$70 Million in Transit Stimulus Funds at Risk

BART's people-mover connection to the Oakland Airport is jeopardized by an FTA ruling that the agency failed to reach out to minorities, potentially denying the agency of $70 million in stimulus funds. Might the funds go to other transit needs?
January 26, 2010, 8am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Transportation blogger Jonathon Blair writes that BART is "in denial" about losing $70 million for their pet project that "replac(es) an inexpensive bus with an expensive train."

"The clear language of the FTA's letter(pdf), combined with BART's general clumsy approach to social justice issues, makes it obvious that BART cannot turn the project around in the five weeks before the FTA makes a final decision on stimulus funding.

Meanwhile, the Bay Area's largest coalition of smart growth and social justice organizations, TransForm, has launched a campaign to redistribute the funds where they are needed most - everday transit operations.

From TransForm: Feds put funding for Oakland Airport Connector project on hold:

"Funds Can Be Shifted to Save Transit Service Across the Bay Area – If MTC Does the Right Thing.

The FTA letter also states that unless the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) shifts the funds away from the Oakland Airport Connector to other uses, the region risks losing the $70 million entirely. MTC will make their decision on January 27."

Thanks to MTC-ABAG Library

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Published on Monday, January 25, 2010 in SF Gate - Oakland Blog
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