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BART on the brink? Future of agency likely to hinge on voter-approved funding measure, officials say

Original post made on Jan 30, 2023

Barring a sudden return to pre-pandemic ridership levels, BART's long-term future will likely hinge on a future ballot measure that would partially subsidize the transit agency, officials said Thursday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, January 28, 2023, 10:44 PM

Comments (1)

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2023 at 7:55 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

BART’s current funding problems merely continue the agency’s past problems: (A) excessive salaries and benefits; (B) insufficient “farebox” (passenger) and parking revenue; and (C) huge over-reliance on federal, state, and local taxes to subsidize the system.

(A) See Transparent California’s 2021 salary and benefits compilation for BART ( Web Link ). Note that salaries + benefits first drop below $300,000 at employee #99, and first drop below $200,000 at employee #859.

(B) Next, see BART’s Fiscal Year 2023’s Budget, ( Web Link ), page 27 (28 of 138, PDF stack). For 2023, BART assumes $255.2 Million in passenger, parking, and other operating revenue (advertising, etc.).

(C) Then scroll down the same page a little further, to see “Financial Assistance,” a euphemism for taxpayer-supplied local, state, and federal dollars, $448.6 Million + $313.6 Million, totaling $762.2 Million.

Total Operating Revenues = an estimated $1.0174 BILLION (B+ C), with passenger and other operating revenue representing 255.2/1017.4 = just 25% of total revenue, the remainder provided via massive subsidies by taxpayers, whether or not they ever ride BART.

And post pandemic, Rosy Scenario remains alive and well. BART unrealistically assumes 30% growth in revenue this fiscal year, relying on a 56.2% growth in ridership — with another 26% revenue increase in FY 2024 (depending then on another 27% ridership increase).

Scroll to page 33 (34 of 138) of the BART budget…. 2023 Labor ($632.2 Million) and Debt Service/Other [Non-Operational Allocations ($157.4 Million) already consume $789.6 Million of the budget. Assuming an actual $1.0174 BILLION in revenues in fact materialize, that leaves $227.8 Million to maintain 131 miles of track, 50 stations, and 677 “legacy” train cars (with 775 new ones on order).

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