Friday, May 16, 2008

Why Fund Mass Transit When you can Fund More Highways!

The latest proposal from the Governor of California's office shows that there is a $13.8 billion budget for the transportation budget next year. While this is a very high number, its actually a decrease of 1% from last year. The latest plan calls for $1.4 billion from fuel taxes that would normally go to public transportation networks to go to the general fund. The original plan called for $455 million in January , but has since been revised to this latest proposal. The removal of these funds can cause problems in systems such as the Bay Area's BART and Muni Metro systems, the San Diego Trolley and LA's MetroRail just as demand has risen.

More commuters are looking for relief from the $4.00 or more gas prices that are common in California, but these latest budget proposals could remove much needed operating funds that could cause them to reduce service in some areas and hold back from much needed expansion.

San Francisco has one of the few mass transit systems set up in the country where rail transit is efficient and effective, but as more riders are riding BART trains and Muni Metro, the service has suffered because the system can't keep up. Funds are needed to increase service to meet the demand as more commuters look to save money, time in traffic and the environment.

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