The BART Board of Directors is scheduled to hear a presentation at its Thursday, March 12, meeting on the economic outlook for the next fiscal year (FY10), which begins July 1, 2009.
Amid the continuing recession, BART is projecting declines in two key revenue sources – passenger revenue and sales tax, which make up about 85% of BART’s operating funds. In addition, the budget recently passed by lawmakers in Sacramento eliminated transit funding that BART had received from the state.
That means BART will face an estimated $49.3 million budget deficit in the next year, joining other transit agencies around the area looking at deficits.
BART was able to close a budget gap in the current fiscal year using short-term solutions such as reductions in capital allocations and a managed hiring freeze, without having to turn to any service reductions or fare increases. The coming year presents a bigger challenge as the agency looks for more sustainable, longer-term solutions.
Possibilities before the Board include:
- Reducing expenses, which could come in the form of labor and non-labor cuts and/or service adjustments
- Increasing revenue, which could come from fare and/or parking increases
- One-time sources of revenue that do not address ongoing expenses, such as the federal stimulus program (mainly for capital projects) or reserves
No decisions have been made yet and the budget process is ongoing. Additional budget discussions by the Board and public comment will take place in April and May.
BART welcomes public input on the budget process, or on other issues, at any time. To submit a comment on the budget process, go to our comments page and on the drop-down menu for "My comments are about…", choose "2009-2010 Budget Process."
Notices and agendas for Board of Directors meetings are posted on the Monday before regularly scheduled Thursday meetings. The agenda explains the process if you wish to attend and address the board in person on the budget or other issues.