It looks like President Obama and Congressional Republicans are hitting opposite notes on public transportation. Obama has proposed to double investment in transit, while the GOP wants to slash new rail funds by 22 percent. Who wins the battle could greatly impact transit funding in the Bay Area. Plans to extent BART to San Jose need some $900 million from the feds, while the California bullet train needs substantial federal input to get tracks on the ground, and the San Francisco central subway needs some $200 million. [Streetsblog] and [Oakland Tribune]
It’s been a point of maddening frustration for scientists and environmentalists that as the predictions on global warming grow more dire, the public seems...
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• The Central Subway is draining Muni of its life-giving funding, creating unnecessary budget deficits.
• The MTA has drained $636 million of state/ local funds from the citywide Muni system for the short 1.7 mile subway, which will serve a small percentage of Muni’s riders.
• 700,000 daily Muni riders and 800,000 taxpayers are subsidizing the Central Subway, while Muni crumbles and declines.
• Muni is going backwards because “backdoor taxes”: are subsidizing the Central Subway boondoggle.
• Self-inflicted deficits have forced unnecessary service cuts, fare increases, higher parking fees/ meter rates, aggressive traffic citations, draconian revenue generation, depleted reserves, wage/ benefit decreases, deferred maintenance, crumpling infrastructure and high liability/ life safety risks.
• In the current MTA fiscal year, a mid-year budget deficit of $21.2 million is further exacerbated by the robbing of MTA’s Reserve by $65 million, leaving only $12 million and diminished resources to address emergencies. In April 2007, the MTA Board established a Reserve of 10% of operating budgets.