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BART faces $28 million shortfall in preliminary FY 2003 operating budget


Bay Area Rapid Transit May 9 presented a $438.9 million Preliminary Operating Budget for fiscal-year 2003 — with a $28.1 million shortfall.

BART General Manager Thomas Margro announced in mid-April that the agency faced a $56 million to $61 million projected shortfall, but that following $41 million in proposed spending cuts, a $15 million to $20 million gap would remain.

However, he said in a statement prepared in May that fiscal-year 2003 revenue is expected to be down $40.5 million compared with the current year’s adopted budget, and operating expenses and debt service would increase by $17 million and $2.2 million, respectively.

Also, the preliminary budget incorporates $31.6 million in expense reductions. Specifically, $15.3 million, which was cut in January, is being carried into the 2003 budget period. An additional $16.3 million in reduced allocations would be culled from the Capital Improvement and System Renovation Programs.

In addition to the projected operating expense, BART’s budget also would allocate $59.2 million for debt service and $10 million for capital expenditures. Margro stated he believes it is critical that the agency continue its Ten-Year Renovation Program, which began about seven years ago and is about 80 percent complete.

Other options BART must consider to balance the budget for FY2003, which begins July 1, include finding ways to enhance revenue and further cut costs, which would result in layoffs.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/13/2002