Regular readers know that we have been highlighting the collapse of mass transit ridership all over the country despite tens of billions of bailout money from the feds.
Well, add the San Francisco Bay Area Transit (BART) to the list of systems with costs soaring and ridership cratering. According to a front-page San Jose Mercury News story, the BART rail system needs a doubling of federal revenue to finish the service extension to San Jose (from $2.3 billion to $4.6 billion). This would make it the largest transit grant in federal history. Completion is now expected by 2034, 34 years after the first local tax referendum passed to fund the project. A local transit official stated that “local voters have done their share”
According to the Mercury News, there are dissenting voices: Congressional Republicans have called the BART extension ‘Nancy Pelosi’s Silicon Valley subway’ and have sought to restrict funds.”
Meanwhile, BART’s ridership is still 60% below pre-pandemic levels. IT would be cheaper to have the taxpayers subsidize Uber rides for the commuters than to build these multi-billion-dollar white elephants that no one rides.