AC Transit to Begin Public Outreach On Proposed Bus Line Cuts

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:52:00 PM

AC Transit will begin its community outreach in Berkeley to publicize and explain the bus district’s planned December line cuts and adjustments, but long-promised maps outlining the extent of the changes have yet to be released to the public. 

District officials say the cuts are necessary in order to keep AC Transit solvent over the next several years, as well as to plug a $9.74 million shortfall in the 2009-10 fiscal year budget. The district will drop 905 hours of bus service per day across the two-county district, 458 hours on weekends, for an estimated annual savings of $18 million. 

While sections of some AC Transit lines are being cut out altogether, district officials say that some of the cuts will be mitigated by alterations to other lines in an effort to minimize the effect upon bus riders. 

For weeks, district officials have been promising to release maps of the complicated line changes, and last week AC Transit Services and Operations Manager Corey Lavigne—who is overseeing the proposed changes—said they would be posted on the district’s website on Wednesday. The maps had not been posted by Daily Planet press deadline. 

AC Transit has scheduled a public meeting for Tuesday, September 8, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center at 1901 Hearst Avenue in Berkeley, to discuss the proposed line cuts and changes. Public meetings will follow for the next 10 days in San Pablo, downtown Oakland, Alameda, Fremont, the Fruitvale section of Oakland, San Leandro, and Hayward. A complete list of the dates and locations of the outreach meetings is posted at http://www.actransit.org/news/articledetail.wu?articleid=bab11473 

Following the community outreach meetings, AC Transit is planning two public hearings at district board meetings to discuss the proposed changes, with a final board vote on the proposal currently scheduled for October.