BART isn’t known to mince words on social media. After the preliminary 2018 federal budget proposal was released by the Trump administration on Thursday—which features a series of proposed cuts to urban infrastructure funding that would prove damaging for many Americans who rely on public transportation—the Bay Area transit agency replied with facts of their own.
Although Trump had promised infrastructure investments during his campaign, the blueprint budget suggests otherwise, showing a hefty pruning to domestic spending upward of $54 billion. The reductions would affect transportation funding, community development, and public housing.
“The proposed Transportation Department budget of $16.2 billion—a 13 percent cut—would impact a host of programs that benefit both urban and rural communities,” reported Curbed. “Such programs have been championed by mayors and city planners across the country, from Seattle to Orlando to expand rail and bicycle networks and create pedestrian-friendly streetscapes.”
And BART, who recently announced the expansion of their Warm Springs connection, was none too thrilled. In a series of tweets, the public transit company snapped back with the following thread that notes, among other issues, a budget cut could hinger electrification, the Phase II project that would extend service to Silicon Valley, and more.
There are a lot of questions about the President’s budget proposal, so let’s talk.— SFBART (@SFBART) March 16, 2017
@SFBART Elimination of New Start grants from the FTA would be harsh. In the past, this helped pay for BART to SFO.— SFBART (@SFBART) March 16, 2017
@SFBART Presently, we are applying for $1 billion in New Start grants with the goal of 2-minute intervals between transbay trains.— SFBART (@SFBART) March 16, 2017
@SFBART That goal involves purchasing 306 new cars, maintenance facilities, new train control systems, and power infrastructure upgrades.— SFBART (@SFBART) March 16, 2017
@SFBART We’re currently putting big chunks of our own money toward those projects, but a $1 billion loss would be difficult to absorb.— SFBART (@SFBART) March 16, 2017
@SFBART In the near future, VTA’s Phase II of BART to Silicon Valley will apply for $1.5 billion in federal funds to bring us to San Jose.— SFBART (@SFBART) March 16, 2017
@SFBART Ending New Start would severely undermine BART to Silicon Valley, eliminating funding for 32% of the entire project.— SFBART (@SFBART) March 16, 2017
@SFBART In conclusion, the president’s change in policy would drastically shift funding downstream, and likely hit local users the hardest.— SFBART (@SFBART) March 16, 2017
@SFBART Congress must now decide whether that’s a direction they should take, as they look at their options moving forward.— SFBART (@SFBART) March 16, 2017
@SFBART Point of clarification - 32% of the entire Phase II part of BART to Silicon Valley.— SFBART (@SFBART) March 16, 2017
Congress will now decide whether or not to move forward with the administration’s preliminary budget.
- Trump has promised big spending on infrastructure. His budget cuts it [CNN]
- BART Twitter Challenges LA Metro to Brutal Poetry Slam [Curbed SF]
- Proposed Trump budget makes billion-dollar cuts in city transportation, development funds [Curbed]
- Trump’s plan to increase military spending by cutting EPA and State: what we know [Vox]