Muni, Statewide Transit Gets Help From Mark Leno

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger must sign bill to save California transit

A bill sponsored by State Senator Mark Leno would help struggling transit agencies across California by granting $400 million in gasoline tax revenue to public transit, including $36 million for San Francisco's Muni.

Over the last few years, state funding for transit has been raided in efforts to balance the state's budget, leaving agencies like Alameda County Transit, the Valley Transit Authority and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency with massive budget deficits.

The money would help fund transit through 2011. Another bill would continue the funds going forward.

The bill has passed the state's Assembly and Senate and now awaits Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's signature.

His office said that the bill doesn't address job creation, however Leno countered that the bill would create an estimate 19,000 jobs across the state.

In San Francisco, the only two members of the SFMTA board not appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom might be gone by the end of the month thanks to term limits.

The city attorney's office is looking in to whether the board members, which are subject to term limits of three, four-year stints, can be reappointed, as their first terms didn't run the full four years.

Jackson West wouldn't be surprised if Muni didn't cut service and raise fares anyway.

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