cupertino Chamber of Commerce?

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Gary E. Jones November 16, 2011 at 04:06 PM
How do I say this? Well; we certainly have the cart before the horse. Planning is fun and it appears we have gone directly to planning before funding a study. The first step in getting an effective transit system going is to persuade the City to fund a transit study. This will cost upward of $100,000. The City has danced around this issue in the past and came to the conclusion that there is no traffic problem in Cupertino and that the school traffic issue only exists for 9 months of the year and for an hour or so a day during the weekdays when school is in session. There is also the issue of; will people use the system? The conclusion was that the cost benefit did not compute. So the question is; how do we persuade the City there is a "real" substantive need and the system will be used? Answer; do an authoritative study. Any ad hoc meeting needs to have this as the first and only agenda item; how do we persuade the City to pony up $100.000 to fund a meaningful study? If the study supports our hypothetical, then the planning phase begins, which would include how to fund the system and design issues. Otherwise we are spinning our wheels and are on the path to "doomed to failure" of our efforts.
Frank Geefay November 19, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Going to City Council and presenting them with a plan that needs $100,000 is doomed to failure if the majority of council member to no believe in it. That much is clear. So how do we convince the majority of Council members that a CTS is worthy of support? By gaining large public support and outcry. This must be a grass root effort among many residents. The only way to rally large numbers of residents around the cause is to convince residents that this will solve a problem very important to them. Eliminating traffic congestion around the tri-school area has been a topic of discussion for decades and the topic of empty campaign promises for years. It is a topic ripe for a busing solution. This has been tried before so there is precedence. Our goal is to solve the problems that caused it to fail the first time and make it successful this time. We can also solicit support from the two school districts. The Patch can play a key role in communicating with the community and spur on discussions such as this. Media coverage will keep the topic alive among residents. We must engage every family with a child going to the tri-schools and every person commuting the congested streets. If we can get 100 people to actively support this effort I am convinced we can get action from City Council.
Frank Geefay November 19, 2011 at 03:41 AM
I have little faith in the city hiring a consultant to do all the work and studies. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for consultants to do studies for this an that resulting in little actually accomplished. I have participated in one. I feel the community can come up with ideas and make plans that can then be reviewed by a consultant to work out the kinks.
Frank Geefay November 20, 2011 at 09:13 PM
I have a philosophy about people and governments. Leave things up to government and they will make a mess of it and spend large sums of money doing it. Leave it up to the people and they will get what they want with minimal expense. If the community wants something and wants it well done without wasting money, the community must be intimately involved with the undertaking. It gives people a feeling of purpose and ownership, of wanting it to become successful. We can't just say to City Council here is what we want; make it happen. What you will probably get is something totally different than what you need at great expense and you will end up not using it. Our schools are among the best in the nation not because parents said to the school board "We want great schools so make them great." It took decades of hard and persistent work on the part of parents such as myself to make our schools what they are today, the pride of our city, in spite of the fact that they are among the lowest funded schools in the Bay Area. If the city is to become successful at ambitious projects we are asking for we are the ones that are going to make it happen. City Council will grease the skids and provide funds and some resources. But in the end it is going to be involved citizens who push to make it happen and make it successful.
Gary E. Jones November 25, 2011 at 08:39 PM
Some serious truths in what you say Frank.

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