Regional Alliance For Transit

Founded 1992

1000 Union Street, Suite 206

San Francisco, California 94133

Telephone: 415 440–6895

Email: raft@mtcwatch.com

Web: www.mtcwatch.com

February 23, 2010

Chairman Scott Haggerty

Metropolitan Transportation Commission

101 Eighth Street

Oakland, California 94607

Re: §5307 ARRA funds, Tier 2 Contingency

Dear Chair Scott Haggerty and fellow Commissioners:

Our understanding at raft is that the $70 million in ARRA funds that the MTC assigned to the Oakland Airport Connector Project (OAC) came from three Urbanized Areas (UZAs) in these amounts:

San Francisco–Oakland  $50,841,000

Concord  $16,359,000

Antioch  $2,800,000

This information is from “Attachment C–2, Metropolitan Transportation Commission...Tier 2, Revised April 22, 2009.”

Last week on the MTC website we found a revision to the Tier 2 Contingency list dated February 17, 2010. Now the total shown for the San Francisco–Oakland UZA (SF–O) is $53,341,000. But this is not the amount that will revert to operators in the SF–O, which will instead receive at most $35,610,889. 

Operators in other UZAs are to receive at least $17,730,111 under MTC’s distribution:

Santa Clara County Transp. Auth. (San Jose UZA & Gilroy–Morgan Hill UZA) $12,251,784

Fairfield and Suisun Transit (Fairfield UZA) $788,484

Napa County Transportation & Planning Agency (Napa UZA) $721,312

Santa Rosa CityBus (Santa Rosa UZA) $983,429

Sonoma County Transit (Petaluma UZA & Santa Rosa UZA) $448,161

Vacaville City Coach (Vacaville UZA) $527,655

Vallejo Transit (Vallejo UZA) $2,009,466 

Total (about 33% of the total for the SF–O UZA) $17,730,111

In addition, some portion of the amounts scheduled for ACE ($763,107) and the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District ($2,447,279) could be for services that extend outside the SF–O UZA.

RAFT would appreciate hearing from you at your Wednesday meeting as to what authority exists to move the SF–O UZA §5307 ARRA funds to other UZAs. Is it possible to change the proposed allocation so the San Francisco–Oakland UZA can retain all of the $50,841,000 for its operators? 

RAFT is also aware that a pending TIP amendment (#09–41) would shift $67,991,333 (including funds from the Concord and Antioch UZAs) to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, while still sending SF–O ARRA funds of $2,099,466 to Vallejo Transit and $527,655 to Vacaville City Coach, both outside of the SF–O UZA (as summarized in TIP amendment #09–39). RAFT would appreciate an explanation of this transfer. Will funds from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency be provided to other operators in the SF–O, Concord and Antioch UZAs in return to make them whole?

Under these recent MTC actions, operators in the SF–O UZA would not be receiving the full amount of ARRA formula funds intended by the Congress for their use, and for jobs in the SF–O UZA. It very much looks as if operators in other UZAs would be receiving windfall funds beyond that to which they are entitled by the Federal formulas.

RAFT notes that MTC commissioners have been aware for many years that the financial arrangement orchestrated by MTC has disadvantaged both the Municipal Railway and Alameda–Contra Costa Transit compared with Bay Area Rapid Transit in terms of operating funds. It would be a good step to provide both agencies with more ARRA Tier 2 Contingency funds.

RAFT members look forward to your response.


original signed by M. Williams

M. Williams

for RAFT