At its monthly board meeting today, BART staff will present a number of options for closing its budget deficit, including a proposal to extend parking fees to stations that don’t already have them. BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger will present the board with a preliminary operating budget for FY 2010, which will have a $23 million deficit. BART staff anticipate a four-year operating deficit of nearly $250 million, though policies enacted this year could lower that number to $139 million.
"There is no one strategy or solution that can solve the deficit,” Dugger said in a statement. “We will need to pursue both cost cutting and revenue enhancement options, while minimizing impacts on our customers.”
Dugger also noted that one of the biggest unkown expenses is the agency’s labor contracts, which amount to 73 percent of total operating monies and are set to expire in June of this year.
Facing a $54 million shortfall as BART staff began preparing the budget, they proposed trimming $31 million through costs cuts and revenue generating measures including:
- 0% wage increase (subject to labor negotiations)
- 100 position reduction (85 positions are currently vacant)
- Return to 20 minute service after 7 pm Monday – Saturday and all the time on Sundays
- Reducing evening & Sunday service from 2 lines to 1 at Colma, South S.F. and San Bruno stations
- 10% fare increase on July 1, 2009, including raising SFO Premium Fare
- Modifying East Bay Parking policy to add more stations to the $1/day parking program
The remaining $23 million will require making decisions that are politically unpopular. As we reported here, raising parking fees is very contentious at the board level, with a great deal of resistance from the suburban directors.
More to come after the meeting.