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paratransit's Blog

Santa Barbara Area Use Of Transit Funds For Roads

Santa Barbara County got the go-ahead on Thursday to use their Local Transportation Fund money for roadwork.

The county˘s projected $16.6 million pot, which comes from the retail sales tax collected by California˘s Transportation Development Act, is designated for transit projects, including, transportation planning and bike and pedestrian projects.

However, Lompoc and the county proposed using at least part of their projected LTF allocations, originally projected to be as much as $1.6 million and $2.5 million respectively, for roads and streets.

Before the funds could be directed to roads, though, SBCAG had to assess the two unmet transit needs identified in the areas under question. All of the other cities proposed using their entire LTF allocation for transit projects.

A number of community members, including 3rd District Supervisor and SBCAG board member Doreen Farr, requested that the Clean Air Express begin paratransit operating on Saturdays.

The service currently connects Lompoc, Santa Maria, Buellton and Solvang residents with the South Coast, Monday through Friday. However, the new NEMT service would have cost about $19,000 a year but was estimated to only recoup 8 percent of its operating costs through user fees.

TDA requires that county-run para-transit services collect at least 10 percent of their costs through the fare box.

Lompoc residents also asked that the Wine Country Express begin running on Saturdays, further connecting Lompoc and the Santa Ynez Valley.

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