AC Transit Officials Slashes Service

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Salim Virji
    An AC Transit bus was the stage for what has become a piece of modern epic poem spoken in the age of the Internet -- Photoshop, YouTube, Facebook and now a promotional hip-hop single.

     AC Transit's board of directors Wednesday night voted unanimously  to slash night and weekend bus service in an effort to tackle its projected  budget deficit and save more than $11 million.

    The agency said the service cuts were necessary because it will  faces at least a $40 million budget deficit by the end of fiscal year 2011.  AC Transit has made other service cuts and raised its fares in recent years  in order to help balance its budget.

    "We have a lot of changes to do that are going to be really  uncomfortable to the status quo," board president Rocky Fernandez said in a  statement.

     "Right now we are faced with keeping this agency in business," he  said.

     The agency plans to pare down 39 minor weekend routes - about half  its weekend service - while keeping major service corridors intact. Four out  of six all-nighter bus routes will be eliminated, according to AC Transit  spokesman Clarence Johnson.

    The board's decision on an additional cost-saving proposal to  outsource paratransit services for seniors and the disabled was postponed so  board members could try to determine whether paratransit services could be  self-sustaining.

    Information on which routes will be affected by the changes is  available at www2.actransit.org.