California lawmakers, Newsom agree on $5.1 billion for transit
Gov. Gavin Newsom and California lawmakers have agreed on a $310.8 billion budget that will include what many are calling a lifeline to transit agencies, including BART and Muni.
Why it matters: Bay Area transit agencies had warned that service cuts could start as early as this fall if the state didn't step in to bolster funding.
Context: Newsom had initially proposed cutting $2 billion from transit infrastructure funding despite concern about financial catastrophe.
- After calls for action from local officials, the Legislature passed a budget that rejected his proposal and instead set aside $1.1 billion for transit agencies.
Driving the news: The newly agreed-upon state budget includes $5.1 billion in spending for transit agencies and establishes a task force that will work with them to help boost ridership.
- It's the second-largest budget in state history, Courthouse News Service reports.
Yes, but: State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) has said it won't be enough in the long term. He has introduced a bill that would increase tolls by $1.50 at seven Bay Area bridges to fund local transit.
The big picture: Public transit has a direct impact on health equity, as people miss or skip medical appointments when transportation isn't available.
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