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California Transit Association Recommends Long-Term Funding Ideas

8:02 AM PDT on April 17, 2009

205374777_929e70338c.jpgFlickr photo: pbo31

The California Transit Association has submitted a list of recommendations (PDF) to the Commission of the 21st Century Economy,
a "bipartisan" panel mostly appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger, that
call for establishing a "stable, predictable source of long-term
funding" for the state's public transit agencies. 

“The latest budget
shell game only reinforced what we have long known to be true, that
serious reform of the budget process is long overdue,” said Joshua Shaw, the CTA's Executive Director. “We’re
hopeful that the formation of this commission and the work it undertakes can be
a vital step in that direction.”

From the press release:

The
Association's report calls for the commission to support continuation
and strengthening of the transportation funding mechanisms first put
into place by the state in 1971 through the Transportation Development
Act, to modernize and standardize the existing TDA revenue stream, and
to restore stability and predictability to other sources of state
transit funding that have been put in place since the TDA was enacted.

The
recommendations also urge constitutional protections to strengthen the
intent of voters when they passed 1990's Proposition 116, which
established the Public Transportation Account as a trust fund whose
revenues were dedicated to "transportation planning and mass
transportation purposes," and to clarify voters' intent in defining
mass transportation purposes as "only those such as state, regional and
local bus and rail passenger service open to the general public."

As we've noted many times,
this year's elimination of the State Transit Assistance (STA) fund has
really hurt public transit agencies up and down the state with fare
hikes and service cuts on the table everywhere just as ridership is
increasing.

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