Photo: Flickr user Davdaven
AC Transit is holding two public hearings (2 p.m. and 6 p.m.) on May 26 to consider declaring a fiscal emergency and cutting vital transit service for the second time this year. Bus drivers and riders will hold a rally and march at Frank Ogawa Plaza at 1 p.m..
The Board of Directors is considering 8 percent cuts throughout its weekday, late night, and weekend services, changing its late-night and All-Nighter service or only operating service on major bus lines on weekends.
In March, AC Transit reduced service by 7.7 percent, the agency said. Many routes were discontinued or consolidated into newer routes. The agency was originally considering 15 percent cuts last year, but opted to ask the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the regional transportation planning agency, to use funding from its proposed Bus Rapid Transit project to lessen the blow to the cash-strapped agency.
Despite passing a ballot measure (Measure VV) in 2008, raising fares in 2009, and cutting service in March, the reports a $56 million dollar deficit. Declining state funding, decreased sales tax and property tax revenues are the cause of the shortfall, AC Transit said.
This is the second time in two years AC Transit considered a "fiscal emergency." In 2009, the declared a fiscal emergency and a $57 million deficit.
The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) has called for a rally and march beginning at 1 p.m. at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland (14th and Broadway). ATU is also facing potential layoffs and is currently in contract negotiations with the district.
The public hearings will take place at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at 1600 Franklin St, on the second floor.
For more information on the proposed service reduction, visit ACTransit.org.