Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Transit General Manager drives to work

Michael Burns is the General Manager of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. His annual salary is $290,000.

When he was recruited from San Francisco Muni in 2005, Burns elected not to move from San Francisco to the South Bay. Consequently, he has a daily commute of at least 50 miles.

Burns -- remember, he manages a transit agency -- uses his $9,000 annual car allowance to drive to work every day. Except on those days when he's fed up with the traffic -- on those days, he uses taxpayer money to pay for a room at the Holiday Inn near his office on North 1st Street in San Jose. He decides "it's too much" to drive home after experiencing "two or three horrendous commutes."

Here's a radical suggestion for Micheal Burns to avoid that nasty congestion on 101 or 280: take the train! He could even drive part of the way to someplace like Millbrae, which has a huge parking lot. From San Jose Diridon, he can hop on the light rail to his office, though it might be a little faster to use the DASH shuttle to 1st and then hopped on the LRT line. From the River Oaks Light Rail station, which is served by two LRT lines, it's a short walk to his office. He just has to walk across the big Park-and-Ride lot and he's there.

The last Caltrain train leaves San Jose at 10:30, so there's probably plenty of time to catch a train after those late night meetings.


bmike said...

Imagine that...! I'm not surprised - but it does give a chuckle! He could also join the Ultramarathon Cycling association and get some really nice long commutes in. ;)

Chris said...

Mass transit and alternative commuting is for us poor unimportant folk.

Fritz said...

Public transit is for everybody ;-) The CEO of Mattson Technology commutes by bike and train to commute from Tracy and Fremont. Mattson is a $500 million company that designs and manufactures silicon fabrication equipment. Other notable local bike commuters include Webcor CEO Andy Ball, Brocade Networks CEO Mike Klayko, Palm CEO Ed Colligan, IBM VP Mike Dean, Lockheed Martin VP Len Kwiatkowski and Specialized Bicycles CEO Mike Sinyard.

Santa Clara County Supervisor has also become a regular bike commuter this year and even blogged about his experience. He's become a rather vocal proponent of bicycle as transportation this year.

Chris, your blogger profile is "blocked" -- I can't view it. Can you point to a website that says who you are? Thanks!

James said...

I am pretty sure that Chris' comment was in jest. Still, I like that list of prominent bike commuters. Very interesting.

It is true that most people assume anyone who uses an alternative to the automobile does so strictly for financial reasons. It reminds me of when my son was in first grade. A neighbor kid told him that he must be poor because of the fact that his Dad rode a bike to work and his Mom walked him to school. My son pointed out to the kid that we lived in similar houses in the same neighborhood, so family must be poor too. I guess he could have been defensive and pointed out that we own 2 cars (we shouldn’t) but I like the explanation he chose much better.