Senator Wiener’s Statement On Transit Funds In State Budget
SACRAMENTO – Last night, the Governor, Senate, and Assembly announced a final agreement on the state budget, including restoring a $2 billion cut to transit capital projects and adding $1.1 billion for transit operations to avert the transit fiscal cliff. Over several months, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) led a coalition of legislators and advocates to secure the funding.
The $1.1 billion for transit operations — now stretched over four years instead of the originally proposed three years — is important but does not come close to filling the transit fiscal cliff. As a result, Senator Wiener, joined by other Bay Area legislators, just introduced legislation to generate additional operational funding for Bay Area transit systems via a temporary bridge toll increase (SB 532).
Senator Wiener issued the following statement in response:
“Public transportation is easy to take for granted, but allowing it to collapse would have been devastating for our state’s future. This budget extends a critical lifeline that will help transit agencies maintain service while making critical improvements to cleanliness and safety. I thank Governor Newsom, as well as President pro Tempore Atkins, Speaker Rendon, and Budget Chairs Skinner and Ting for taking action to help save it.
Our public transportation systems need more engagement and prioritization from our leaders. Even with this one-time relief package — which fills only a portion of transit agencies’ anticipated operating deficits — systems across the state continue to face large budget shortfalls that threaten devastating service cuts. Yesterday, we announced a new funding measure to fill much of the remaining shortfall in our region, while also funding improvements to safety, cleanliness, and accountability. I look forward to discussions with the Governor and colleagues on how we can best support public transportation going forward.”