SamTrans-BART deal turns failed Millbrae extension over to BART
- Published Wednesday, February 14, 2007, by the Peninsula Examiner
SamTrans, BART settling differences
By Edward Carpenter
SAN CARLOS -- A deal in the works between the Peninsula's bus
operator, SamTrans, and BART could bring to an end the millions in
local tax-dollar subsidies paid out for BART service as well as
ongoing disputes between the agencies.
The potential agreement <http://tinyurl.com/2d24sn> -- which has
been hammered out over the last two years through the Metropolitan
Transportation Commission -- would shift all responsibility and
costs for BART operations on the Peninsula to BART. Under current
agreements, SamTrans pays for BART operations on the San Francisco
International Airport extension line. In return, the county, which
does not have a seat on BART's governing board, does not pay a
share of sales tax revenue to BART like others within the agency's
SamTrans and BART have been at odds over the cost of operations for
the airport extension line since at least 2005, when BART threatened
to sue SamTrans. Most recently, SamTrans budgeted $5 million for the
current fiscal year, while BART budgeted SamTrans' portion at more
than $10 million.
Ridership and revenue projections on the Peninsula extension line,
once expected to pay for itself, proved overly optimistic. Since the
service began in June 2003, SamTrans has paid more than $32 million
Under the proposed agreement, up for a vote by the Metropolitan
Transportation Commission Programming and Allocations Committee
today, SamTrans would pay $16 million to BART in the current fiscal
year and again in 2007-08, according to SamTrans spokesman Jonah
Weinberg. The funds would come out of SamTrans' anticipated $42
million in state Prop. 1B transportation bond funds approved by
voters in November, officials said.
SamTrans would also be on the hook to BART for $800,000 a year in
state capital improvement funds until BART's Fremont-to-Warms Springs
extension is completed, said Randy Rentschler, commission spokesman.
"None of the money would come from SamTrans' operating budget,"
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission would also contribute
$24 million to BART service from its portion of state Prop. 1B
transportation bond money, Rentschler said.
If approved by the Programming and Allocations Committee today,
the pact will go to the BART board approval Feb. 22 and the full
Transportation Commission board Feb. 28.
Two other agreements between SamTrans, BART and the San Mateo County
Transportation Authority -- expected to wrap up before the end of the
month -- must be finalized before the deal is complete, Weinberg said.
While local transportation advocates over the years have been
critical of the BART-SamTrans deal, Executive Director of BayRail
Alliance Margaret Okuzumi said it is time to move on.
"I'm greatly encouraged that SamTrans and BART have been working to
relieve some of the financial pressures on SamTrans," Okuzumi said.
[BATN: See also:
Comment: SamTrans divorces BART over failed SMCo. extension
Editorial: Vigilance required to avoid BART extension disasters
SMCo. to quietly blow up to $30m to keep BART SFO running
Despite successes, Caltrain faces $5.3m deficit, tough choices
Caltrain ridership booms to all-time (143 years) record high
BART ridership to SFO fails to take off
Yet another MTC giveaway to failed BART Millbrae boondoggle
Nevin lost support due to role in SMCo. BART extension disaster
Letter: BART-SFO extension proves to be financial disaster
Letter: Renegotiate catastrophically disastrous BART SFO deal
Tax funds up, but SamTrans, Caltrain still suffer BART burden
SamTrans faces $25m budget deficit, partly due to BART subsidy
BART to Millbrae a flaming failure -- gee, who could've guessed?
BART and MTC discuss Millbrae extension loan repayment
MTC calls in $60m loan for MTC-backed BART-Millbrae fiasco
BART awaits final federal payment for SFO extension
Millbrae BART remains a dead zone
BART to cut service, hike fares on failed Millbae extension
SamTrans to halve peak BART service, keep stations open weekends
BART still seeking to bankrupt SamTrans, gut Caltrain service
Was SFO/Millbrae BART extension worth the cost?
Column: SamTrans defict linked to BART; board unaccountable
Letter: SamTrans must not starve bus system for BART
Letter: SamTrans must re-focus on buses, not BART subsidies
Letter: "Boss" [Mike] Nevin bungled SMCo. transit finances
Comment: Poor SMCo. transit leadership has brought crisis
Comment: SMCo. BART disaster killing Caltrain, SamTrans
$1.7b SMCo. BART extension still plagued with problems
MTC still defends fraudulent BART SFO/Millbrae predictions
etc., etc., etc.]