Saturday, April 07, 2007

Transportation Bonds

With the slow down of road building that began in the 1970’s, and the resulting backlog that continues to build as our state grows, it is responsible for public leadership to prioritize limited funds to the most pressing problems of the transportation mode the overwhelming majority of people choose to use, and that is roads.

Editorial: Transit backtrack
Budget would hit transit agencies hard
Published 12:00 am PDT Saturday, April 7, 2007

Go back. Read the ballot arguments in favor of Proposition 1B, the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality and Port Security Bond Act of 2006. It was the largest public works bond in U.S. history.

Besides repairing and upgrading highways and local streets, voters were told some of the $19.9 billion would be used to expand public transit. Since then, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislators have moved quickly to allocate billions for roads, but their plans for transit funding fall well short of what transit districts and the public have a right to expect. Adding to the disappointment is the governor's budget proposal for 2007-08 in which Schwarzenegger calls for a major redirection of transportation funds.

If approved by the Legislature, the governor's budget would take $1.1 billion in money local transit agencies have been counting on and shift it to other purposes, specifically to buy school buses, pay for transportation programs for the disabled and help pay down debt. In this way, the governor hopes to free up money to support other general fund programs, including health care, prisons and aid to the poor.