State Money Could Mean Fewer Cuts in Transit Service

AC Transit's troubles means service cuts will go ahead

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010  |  Updated 1:45 PM PDT
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The Misadventures of Muni

Brian Kusler

Mark Leno, left, was one of the state senators who pushed for the complicated gas-tax swap bills to help local transit agencies stiffed for state money.

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Late Monday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger finally signed a pair of bills that could help local transit agencies get a little closer to black on their balance sheets.

Bay Area agencies will receive $146 million, and the money could help them reduce or stall fare increases and service cuts.

Alameda County Transit, however, is in such dire shape that it plans to go ahead with its 8.5 percent service reduction.

San Francisco's Muni, on the other hand, might roll back service cuts from ten to five percent and maintain service on the heaviest lines.

BART may do the best in the deal, with $49 million over two years while only projecting a budget gap of $14 million over the next year.

Muni will, however, attempt to go ahead with fare increases on monthly Fast Passes, though any rate increase will have to pass the Board of Supervisors.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is also looking to move ahead with Sunday metered parking, and trying to figure out how it might get $7 million in sales tax revenue.

The SFMTA will receive $67 million over two years, but the projected deficit for the next year is $53 million.

Jackson West would, for once, like to shake the governor's hand.

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