Coming Down to Crunch Time for Transit
As state budget negotiations are heating up in the Legislature, the Bay Area Council has launched a full court press to secure funding to save and improve public transit. Both a Senate Budget Subcommittee and the full Assembly Budget Committee voted this week to restore $2 billion in transit funding cuts that were proposed in Gov. Newsom’s May Revise, but the Council and its partners in the Survive + Thrive Coalition are keeping the pressure on to also identify additional new funding to ensure that BART, Muni, and other systems across the Bay Area are not forced to make severe service cuts that could grind our region to a halt.
Transit agencies statewide say at least $5 billion is needed over five years to avoid severe service cuts that could leave millions of riders stranded. The Council is also proposing new accountability measures to tie the emergency funds to rider improvement programs to build transit into a better, safer, cleaner, and more efficient network for generations to come. We applaud state Sen. Scott Wiener (San Francisco) for championing the cause of transit and thank San Francisco Mayor London Breed for a strongly worded letter this week calling on the Legislature to fund transit, which she said is critical to the city’s economic future.
Today (May 26) the Bay Area Council submitted a forceful coalition letter including dozens of Council member companies calling on Senate Budget Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) to secure transit operating assistance and tie those funds to improvements on the systems. The deadline to approve a final budget is June 15. See the full letter here.