Governor Still Wants to Nab Transit Cash

New plan would slash $1 billion in state transit funds

By Jackson West
|  Monday, Jan 4, 2010  |  Updated 4:15 PM PDT
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Governor Still Wants to Nab Transit Cash

Tired of being told no, you can't take money from transit, the Governator tries a new approach to encouraging automobiles over buses and trains.

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With a projected deficit of over $20 billion facing California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is ready to take drastic action -- by taking away money meant for transit.

Even after state courts ruled that raids on over $3 billion on money set aside by voters for transit projects since 2007 were illegal.

So Schwarzenegger, just back from the climate summit in Copenhagen, wants to eliminate the current gasoline sales tax and replace it with an excise tax which would continue to protect money for road construction and maintenance but slash transit funding.

Additionally, it would mean motorists would pay up to five cents less at the pumps, so not only would the move hurt cash-strapped transit agencies that have raised fares and reduced service to solve their own budget deficits, but it would actively encourage more automobile use.

Schwarzenegger has called for more federal investment in California, but has so far gotten a chilly reception.

Jackson West wonders why Schwarzenegger hates buses so much considering the awesome bus chase scene in the otherwise forgettable Red Heat.

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