Plans to Cut AC Transit Service Revised

Photo: Prateek Kakirwar, a masters candidate at the UC Berkeley School of Information discusses the effect of possible service cuts on his commute. The agency cut service hours by 7.7 percent in March to save $10.34 million, but another 7.2 percent reduction may be in store following a Wednesday vote.
Anna Vignet/Photo
Prateek Kakirwar, a masters candidate at the UC Berkeley School of Information discusses the effect of possible service cuts on his commute. The agency cut service hours by 7.7 percent in March to save $10.34 million, but another 7.2 percent reduction may be in store following a Wednesday vote.

AC Transit's Memo Detailing the Proposed Service Reductions »

Read the AC Transit memo detailing the proposed service cuts :

AC Transit memo considering the adoption the August 2010 Service Reductions Plan


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After hearing public comment from dozens of disgruntled riders last week, AC Transit officials will present a revised service reduction plan to the transit agency's board of directors Wednesday.

The revised plan will incorporate aspects of three prior plans presented to the board last and will result in a 7.2 percent reduction in service hours according to a memo prepared by Cory LaVigne, director of service development and planning.

The agency will achieve annual savings of $9.5 million under the proposal, which will cut five lines in their entirety, alter nine other lines and reduce the frequency for 36 lines, according to the memo. The 61 bus line, which makes 138 trips per weekday, is among those being eliminated.

The three previous proposals would have each reduced service by 8.4 percent - as opposed to the 7.2 percent in the revised plan - to save the cash-strapped agency $11.4 million, though they would have each focused on distinct areas of service.

The first would have curtailed most weekend service, and the second would have cut night service, including cutting all but two all-night buses. The third proposal was an across-the-board reduction in platform hours.

Under the third option, the 1 and 1R would no longer extend to Berkeley, ending their lines in Oakland. But according to the memo, the line alteration was not included in the revised plan because after ridership and levels of service and demand were "analyzed extensively," AC Transit staff determined a large proportion of riders would be lost.

"Truncation of the 1R would have resulted in a transfer penalty for approximately 3,500 patrons on a daily basis," the memo reads.

According to Lewis Clinton, the agency's chief financial officer, AC Transit is facing a projected $56 million budget shortfall for the 2010-11 budget year, something that requires service reductions beyond those implemented earlier in the spring.

In March, the agency reduced service hours by 7.7 percent for estimated annual savings of $10.34 million, something that Virginia Sinclair, a regular AC Transit rider said made getting around "a serious pain."

Sinclair, a 63-year-old resident of Alameda, said she is slowly adapting to the March reductions and is glad the new plan does not include eliminating weekend service on many lines.

"I don't want a plan were they drop lines all together ... they will cut people off completely; I would rather pay a higher fare than see that happen," Sinclair said on a recent trip into Berkeley to visit friends and family.

Jose Chavarria, a retired resident of Oakland, said though he rides the 1 and 1R almost in its entirety to visit his sons in Berkeley, he will be able to adapt to the new cuts.

"Everyone in the community is going to adapt to the new system eventually," he said while waiting for the 51B in Berkeley.

Tags: AC TRANSIT, SERVICE REDUCTIONS


Javier Panzar is the news editor. Contact him at [email protected]



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