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Local Bus Riders Would Suffer If Transit Contract is Terminated, Golden Gate Officials Say

As many as 125 transit jobs could be lost and bus service for thousands of daily riders would be affected if the transit district goes with a private contractor, officials said.

If county transportation officials terminated their contract with the Golden Gate transit district, bus service for the thousands of Marin riders would suffer and as many as 125 transit workers could lose their jobs, according to the agency's authorities.

The offer, which goes before the Marin Transit board on Monday, would cut as many as 30 Golden Gate Transit jobs and would transfer some routes and school services to a private operator. These routes include services around the Marin Civic Center, North San Rafael, Novato, San Anselmo, Fairfax, Tiburon, Belvedere and Strawberry.

The Golden Gate Highway and Transportation District held a press conference at the San Rafael Transit Center Wednesday morning to gather support for their contract offer to Marin Transit, the agency responsible for the bus service within Marin County. The two agencies have worked together for 40 years, until Marin Transit decided to notify GGHTD that it would end their contract come December 2013 in order to save money. 

In a new contract offer to Marin Transit, GGBHTD will reduce what they charge the county for their services from $133 per hour to $120, as well as a 25 percent reduction in annual service hours, going from the current 120,000 hours to 90,000 hours. The yearly 5 percent increase would also be cut to 2.7 percent.

If Marin Transit does not accept the contract, it would lead to "the loss of the now seamless, integrated bus services that are relied upon by millions of customers, coupled with the potential loss of 125 GGT jobs," Golden Gate officials said in a release.

According to the current contract, GGBHTD gets 65 percent of Marin Transit's operating budget and carries 92 percent of Marin Transit’s customers.

According to the Marin Independent Journal, Marin Transit could save $1 million and expand bus service in Novato and Tiburon with a private operator by offering less employee benefits.

The Marin Transit Board of Directors, which includes Marin County supervisors and city officials from San Rafael, Novato and Mill Valley, will discuss the new contract at 10 a.m. on Sept. 17 in Room 330 at the Marin Civic Center.

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Robert Kaufman September 13, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Why does Marin County spend Money on affordable housing and other programs to help citizens that live at poverty levels and now wants to destroy good jobs and replace them with jobs that pay near poverty levels? Isn't the flip side of affordable and low cost housing sustainable jobs? If you have create more low paying jobs, you also create more need for low cost housing and other social programs. Isn't this backwards thinking. The pay and compensation that the current private contractor that Marin Transit uses (MV Transportation) puts their employees at poverty levels. Leaving them to depend on other goverrnment programs to get by.
Tracy September 14, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Great! Just great! Another thing to worry about.
Josh Wagner September 15, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Absolutely right Mr. Kaufman. Create more dependency. Brilliant. Lets support living wage jobs in Marin County. Transit is tough work. Golden Gate Transit wages are not at all excessive. The board is foolish to put in a private carrier. The seamless commute and regular bus service being operated by the same carrier makes a lot of good sense.

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