February 19, 2009

GOLDEN GATE TRANSIT FUNDING TAKES HIT

The impact from the newly adopted State budget on public transit operating funding will be significant. Golden Gate Transit (GGT) and Golden Gate Ferry (GGF) will experience a loss of approximately $6M a year in each of the next five years. GGT has been watching the State budget process very closely and working with Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the California Transit Association to aggressively recommend against the funding cuts to public transit. Unfortunately, these efforts were not successful.

At this juncture, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) is examining options to respond to this loss of funding. No GGT or GGF service cuts are expected immediately, however, difficult decisions will need to be made over the next few months as the District struggles to respond to this significant loss of State support for our important transit services.

Additional back ground from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission website:

February 19, 2009

Sacramento lawmakers finally reached agreement on how to close an estimated $42 billion shortfall (through June 2010) in the state’s General Fund. The approved budget, which makes revisions to the current year’s budget and provides funding through FY 2009-10, delivers a major blow to public transit by eliminating State Transit Assistance (STA) funding for the duration of FY 2008-09 and FY 2009-10.

Whereas the adopted FY 2008-09 budget provided $306 million statewide for STA, the proposed revision would reduce the current year’s amount to $76 million (equivalent to the first quarter payment already disbursed by the State Controller). This cut amounts to an $83 million hit to Bay Area transit operations, including $61 million in revenue-based funds and $22 million in population-based funds. When compounded with declining revenue from other sources, including voter-approved county sales taxes and Transportation Development Act (TDA) funds that are also derived from sales taxes, these STA cuts will likely result in operating shortfalls for most of the region’s transit operators. The cuts will also have a significant impact on MTC’s regional programs currently funded by STA, including the Lifeline program, TransLink® and 511.

For complete details on the proposed cuts to STA by operator, visit http://www.mtc.ca.gov/legislation/STAFinalRevisedBudget.pdf.

For the February 12, 2009, press release from California Transit Association, visit http://www.caltransit.org/node/677.