This week and next, the California state legislature will start to consider whether to step in to address the fiscal cliff that risks steep service cuts and a spiral of decline for transit in the Bay Area and the state. Transit agencies including Caltrain, BART, SFMTA and AC Transit face steep budget shortfalls soon as federal Covid relief funding is running out while ridership returns more gradually. Across the state, 72% of transit agencies face a fiscal cliff.
The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee 5 has a hearing on the issue on Thursday, March 9, 2023 starting at 9:30am. Can you make a 1-minute comment about the importance of helping public transit survive and regrow transit ridership? The agenda item is Discussion #17. It’s hard to predict when it will time to comment, so you can sign up here and we will let you know when it’s time to comment. The sign-up form has the call-in info and suggested talking points that you can customize.
Next week Wednesday March 15, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 3 will also have a hearing on the issue. We will post about the opportunity to provide an even shorter comment then.
Friends of Caltrain and Transbay Coalition are part of a large statewide coalition seeking funding in the state budget to prevent service cuts and help regrow transit ridership.And if you would like to volunteer for the Survive and Thrive campaign to help organize support, please sign up here.
If BART wants support it had better start offering monthly passes, as Caltrain does. BART has to try to encourage ridership, rather than use its ridership to help finance its system. That doesn’t seem to be working anymore.