The News Hour Reports On Public Transit In Peril

"Blueprint America" looks at declining public transit subsidies and resulting transit service cuts. The video and report follows two East Bay commuters on suburban bus, BART; the transit agency meeting where bus service is reduced; MUNI LRT footage.
March 20, 2009, 5am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"As the economy has slumped, Americans have increasingly turned to mass transit, putting new pressure on transit agencies. In a new report for the "Blueprint America" series, correspondent Rick Karr examines the budgetary issues facing public transit.

In part one, Karr looks into the growing deficit in what it takes to run day to day operations of buses, subways, and trains - deficits that have prompted more than 60 agencies nationwide to propose fare increases, service cuts, or both, even as more Americans are using transit than at any time in the past 50 years.

In part two, Karr looks into a looming crisis on the capital side of transit agencies' budgets, the result of complex financial deals that the agencies made in the 90s to stretch their meager budgets, but which melted down with the rest of the financial sector - and could leave cash-strapped transit systems owing bankers hundreds of millions of dollars."

Thanks to Leonard Conly

Full Story:
Published on Monday, March 9, 2009 in PBS-The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
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