A bigger bureaucracy won’t fix Bay Area’s transit problems

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When government agencies face daunting problems, it’s not uncommon for lawmakers to propose some “solution” that amounts to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic — i.e., a pointless bureaucratic revamping that does nothing to address the obvious iceberg. The latest example involves the San Francisco Bay Area’s myriad transit systems.

The problems are hard to miss. Bay Area Rapid Transit has seen its ridership numbers plummet following the COVID-19 disruptions. Ridership has only returned to 43% of pre-pandemic levels, leaving BART with the worst recovery of any big-city transit system in the country. San Francisco’s Muni is struggling too, but has returned to 70% of pre-pandemic levels, according to agency figures. Facing financial Armageddon, both systems (and most others statewide) threatened severe service cutbacks.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature’s budget deal this year included a $5.1-billion bailout for local transit to stem the financial bleeding. That included $747 million for the Bay Area’s 27 transit entities.

Click to read the full article in the East Bay Times.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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