Troubled California transit agency nears financial cliff

Finance


The state’s mass transit finances have suffered so badly as ridership continues to slump, and some Senate committees are wondering how they can prevent a fall from the fiscal cliff. We are considering if it can be done, if it can be done, and when it can be prevented.

The Senate Select Committee on Bay Area Public Transportation held a hearing on Tuesday to explore ways to overcome the many barriers to mass transit recovery. “Bay Area transit agencies face a $2.5 billion shortfall in operations over the next five years, which could force massive service cuts and trigger a death spiral,” said Sen. Scott Weiner, Chairman of the Commission. Democrats, San Francisco) said. .

Last week, the governor’s updated budget bill kept $2 billion in cuts to public transit. “We cannot and will not allow public transportation to collapse because of California’s inaction,” Wiener said.

It’s not just buses, it’s not just trains. Literally all forms of public transportation (including some private ones) are in serious trouble because of the lack of people returning to the office. “There are currently 150,000 fewer people in downtown San Francisco on weekdays than before the pandemic,” said Dennis Mulligan, general manager of Golden Gate Transit. , the equivalent of 20 Salesforce towers.”

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Samtrans is still down 70% from pre-pandemic, VTA down 63%, BART down 60%, AC Transit down 60%, Muni down 59%, and SF Bay Ferry down 56%. Golden Gate Transit dropped 38% and Caltrain dropped 35%.

“The one-off federal bailout fund has run out, and parking fines and parking fees have remained largely flat,” said Kate Breen of the City of Munich.

Humed Abdulmajid uses AC Transit and BART to commute every day. He wears a mask all the time because he’s worried about the flu and the new coronavirus. One of the reasons many people don’t ride. “Please get off two hours early just to catch the bus to the BART station and take another transport from the BART station to the factory where I am currently working,” Abdulmajid said. said.

Fear also plays a role. Andre Alporter is a regular BART rider and he keeps an eye on his riders. “Many people are constantly looking back, hoping to get home safely,” Alporter said. He told me not to ride the BART at night because it was filthy and frightening to passengers. “People carry their belongings and sleep there, but overall during the day it’s pretty safe for me,” Alporter said.

One plan would enact another new transportation tax and let voters decide the fate of Bay Area transportation.



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