Air Quality & Emissions, California, Transit Funding

The Mismatch of California Planning

At long last, a record 84 days into the fiscal year, California state leaders are settling into a budget, albeit one that is far from ideal. Par for the course, transit funding is taking a big hit: $952 million diverted, and possibly $100 million more, which would leave just $306-$406 million of transit funds. We have already discussed Arnold’s “Transit Termination” tactics in the past. And we get that something has to break somewhere — though, of course, never the sacrosanct highway funds. For now, we will just leave it at this: crafting legislation that encourages smart growth is laudable, but entirely insufficient in isolation. If (when) transit agencies are forced to slash service and increase fares because the State has redirected their already precious funding, and if those service cuts and fare hikes result in service that is neither frequent nor accessible enough to lure even transit-oriented choice riders away from their cars — then where we do find ourselves? It would be shameful not to capitalize on the increased demand for transit induced by gas prices, but those same rising fuel prices, combined with funding cuts, only aggravate the need for agencies to raise fares. The California Air Resources Board, in all its wisdom, opted to omit intercity and local transit from its master list of strategies to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but that in no way justifies this budget’s wholesale slashing of transit funds. If anything, it demonstrates the positively gaping hole that exists in Sacramento’s understanding of these issues. The whole premise of transit-oriented development is lost without the transit. And not just any transit — good transit, which SB 375 itself codifies as headways of 15 minutes or less at peak times. But in light of funding cuts, it will be increasingly difficult for transit agencies to even provide this level of service. When will state leaders recognize this fundamental mismatch and halt their continuous raid on transit funds? In this fiscal year’s budget, state leaders have attempted to address a financial crisis — but in so doing, they have wholly neglected the climate crisis.



9 thoughts on “The Mismatch of California Planning

  1. The next time any legislator or arnie talks about how “green” they are, can someone PLEASE toss a cream pie in their face to get ’em to shut up?

    Posted by njudah | 22 September 2008, 12:29 pm
  2. For years I have advocated placing a wind turbine in the State Capitol dome–it should be able to generate several megawatts with all the hot air created in that building.

    Posted by Bob Davis | 22 September 2008, 1:46 pm
  3. The State is actually hoping to fund ITOD: Imagined Transit Oriented Development. If you image in the transit……it *might* happen.

    Posted by Jame | 22 September 2008, 9:58 pm


  1. Pingback: November 2008 Election: Yes on Measure VV (AC Transit Parcel Tax) « Transbay Blog - 1 November 2008

  2. Pingback: The Price Is Right « Transbay Blog - 5 December 2008

  3. Pingback: Stimulus Update: DeFazio Amendment at the Rules Committee « Transbay Blog - 26 January 2009

  4. Pingback: Squeezing the Sponge Dry « Transbay Blog - 13 February 2009

  5. Pingback: “Stranded at the Station” « Transbay Blog - 18 August 2009

  6. Pingback: Tussle over SB 375 target for Southern California resolved, but funding challenges remain « Transbay Blog - 28 February 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


RSS Feed Facebook Twitter Flickr

Archives by Month

Archives by Topic

Archives of all blog posts, organized by topics and themes. Click here for more.


Links to some of our favorite urbanist and transit blogs, websites, advocacy groups, news sources, and government agencies. Click here for more.

If you are interested in California water issues, you may want to check out my other blog on that topic.

Copyright © 2007-2021 Transbay Blog.
%d bloggers like this: