Sunday, November 14
The San Jose Mercury News draws our attention to a page in the BART-to-San-Jose FEIR (final environmental impact report). In addition to addressing environmental issues, the report declares that VTA cost-forecasters are, as a matter of fact, not on drugs (appears below the "top cop" section):
Despite all the troubles facing their underfunded BART extension plan, at least somebody at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is maintaining a sense of humor.
Buried deep within VTA's new, 4 1/2-inch thick final environmental review, some bureaucrat or environmental consultant slipped in one of the best lines we've ever seen penned in a dry, public document.
The setup: Transit activist David Schonbrunn had found VTA's assumptions about ridership, revenues and costs for the $4.2 billion BART extension to be so unrealistic that he asked in his comment letter, rhetorically, ``Are you people smoking crack?''
The official response: The figures ``were calculated using accepted FTA (Federal Transit Administration) methodology as described in Section 8.4, Cost Effectiveness. VTA employees preparing these numbers were not smoking crack. VTA maintains full compliance with Federal Requirements to ensure a drug free work place.''