Can’t get a car loan? There’s always the bus…or is there?

I’m a big advocate of public transit, so I was quite dismayed when I heard on MPR this morning that Metro Transit is looking at an 80 to 90 million dollar deficit over the next several years. Metro Transit’s funding is ironically tied to new vehicle sales, so the more cars people buy, the more money…the…bus…system…gets? Right. Makes…sense? Anyway, since people can’t get financing to buy cars, since gas prices were high, since everyone is feeling a pinch, people aren’t buying cars, and they’re riding the bus instead. So ridership is up! Great! But now funding is down! The options currently seem to be either get new funding from the legislature (unlikely), cut service and raise fares yet again (even odds). Any bets on how long this will delay the University light rail corridor?

6 Comments so far

  1. doniree on November 18th, 2008 @ 10:43 am

    Sad! I’m dying for public transit to improve here, and that’s just discouraging.

  2. Erica M (ericam) on November 18th, 2008 @ 10:55 am

    Metro Transit did mention this earlier this summer when they were talking about the 25-cent fare hike (which just went into effect).

    The transportation amendment that was passed in 2006 is two years into a five-year phase-in of dedicating MVST (motor vehicle sales tax) to tranportation, at least 40% of which has to go to transit. I’m not sure what impact that will have. I got the impression MT wasn’t counting on that money.

  3. greg on November 18th, 2008 @ 11:04 am

    I bought and financed a car on Friday through Wells Fargo no problem.

  4. Erica M (ericam) on November 18th, 2008 @ 1:02 pm

    You people and your good credit. ;P

  5. kevinfromminneapolis on November 18th, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

    It won’t have any effect at all on constructing the Central Corridor light rail. That money comes from the feds, the locals and that wonderful new sales tax we’re all paying that is 100 percent dedicated to transit. No, not the temporary one imposed in 1991. No, not the one that just got approved a few weeks ago. No, not the one for the stadium. The other one.

  6. Robert Moffitt (justpbob) on November 19th, 2008 @ 8:18 am

    Kevin is half right — the local budget shortfalls should not delay the Central Corridor at this stage. That train has already left the station, so to speak.

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