Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

SamTrans, BART make deal on SFO subsidy, service

Expand Messages
  • 5/14 SF Examiner
    Published Friday, May 14, 2004, in the San Francisco Examiner SamTrans, BART make up By Justin Nyberg A bitter feud between two transit agencies over who
    Message 1 of 1 , May 14, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Published Friday, May 14, 2004, in the San Francisco Examiner

      SamTrans, BART make up

      By Justin Nyberg

      A bitter feud between two transit agencies over who should pay for the
      costly and underused BART extension on the Peninsula has been resolved
      in a way that will provide more frequent service to most San Mateo
      County stations. [BATN: We're losing too much money per passenger, so
      we're going to make up for it on volume!]

      After two months of negotiations, BART directors ratified an agreement
      Thursday that places the operating bill for the extension entirely
      with SamTrans, San Mateo County's transit agency, and provides for
      marketing and parking programs to help boost ridership.

      "This agreement not only stops the bleeding, it prevents new wounds
      from opening in the future because we are working together," said
      SamTrans chairman Mike Nevin. "It's not a quick fix. It's a
      permanent solution."

      On March 10, BART officials announced plans to sue SamTrans for
      falling $8.9 million to $10.7 million behind in its payments to BART
      for operating the line. SamTrans originally agreed to cover all
      operating costs in a 1995 contract between the two agencies.

      Ridership on the BART extension has fallen far short of initial
      forecasts that SamTrans relied on to cover its budget for the system.
      In 1996, BART predicted 48,616 people would ride the system daily, but
      it has actually carried roughly half that figure each day since
      opening last summer.

      SamTrans budgeted roughly $6 million to operate the line, but after
      one year the tab is expected to be close to $22 million, or roughly 20
      percent of SamTrans' annual budget. Under the recent agreement, BART
      will no longer provide direct service to Millbrae and will route all
      trains through the airport station. To make up for the delays, BART
      will double the frequency of trains during peak hours, from every 15
      minutes to every seven to eight minutes.

      BART recently mailed out $15 tickets to 128,000 households in northern
      San Mateo County and agreed to eliminate the $1 parking fees at
      Peninsula stations in March in order to attract riders.

      SamTrans has covered the unexpected BART costs with fund reserves.
      During budget cuts this year, the agency revealed plans to eliminate
      several bus lines, reduce service and lay off 18 employees, the first
      time in its 28-year history.

      BART is struggling with financial difficulties of its own, having
      recently announced plans to lay off 54 workers this year to help
      overcome a $41 million budget shortfall.


      [BATN: See also:

      BART gives away $15 tickets to lure SMCo. riders
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/17924 ]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.