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State Transit Funding

An OCTA bus turns onto Main St.The State of California has been a critical funding source for transit agencies within the state. The people of California asserted in several statewide ballot measures, from 1990's Proposition 116 to 2006's Proposition 1A, that the state may not use dedicated-transportation program dollars for other programs. State assistance for public transit was provided through what was called the Public Transportation Account (PTA).

As the state has faced worse deficits in recent years, the state Legislature has illegally transfered more and more transportation funding to other programs. Finally, in February 2009, the state eliminated the State Transit Assistance program outright. Several agencies that had been dependent on state funding are slated to cut up to one-third of all transit service. More than $5 billion has been diverted from public transit in the past decade.

The Transit Coalition coordinates with other transportation advocacy organizations to fight for to protect critical state funding.

Action Items
Court Rules State Raids of Transit Funds Illegal- On June 30, 2009, the Third District Court of Appeals ruled that the states raids of transit funds were in violation of state law. The California Transit Association (CTA) had filed the suit $1.19 billion in tranit funding diverted during the 2007-2008 budget cycle. While the court cannot necessarily order past years' transit funding restored, over $1 billion subject to diversion in this year's budget negotiations must be returned to transit agencies.

Read the full court decision here and more details on the lawsuit here.

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