FY08 preliminary budget spends small surplus on riders
After nearly five years in a row of belt-tightening, BART is projecting a small surplus in its next fiscal year's budget and plans to spend the extra revenues on riders. BART General Manager Thomas E. Margro presented a $624.8 million Fiscal Year 2008 (FY08) Preliminary Budget at today's BART Board of Directors meeting.
The proposed budget anticipates an additional $8.9 million in revenues. The budget would spend a portion of the money on making trains and stations cleaner by adding 24 new cleaning positions.
"Our latest Customer Satisfaction Survey, which we finished late last year, showed that overwhelmingly riders love BART Â– giving us an 85% satisfaction rating," Margro said. "While any public agency would envy this rating, riders did ding us on one thing Â– cleanliness. They want our trains and stations to be cleaner and brighter. So, my message to our riders is, 'You spoke, we listened. This proposed budget puts what you asked for into action.'"
Additionally the budget proposes to:
- Allocate money to brighten station interiors and parking lots by improving lighting levels
- Improve BART's website to make it more customer friendly
- Increase BART's 94% passenger on-time performance by hiring paramedics to deal with medical emergencies faster at key stations during commute hours
24 ADDITIONAL CLEANERS Â– ALL TIME HIGH
Additional funding will add 24 people to clean train cars and stations, bringing the total number of car cleaners to an all time high of 115 positions.
NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET
While BART is anticipating these additional revenues, Margro cautioned Board members that by no means should they assume that financial times are looking good.
"The District must remain cautious because the economic growth of the past few years is slowing and medical and healthcare costs continue to escalate at double digit rates. The challenge is to invest in programs and projects that address critical areas of concern and that will help BART operate most efficiently and effectively for our customers," Margro said.
The BART Board will take the next few weeks to consider the FY08 Preliminary Budget. Here are some key dates:
- May 10, 2007: BART staff will give a detailed presentation to the Board on the proposed budget
- BART will schedule a public hearing for sometime in May
- June 14, 2007: The BART Board will consider adoption of the budget
Should the Board adopt the FY08 Preliminary Budget, it will take effect July 1, 2007 and end June 30, 2008.