BART works on solutions to deal with budget deficit

BART works on solutions to deal with budget deficit

BART is facing a projected deficit of $35 million for the current fiscal year that ends June 30, 2009, and up to $55 million for the next fiscal year beginning July 1, 2009. The budget shortfall reflects the national economic recession and significant declines in two key revenue sources – passenger revenue and sales tax, which make up about 85% of BART’s operating funds. In addition, given the state budget deficit, large cuts in state transit assistance are proposed.

The BART Board of Directors met January 22, 2009,  and were presented with ideas on how to close the budget gap. Options to reduce expenses and to increase revenues were introduced. The budget process is ongoing and no decisions have been made at this point. The Board is scheduled to hear another presentation on the budget in late February.

The first task at hand will be the current fiscal year deficit, using short-term solutions such as reducing funding allocated to capital programs, dipping into reserves and continuing a managed hiring freeze to cut expenses.

For the next fiscal year, BART is considering more sustainable, longer-term solutions.  Options include cutting expenses by reducing BART’s labor and non-labor costs.  However, given the size of the projected deficit and impacts of cost-cutting over past years, BART also must look at ways to bring in more revenue, including raising fares and parking fees, and the possibility of some service reductions.

BART welcomes public input on the budget process. To submit a comment, go to our comments page and the drop-down menu for "My comments are about…", choose "2009-2010 Budget Process."

To read more about state cuts to transit assistance, with easy e-mail links to contact your legislator and give input, go to our rider action alert.

Notices and agendas for Board of Directors meetings are posted on the Monday before regularly scheduled Thursday meetings. The agenda explains the process if you wish to attend and address the board in person on the budget or other issues.