Budget won't help customers, could delay Transbay Tube earthquake strengthening plans
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's revised budget, which he released May 14, is bad for BART when it comes to increasing safety and providing riders with the high-quality service they deserve and have come to expect. In fact, BART estimates it would lose at least $60 million in funding.
"Two weeks ago today the Governor saw just how important BART and other public transit is to the Bay Area," said BART Board President Lynette Sweet. "We are grateful for his decision to make public transit free to help alleviate traffic congestion following the partial collapse of the MacArthur Maze, which leads to the Bay Bridge. But it's stunning that not two weeks later, his revised budget makes deep cuts to the operating and expansion budgets of the very transit agencies that have come to the rescue of the tens of thousands of drivers who today continue to rely on us as we wait for crews to repair the freeway."
The Tuesday following the maze mess, BART saw its ridership peak at 375,200 riders - the highest in its 35-year history. In fact, the week following the MacArthur Maze meltdown BART carried more people than it's ever carried in its history - all while meeting or beating BART's 94% passenger on-time standard. To this day, BART is continuing to carry approximately 10,000 to 15,000 more riders each weekday than usual.
CUTS COULD DELAY STRENGTHENING TRANSBAY TUBE FOR EARTHQUAKE
BART's in a race against time to strengthen the Transbay Tube to withstand a massive earthquake. Half of BART's 340,000 daily riders ride trains through the Tube, which sits on the Bay floor and connects Oakland and San Francisco. However, the Governor's $1.3 billion cut to public transit money could slow down that construction by delaying $38 million in funding for the Tube.
$21 MILLION IN SERVICE CUTS
If adopted, the Governor's revised budget cuts could have a severe impact on BART's plans to improve customer service. BART was expecting about $21 million from the state's "Spill Over" fund. BART could use this money to potentially:
- HIRE MORE POLICE OFFICERS
- ADD MORE TRAINS ON NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS TO REDUCE WAIT TIMES
- ADD MORE CONNECTING BUSSES TO HELP PEOPLE GET TO BART STATIONS MORE EASILY