VTA Reform on Hold to Facilitate Further Community Engagement

Thursday, May 13, 2021

SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) released the following statement regarding his decision to press pause on AB 1091, legislation to reform the Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) governing board.

“Throughout the many conversations I’ve had about AB 1091, two things have become clear: there is a strong desire throughout Santa Clara County to reform VTA governance, and there are many different opinions on what those reforms should be. It is important that we get this right, which will require additional engagement with stakeholders and the public. To allow for this to happen, I have decided not to move AB 1091 until January 2022. I appreciate everyone who has followed up in the last week seeking to constructively engage on this important issue, and look forward to working together in the coming months to come up with long overdue reforms for this critical transit agency.”

Three Civil Grand Jury Reports over the last 17 years have concluded that VTA’s governance structure is a root cause of the agency’s poor performance and is in need of structural reform. According to the 2019 Civil Grand Jury Report, the VTA Board suffers from a lack of experience and continuity. VTA is currently composed of an 18-member board with 12 voting members, all of whom are current elected officials in Santa Clara County. The Civil Grand Jury found that the directors often have inadequate time to devote to the policymaking and oversight duties of VTA. The Grand Jury recommended legislation to improve the governance structure of VTA, notably including appointed directors who are not currently serving as elected officials and have relevant transportation expertise. AB 1091 would establish a smaller, more experienced, and more regionally focused VTA Board that is better positioned to address the transportation needs of Santa Clara County’s two million residents. It passed out of the Assembly Local Government Committee, 7-0.

 

Contact: Kaitlin Curry, (916) 319-2024