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New RTA Budget Holds Steady Amid Ridership Decline

photo of RTA train
RTA is trying to set aside funds to replace rail cars in the future.

RTA expects a 4 percent drop in revenue from passenger fares, in line with a continuing decline in ridership. But more than three quarters of the general budget comes from sales taxes, and that income is expected to grow slightly in the next few years.

RTA’s Joel Freilich says staff will draw on a bus system redesign study to suggest route changes next year that won’t cost more money.

“While any net service expansion would have to wait for increased funding, there will be some things that we can accomplish in 2020," said Freilich. 

The new budget also continues stashing away cash to replace rail cars eventually —a major capital expense coming down the line for RTA.