Taunton – The proposed fiscal year 2010 budget released by Governor Deval Patrick has severely cut back on the Administration’s commitment to provide for local public transportation services. This proposed budget only provides for 49 million dollars of the 64 million dollars needed to fund the 15 regional transit authorities operating regular bus and demand response service throughout the Commonwealth. The Regional Transit Authorities are the only remaining reimbursable line item left in the state budget and this proposed budget is actually paying for services that are operating now. “Due to the fact that we are already eight months into our fiscal year drastic cuts in service will need to be made in order to make up for this reduction in funding,” noted GATRA Administrator Francis Gay.
GATRA’s Advisory Board will be meeting in late February to discuss the current budget implications and to devise a plan moving forward. In the meantime the GATRA Administrator is asking residents throughout the GATRA region to contact their local Representatives and Senators to ask them to adequately fund public transportation services in the region when devising the House and Senate versions of the budget. If the proposed budget number stays anywhere near what the Governor has recommended there will be significant deficits for all the Regional Transit Authorities statewide.
GATRA is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of 15 Regional Transit Authorities in the state with an operating budget of more than $22 million. GATRA’s management companies operate more than 90 vehicles providing over 775,000 customer rides in 26 communities.