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Posts from the "American Public Transportation Assocation" Category

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CALPIRG, Smart Growth America Slam State Stimulus Spending

With the passage of the stimulus bill last spring, states had a 120 day deadline to obligate at least half of the transportation funding allocated to them. To mark that federal deadline, CALPIRG and Smart Growth America released a report today detailing how California is spending its stimulus money.

The news isn't good. 

Despite all the right rhetoric about weening the state off its car-dependency, California is actually spending more of its stimulus funds on highway projects, particularly highway widening, than the national average. The Golden State is spending more money adding highway capacity than 41 other states. Eleven other states, including the progressive transportation hotbeds of South Dakota and Alaska, didn't spend a dime on highway expansion. The following chart gives a bit more detail:

6_29_09_calpirg.jpgChart: California Public Interest Research Group

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Muni and BART Dump ‘Dump the Pump Day’ This Year

dumpthepumpvisual.jpgThe Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's promotion of Dump the Pump Day 2008. Flickr photo: Metro Library and Archive
The Bay Area’s two largest transit agencies are passing this year on a national event intended to get drivers to ride transit for a day.

Muni and BART won’t be participating in National Dump the Pump Day today, an event sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association and intended to raise awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of riding transit.

Last year, BART drew a record number of riders on a combined Dump the Pump/Spare the Air free transit day. The 2007 Dump the Pump Day led to a more modest bump for BART, without the incentive of free trips.

Neither BART nor Muni disputed the inherent effectiveness of transit awareness campaigns, but each cited their own reasons for staying out this year.

Muni did participate in Dump the Pump Day in 2006, but the agency is now inclined to create its own campaign, said Murray Bond, the MTA’s deputy director of external affairs. “Instead of buying ads now to use what basically are canned national campaigns, we’re going to run our own campaign after the new fiscal year starts on July 1,” said Bond.

He said Muni would run ads it shot last fall, which are more provocative and eye-catching than those produced for Dump the Pump Day.

“This is San Francisco. When we do things here, we try to do things upbeat, to get people’s attention,” said Bond. “Not that Dump the Pump isn’t good, but we think this thing, it’s all visual.”

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