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July 24th, 2009
THE DIG
Plugging holes in public transit budgets: An update

Rick Karr, Blueprint America correspondent

As Blueprint America reported earlier this year, when more people decide to leave their cars at home and use public transit instead, it has the perverse effect of actually increasing transit agencies’ deficits. We filed that report from California because the problem was especially bad there, given the state’s budget troubles. Now, two transit agencies in the Bay Area have increased fares to trim deficits.

Meanwhile, Charley Anderson, general manager of the WESTCAT transit system in suburban Oakland, tells us that the financial situation there is a bit better, as some stimulus money is now available to help agencies cover operating expenses.

The Nation has a more comprehensive overview of transit agencies’ troubles nationwide. (St. Louis Metro, currently the poster child for transit deficits, was the subject of a Blueprint America radio story last year.)

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