Wednesday, September 22, 2010

AC Transit's armageddon

Tonight AC Transit Board of Directors will consider slashing weekend service by half, along with other cost cutting measures, to eliminate a budget shortfall resulting from not getting concessions from the agency's unions.

AC Transit already had a service cut implemented in March, another one is scheduled next month. This proposed weekend reduction would occur in December. That would be a third service cut to occur within a year.

By cutting the weekend service in half, service would only be available along the major corridors. There would be no weekend bus in Newark, Castro Valley, and most of San Lorenzo. Weekend service to San Francisco would be eliminated as well. The only way to get across the Bay would be BART and ferries. On the other hand, line 217 would stay and connect with VTA light rail in Milpitas.

In addition, AC Transit plans to cut all overnight service except lines 800 and 801, which serve BART stations and are partially funded by bridge tolls (RM2).

This budget crisis and its unions' unwillingness to give concessions is forcing the AC Transit to consider contracting as a cost saving option. Also on the agenda is a plan to begin closing an in-house paratransit division and transfer the work to private contractors. By doing so, AC Transit can save more than a million dollars per year. The agency is also contemplating contracting out transbay and school services, which are provided mostly during the peak hours. Under the current union work rules, peak hour only service result in higher cost due to overtime, even though the work itself can be less than full-time.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Go intransigent unions.