BART management has come up with a preliminary budget for 2014, but now the transit org says they want your help to ensure they’re spending money on what riders want.
BART says they are expecting to carry an average of 404,000 riders every weekday in 2014, and plans on spending $46 million on new rail cars to accomodate all those folks.
They also hope to spend their $1.6 billion budget on new seats and floors for their current cars, additional secured bike parking, strategies to reduce train noise, and “developing a new program to improve the station environment.”
The Ex points out that this is the first year BART has combined its operating and capital programs into one budget document. While BART spokesperson Alicia Trost tells the Ex that this move was made “to look at the big picture — what we have now, combined with what is needed to sustain operation moving forward,” a spokesperson for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 says “the agency’s move creates a fake financial crisis and ignores the surpluses in recent years.”
Both ATU 1555 and SEIU 1021 entered into contract negotiations with BART earlier this month.
In any case, BART board members have apparently overcome their concerns about having to work late, as two of the three public meeting on the budget plan will be held in the evenings, when most people actually might be able to attend. Here’s the schedule:
May 9, 9 AM: Budget Overview of Sources, Uses, and Service Plan
May 23, 6 PM: Public Hearing on FY14 Budget
June 13, 6PM: Resolution to adopt FY14 Budget
BART Board meetings are held at Kaiser Center 20th Street Mall, Third Floor, 344 20th St., Oakland, CA
“This overview was just the first step in the budget process and I look forward to robust discussion with public input to ensure our priorities are in line with what the public would like to see from BART,” Board President Tom Radulovich said in a statement.