AC Transit to Consider Revised Service Cuts

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday December 10, 2009 - 09:14:00 AM

AC Transit’s Board of Directors may vote on whether to reduce bus service by 8.4 percent at its Dec. 16 meeting in the light of a severe budget deficit expected to reach $57 million by June. 

According to a recent memo sent to the board by AC Transit’s General Manager Rick Fernandez, the board “may adopt, modify, reject, or defer any of the changes proposed” at that meeting. 

The memo said that service changes are likely to go into effect in March 2010.  

On Nov. 18, a Revised Service Adjustments Plan was presented to the board, which restores nearly half of the service hours originally proposed to be slashed. 

Many of the restored hours are in the form of increased frequency and operating schedules. Significant routing revisions have also been proposed in some cases. 

Implementation of the revised plan depends on the allocation of $35 million of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program funds from the district’s Bus Rapid Transit project. 

AC transit is estimated to save $9.6 million annually by implementing the draft 2009 Revised Service Adjustments plan, as a result of anticipated fare revenues. 

The plan does not call for bus driver layoffs. However, 12 temporary service employees and three temporary janitors will be getting pink slips. 

Berkeley’s service cuts fall under the plans for Northern Alameda County, which includes Albany, Emeryville, Oakland, Alameda and Piedmont. 

The board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 16, 6 p.m. at AC Transit headquarters, 1600 Franklin St., Oakland.