Passenger needs are the top priority in BART budget
Evening meetings announced for public input
The public and the BART Board of Directors got their first overview of the District’s preliminary budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which emphasizes customer needs and system sustainability, during today’s Board meeting. The draft budget prioritizes investments in increased passenger services, like station cleanliness and new rail cars.
The $1.6 billion balanced budget covers BART’s operating and capital budget and assumes an average of 404,000 weekday riders, which is 10% higher than two years ago. It continues to invest in ongoing improvement programs popular with our passengers including overhauling the interior of cars with new seats and floors, adding additional secured bike parking, and strategies to reduce train noise.
The draft budget directs $46 million in operating funds toward new rail cars. It also puts aside $7.5 million from the upcoming January 2014 inflation-based fare increase to help pay for three of our most critical funding needs: additional new rail cars, a new train control system which will allow us to run trains closer together, and a Hayward maintenance facility to serve the additional fleet.
The draft budget commits resources to improving the appearance and cleanliness of stations, such as heavy duty cleaning and developing a new program to improve the station environment. BART’s most recent customer satisfaction survey identified station cleanliness as a target area for improvement. BART’s budget responds to this need.
“This overview was just the first step in the budget process and I look forward to robust discussion with public input to ensure our priorities are in line with what the public would like to see from BART,” Board President Tom Radulovich noted.
Upcoming Budget Meetings
The Board of Directors set a calendar for upcoming Board meetings, including nighttime meetings to accommodate public interest. “We hope that the evening meetings will provide greater access as we discuss how taxpayer dollars are to be used,” BART Director Rebecca Saltzman said. “We encourage our riders to attend the meetings and to share their opinions on how their money should be spent.”
Budget Process Schedule
- May 9, 9 am- Budget Overview of Sources, Uses, and Service Plan
- May 23, 6 pm- Public Hearing on FY14 Budget
- June 13, 6pm- Resolution to adopt FY14 Budget