Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times took a look at the coming budget crisis at Metro. The article just scratches the surface of the issue, correctly noting that there are a lot of reasons for the quarter of a billion dollar operating deficit including the state’s budget grabs, lower than projected sales tax revenue and an 8% decline in ridership from Metro’s record setting year in 2008.
However, while the article is very clear that over $150 million of the $250 million deficit comes from the state’s grab of a fund dedicated to transit operations, it doesn’t name names for who it to blame for that raid. The word "Schwarzenegger" doesn’t appear. And, to be fair, while Los Angeles County is home to the last two Assembly Speakers, the current Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, and Chair of a Transportation sub-committee that deals with funding issues; none of these leaders are mentioned or quoted. Assembly Members Fabian Nunez, Karen Bass, Mike Eng, and Michale Feuer, take a bow.
As has been noted several times, one of the reasons the debate on the Governor’s current transit raid is receiving such a frosty reception compared to previous years is because the press is covering the impact transit cuts state wide are having on riders, especially those that are transit-dependent. The next step is for the press to start naming names, so that you don’t have to read transportation blogs to be able to pin the blame on the Donkeys and the Governor.