Yesterday, the BART Board passed a $582 million operating budget, which included a $4.5 million surplus. In a 6 to 3 vote, the Board allocated the surplus as follows:
- $2.3 million for possible 3% fare reduction over 4 month, pending outcome of a series of public meetings to gather feedback on that option
- $1 million for BART’s rainy-day reserves, bring total reserves to $25 million
- $750,000 for deep-cleaning of 50 rail cars complete with fresh, new seats
- $200,000 to defer an increase in East Bay paratransit fares for 4 months
- $150,000 for emergency operations facility
- $75,000 to install monitors showing real-time train departure information at various businesses located near BART stations.
“What the BART Board did today was historic,” BART Board President James Fang said.
“I have never heard of a transit agency anywhere in the world lowering fares when times are good, let alone when times are bad. Thanks in part to this board’s careful financial decision making, we are in the unique position to be able to return the excess revenues to our customers in a meaningful and fiscally responsible way.”
However, before the agency spends any of the surplus, BART staff will return to the Board – most likely in July – to get the Board’s final authorization to spend the surplus.
If members of the public wish to submit comments on the budget, they may email their representatives on the Board individually (the list of which directors represent which areas is at www.bart.gov/board), or they may email the entire board at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. The public also is welcome to attend Board meetings in person or to watch them on a live or on-demand webcast. Notices and agendas, directions to the meetings, and a link to the webcast are all available at www.bart.gov/board.
To read more, such as how BART cost cutting and state funding helped to create the surplus, visit BART.gov.
Source: New BART budget means cleaner trains, replenished reserves and possible temporary fare reduction – BART News Article, June 10, 2010