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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 20


Meeting Date: May 28, 2002 

Subject/Title: Opposition to SB 1491

Submitted by: Dennis Beougher, City Attorney

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager

RECOMMENDATION
Approve a Resolution opposing SB 1491, sponsored by Senator Perata, concerning transit funding and prohibiting representation of small public transit operators on a newly created Policy Board, and authorize the Mayor to send an opposition letter to Senator Torlakson.

BACKGROUND
Operating funding for Bay Area small public transit operators, such as for ECCTA, CCCTA, WCCTA, and LAVTA, is largely shaped by the Metropolitan Transit Commission. Currently, these operators have representation on this commission. Under existing law, the commission is required to work with the regional transit coordinating council to coordinate fares and schedules and to consolidate functions. 

ANALYSIS
The proposed legislation prohibits the Metropolitan Transit Commission from making allocation of funds to an agency other than a participating member of a newly created Policy Board. The proposed legislation would keep small operators, such as ECCTA, CCCTA, WCCTA, and LAVTA, from being a participating member of the Policy Board. Only the six large Bay Area transit operators would be permitted on the newly created 19-member Policy Board. As none of the small operators are included in as a member of the Policy Board, this would result in the elimination of operating funding to these small transit operators. This would mean a 52% reduction in operating fund reduction for ECCTA, a 58% reduction in operating funds for CCCTA, a 40% reduction in operating funds for WCCTA, and a 61% reduction in operating funds to LAVTA.I

In addition to funding issues, SB 1491 would create a new Policy Board that overlaps the existing Bay Area Partnership and create a board that allows state and state-appointed officials to determine transit policies for the Bay Area region. 

Senator Perata has stated that this legislation is aimed at MTC, as it is not accountable for the regional coordination and performance of the regional transit system. The proposed legislation does not fix MTC, but adds another layer of administration while taking away the representation and more importantly, the funding, of small public transit operators, such ECCTA, CCCTA, WCCTA, and LAVTA. Users of these systems would be without transportation to get to medical appointments, work, school, and shopping. In addition many the commuter passengers would return to their cars, or, worse, left without any transportation to get to work, school, or shopping. This legislation could have a long term impact on local economy and people’s life.

Attachment: SB 1491
Proposed Resolution
Proposed Opposition Letter

RESOLUTION NO.

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD OPPOSING SB 1491 CONCERNING PUBLIC TRANSIT IN THE BAY AREA


WHEREAS, the City of Brentwood has many citizens who depend upon the local public transit operator, ECCTA, to get to work, school, and shopping, and; 

WHEREAS, City of Brentwood believes that the proposed legislation, entitled SB 1491 (Perata), would severely reduce operating funding to ECCTA; and cripple its operations and thereby adversely effect people living in Brentwood getting to work, school, and shopping and Brentwood’s long term local economy, and;

WHEREAS, City of Brentwood; opposes the creation of another level of administration for transit funding by the proposed creation of San Francisco Bay Area Regional Transit Policy Board as this level is needless, given the current membership of Metropolitan Transit Commission, and;

WHEREAS, the City of Brentwood opposes SB 1491 that would effect ECCTA by reducing its operating funding by fifty two percent (52%) and take away the representation of small public transit operators in the funding process by replacing small public transit representation with state appointed officials.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood, opposes the bill presented by Senator Perata, SB 1491, to create the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Transit Policy Board and related issues presented in this bill

PASSED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting on the 28th day of May, 2002 by the following vote:

May 22, 2002

Senator Tom Torlakson
State Capitol Building #2068
Sacramento, CA 94518

Dear Senator Torlakson:

At the May 22, 2002 meeting of the Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority (ECCTA) Board of Directors, the board members discussed SB1491 (Perata) and directed me to send this letter to you.

ECCTA has the following issues with SB1491:
· SB1491 does not provide for representation of small operators. The 19-member board created by the legislation only includes six large Bay Area transit operators.

· SB1491 uses existing transit dollars to create another agency.

· SB1491 creates a Policy Board that overlaps the existing Bay Area Partnership.

· The SB 1491-created Policy Board allows state and state-appointed officials to determine transit policies for the Bay Area region.

· SB1491 would prohibit MTC from making an allocation of funds to a claimant other than a participating member of the Policy Board. Since none of the operators in Senate District 7 are included as a member of the Policy Board this would result in the elimination of a TDA allocation to the operators in Senate District 7. This means a:
o 52% reduction in operating funds to ECCTA
o 58% reduction in operating funds to CCCTA
o 40% reduction in operating funds to WCCTA
o 61% reduction in operating funds to LAVTA

If this bill becomes law, public transit service in Senate District 7 would be drastically curtailed. Many of our transit dependant residents would be without transportation to get to medical appointments, work, school, and shopping. In addition, many of our commuter passengers would return to their cars, increasing pollution and traffic congestion. The long-term effect on our local economy would be devastating. 

As you requested when we spoke this afternoon, attached is a fact sheet about SB1491. Senator Perata has stated that this legislation is necessary because MTC is not being held accountable for the regional coordination and performance of the regional transit system. This legislation does not “fix” MTC – it merely adds another layer of bureaucracy while destroying the small suburban operators. The ECCTA Board of Directors requests that you work to defeat SB 1491.

Sincerely,


Jeanne Krieg
Chief Executive Officer

SB 1491 (Perata)

· SB1491 would replace the existing Regional Transit Coordinating Council with the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Transit Policy Board (Policy Board). The nineteen-member Policy Board would consist of: 
o The six large transit agencies in the nine-county Bay Area region (AC Transit, Golden Gate Transit, BART, MUNI, SamTrans, and VTA), 
o All nine Congestion Management agencies, 
o Three members appointed by the California Transportation Commission representing business, an environmental coalition, and a social equity interest, and,
o One member from the Department of Transportation.
· Each member would be required to pay $25,000 annually – with the exception of Marin, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma CMAs who will be required to pay $12,500. Each member also will be required to provide $15,000 of staff support in the form of in-kind service. (Total budget: $425,000 cash + $285,000 in in-kind services)
· The Policy Board would be charged with:
o Providing advice to MTC on regional planning & expansion issues
o Developing a short, medium, and long-term master regional transit plan in addition to other transit-related activities currently performed by MTC 
· MTC would be required to:
o Comply with specified procedural requirements if it elects to amend any provision of the Policy Board’s plan.
o Adopt regional transit expansion plans that are consistent with the Policy Board’s plan.
· SB1491 prohibits MTC from allocating moneys from the local transportation fund (TDA funds) to anyone other than a participating member of the Board.

Issues:
· SB1491 does not provide for representation of small operators. The 19-member board created by the legislation only includes six large Bay Area transit operators.
· SB1491 uses existing transit dollars to create another agency.
· SB1491 creates a Policy Board that overlaps the existing Bay Area Partnership.
· The SB 1491-created Policy Board allows state and state-appointed officials to determine transit policies for the Bay Area region.
· SB1491 would prohibit MTC from making an allocation of funds to a claimant other than a participating member of the Policy Board. Since none of the operators in Senate District 7 are included as a member of the Policy Board this would result in the elimination of a TDA allocation to the operators in Senate District 7. This means a:
o 52% reduction in operating funds to ECCTA
o 58% reduction in operating funds to CCCTA
o 40% reduction in operating funds to WCCTA
o 61% reduction in operating funds to LAVTA