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Watching the wheels of progress in Tri-Valley transit

Original post made on Mar 24, 2023

As I learned more about the affluent Tri-Valley and its more remote outskirts, the context of public transit options and locations became clearer, as did what the availability of and demand for public transit say about a region...

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 23, 2023, 7:35 PM

Comments (2)

Posted by Paul Clark
a resident of Danville
on Mar 24, 2023 at 11:26 am

Paul Clark is a registered user.

To give you readers the "complete story," how about telling them that BART may well be on the road to bankruptcy. That it's ridership is 40% of what it was pre-pandemic, and that unless those who used to commute to San Francisco and Oakland return to the office soon, BART will reportedly need something on the order of $300 million per year from the State or other public sources, or it could be forced to substantially curtail service which, by itself, would likely cause it to cease operations.
You might also do a story on crime on BART. The fact the it is no longer "safe" to ride, particularly if you're a woman. As far as local transit is concerned, try, as I did, to take the BART to BART bus that runs from Dublin to Walnut Creek. You may well have a birthday during the trip.

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Mar 29, 2023 at 6:53 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

Contra Costa readers should note that they’re paying two BART property taxes and a half-percent BART sales tax, whether or not they ever ride BART trains.

Look next to Transparent California’s listing of public-agency salaries and benefits and note that you have to get to employee number 859 before the salary + benefit total drops below $200,000 ( Web Link ).

Like other local public agencies — including SRVUSD and other school districts — BART routinely cries poverty until it’s time for the next salary and benefit increase.

In its 2016 bond campaign, BART was able to get its tax-increase initiative specially labeled as “Measure RR.” Get it? Measure RailRoad.

Taxpayers were railroaded indeed. As local attorney Jason Bezis observed — and complained officially to the Fair Political Practices Commission — BART spent public funds to promote Measure RR.

The FPPC finally fined the agency a mere $7,500 (apparently paid with taxpayer dollars) for failing to report its campaign funding (for a campaign which BART wasn’t legally permitted to fund). See Web Link .

And that didn’t occur until 2 years after Measure RR had passed.

Tax spending by public agencies for “public education” campaigns — to supply more new taxes — is a common problem. To the extent it pushes a “yes” vote, it’s also illegal. Yet the agencies are seldom punished; and in the few occasions when they are, the individual schemers at fault do not wind up going to jail or even paying the fines.

A related problem is the behind-scenes reliance of public agencies on their current and prospective vendors of goods and services for most of their campaign funding (likely as shakedowns). Those vendors then benefit from the new spending afforded by the new taxes (i.e., kickbacks). So far, unfortunately, that’s “legal.”

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