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Policymakers: Public transit will go over 'fiscal cliff' without more state dollars

Original post made on May 31, 2023

As the upcoming state budget deadline looms over California, state policymakers warned Gov. Gavin Newsom that his ambitious climate targets will crumble without adequate funding for public transportation.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 6:22 PM

Comments (6)

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 31, 2023 at 9:24 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Last week the California Transit Association (CTA), a group of transit agencies and public transit proponents, issued a $5.15 billion budget proposal over the next five years for transit agencies to stay afloat. For the upcoming fiscal year, the budget calls for another $213 million from the General Fund and to utilize excess federal highway funds and cap-and-trade profits."

The numbers come in response to many agencies' dwindling ridership numbers post COVID-19, federal pandemic relief funds drying up, and public outcry for safer rides on buses and rail systems."

Remind me again why Palo Alto is paying someone $175,000 a year to give out $100,000 in public transit passes at a time when public transit -- which recognizes it has a funding problem -- is cutting service because ridership is low and falling due to remote work, layoffs etc. AND when the state isn't funding it as the state goes from a $28B surplus to a state deficit that grows by billions each month.

Perhaps Palo Alto could comment?

Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on May 31, 2023 at 10:16 pm

Mondoman is a registered user.

Aren't MUNI and BART pretty much dependent on the situation in SF? Also, cracking down on crime and druggies in the cars and stations would likely help attract discretionary riders.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2023 at 7:28 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Until or unless government funding allows for improvements to public transport it will not survive. Other major cities within a region (think London) manage to do well, but our transportation is too cluttered to be user friendly.

London transport is all one agency, Transport for London. Trains and buses make the airports easily accessible and there are now charges to drive a car into the airports. Trains and buses are frequent and an app will show where the next train/bus is and how long it will take to arrive. The gates into train stations can be opened with a credit card swipe and when exiting another swipe will take the right money - no ticket required which is ideal for single trip. In fact, you don't need a ticket, as a regular rider you have your ticket on your phone and regulars just hold their phone over the gate.

Investment in public transport works for regular commuters and for tourists. Here we think of public transport for poor people or those without cars, but don't provide efficient alternatives to driving. We don't even have public buses along our highways, it is only Google and other tech firms who innovatively do that!

Public transport will work when it becomes an efficient alternative to driving. It is far from that in the Bay Area.

Oh, and cleanliness and crime are a big factor too.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2023 at 10:37 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

This is so sad. I have been on Caltrain to go up to the ball park on game days - filled with people in their team shirts - all looking forward to a great day. Used to go up to the Bart station for a ride up to the CITY - visit the big Macy's and Union Square, the Embarcadero and port. All of those great days with the convenience of not driving up and parking are diminished. Friend sent a FB picture of someone injecting himself on Bart in front of everyone. No police on trains to control riders. UGH.

What is worse is that "Transportation" is the rationale/excuse for density in housing - the CA legislators are not connecting the legal long term game plans here. Single topic, single focus not working - it is all connected.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 1, 2023 at 12:22 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

NBC Bay Area on new study on fare evasion on BART:
Web Link

In other words, instead of hardening entry gates to stop fare evaders (huge revenue loss!), taxpayers fund a drawn out unnecessary “study” of an obvious, known criminal problem.

I have little confidence our government bureaucrats will ever take action to make BART clean, safe, timely and fiscally responsible.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2023 at 7:11 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I was watching a movie of a group in Italy. Sleek mew train to go from point a to point b. Sleek trains in Europe. Why sleek trains in Europe? Why not here? What is wrong with us that we cannot conduct transit business is a consistent manner same as the rest of the world?

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