A series of letters have been sent to the governor and legislators in the last week urging support for California public transit, which faces a financial calamity in the coming years without financial aid. The Legislature faces a deadline of June 15 to approve a budget.
One letter comes from Bay Area elected officials, which states, "Massive transit service cuts will be a disaster for everyone. Low-income families that rely on public transit will become isolated from economic opportunity. Seniors will not be able to get to the hospital, and kids won’t be able to get to school. Drivers across the state would face increased congestion as hundreds of thousands more riders are forced into unnecessary car trips. Downtowns will continue to hollow out, as businesses won’t be able to attract workers or customers."
Another letter from transit stakeholders (including MTC) from around the state reads, in part, "...We request that the state appropriate new funding to stabilize transit operations and support transit agencies’ recovery from the pandemic." It continues: "Our organizations believe it is imperative that, as negotiations on the final budget proceed, the Legislature and the Administration continue to provide additional financial resources to support transit agencies." On Wednesday, the American Public Transportation Association threw its support behind the stakeholders.
And a letter from California's members of Congress also supports transit funding: "Strong, stable, and sustainable transit networks are critical for California. Robust public transit supports access to affordable housing and walkable dense neighborhoods, reduces harmful pollution, and promotes social justice. All these are particularly crucial for underserved communities. We write in support of timely action to provide near-term public transportation operations funding in this year’s state budget."
The Legislature faces a deadline of June 15 to approve a budget.