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Bay Area Transit Brouhaha a Harbinger for LA?

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Today, the Bay Area's transit agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, is voting on whether to dump a proposed BART extension to the Oakland airport (Metro take note: the commuter rail line already connects to the region's main airport, SFO). Like our Metro, MTC is broke, and is now facing anger over their plan to construct the 3.2 mile airport connector while service cuts and fare hikes are being floated. Accusations of civil rights violations are flying, with groups like Urban Habitat saying lower-class people are being sacrificed for the conveniences of wealthier people using the airport (they also call the connector inefficient and expensive—$6 on top of your BART ticket). MTC may decide to take the $70 million the FTA planned to give them for the airport tram and use it to avert the proposed service cuts and fare hikes. A press release from Urban Habitat claims that the FTA found that BART "shirked its civil rights obligations in planning the project" and will deny them money for the project unless they find a way to avoid service cuts. It's a mess, basically. Since LA's Metro is as broke as the Bay Area's, one has to wonder whether there will be calls to divert money for proposed rail and bus extensions and use them to prop up service or avoid fare increases. The fact that LA County passed Measure R, which promised around $40 billion for such extensions, complicates matters. [Airport connector rendering via SF.Streetsblog]
· MTC [Official Site]
· Action Alert: Help Secure Our Oakland Airport Connector Victory [Urban Habitat]