Skip to content

Posts from the "CALPIRG" Category

7 Comments

Local Advocates Mourn “Death of Transit” as Part of National Campaign

RIP_BART.jpgMock funeral for transit today in Oakland. Photos: Matthew Roth

Transit advocates, transit riders, politicians, and religious figures mourned the continual underfunding of transit operations by staging a mock funeral for public transit above the 12th Street/Oakland BART station today. The event was tied to a national campaign led by Transit Riders for Public Transportation (TRPT), the Transportation Equity Network and Transportation for America to pressure Congress to provide funding for transit operations.

"Operating funds are desperately needed," said Rev. Scott Denman, Rector at St. John's Episcopal of Oakland and President of Genesis, which helped organize the Oakland event with Public Advocates, Urban Habitat, TransForm, CALPIRG, and BOSS. "It's time to understand and remember the grief that is in our communities because of what is happening to transit, the impact that transit cuts are having on our poor, the impact that it's having on our economy, the impact it's having on our environment."

As the recession deepens, public transit operators struggle with declining public funding and revenues, a situation that has led to fare increases (SFMTA, BART, AC Transit and East Contra Costa County buses) and expected increases (VTA, SamTrans, Caltrain) throughout the Bay area. According to press material from Public Advocates, operating deficits this year exceed $350 million regionally.

Read more...

4 Comments

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

Read more...