Busy BART Grows for 6th Straight Quarter

BART, which is busy with labor negotiations, the Warm Springs extension project, the Transbay Tube retrofit and the Powell Street modernization, has just released its fiscal year 2012 First Quarter Financial Report. According to the report:

Ridership: Core system average weekday trips grew 6% and SFO extension trips grew 9% compared to a year earlier. Gains attributed to higher gas prices, higher tolls on the Bay Bridge and increased attendance at sports events.

Sales Tax Revenue: After falling nearly 20% ($36 million) over FY09 and FY10, there have now been 6 straight quarters of growth. First quarter FY12 grew 6% from one year early and was $1.9 million over budget.

Operating Costs: Expenses were favorable to budget by 0.4% ($0.6 million). Labor was slightly favorable ($0.7 million) and non labor very close to budget.

Perhaps that’s why BART distributed 65,000 vouchers for free roundtrip rides in December, compared to 60,000 in the prior year, and gave out 5,000 Freedom Train flash passes on Martin Luther Day. (BART also co-sponsored the 10th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Musical Tribute at the Oakland Paramount.)

Note: The BART Car Replacement Project will replace BART’s existing 669 rail cars and is currently projected to cost approximately $3.2 billion in year-of expenditure dollars.

The overall funding framework calls for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to fund approximately $2.4 billion, or 75% of the total $3.2 billion project costs. BART would provide approximately $800 million or 25%. Phase 1 of the funding plan totals $1 billion and includes project development and procurement of the first 200 rail cars.

None of the five companies that bid for the job are located in the U.S. and although bidders must use at least 60% U.S. materials and parts, federal law prohibits BART from specifying where in the country the final assembly work will be done.

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