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San Gabriel Valley Digest

The Region : Extra Buses Rest on Ruling

June 29, 1989

The governing board of Foothill Transit Zone on Tuesday authorized its executive director to purchase up to 60 buses if a favorable court decision is reached in a lawsuit that challenges the transit zone's existence.

A monthlong trial ended last week in Los Angeles Superior Court with Judge Eli Chernow taking the case under submission. Chernow has 90 days to issue his decision.

The case concerns the county Transportation Commission's approval and funding of the Foothill Transit Zone, which operates two bus routes formerly operated by Southern California Rapid Transit District in the San Gabriel Valley. Foothill, which contracts with private bus companies to provide service at a lower cost than the RTD, is scheduled to take over 12 more RTD lines over the next two years.

The RTD unions maintain that Foothill constitutes an illegal breakup of the RTD and that the commission lacked the authority to establish the rival transit operator.

The new buses are needed to implement Foothill Transit Zone's plans to add another three RTD lines by January, 1990. Foothill Executive Director William P. Forsythe said a ruling is needed within the next two weeks to allow the manufacturer time to produce the buses.

If no ruling is issued by then, he said, the transfer of the lines would be delayed at least another six months.

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