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Ventura County News Roundup

OXNARD : Plan to Trim Transit Funds to Be Weighed

April 27, 1992|PATRICK McCARTNEY

The Oxnard City Council will consider a plan Tuesday that would force the South Coast Area Transit to trim its proposed $6.3-million budget for a savings of $432,000.

To make the cuts, the transit agency would drop a lightly used bus route from Oxnard beaches to south Oxnard, and cut back on anticipated pay increases and staff training.

Several petitions from bus riders have protested the elimination of the route, saying the bus ride is the only affordable transportation from the inner city to the beach area.

But Rita Johnson of the Oxnard Public Works Department has recommended that the route be dropped, because revenue from riders on the route has been less than half of the 20% reimbursement needed to justify it.

In a memo, City Manager Vernon Hazen said he supports the recommendation to drop the route.

The cuts would come out of a 1992 fiscal year budget that the transit directors proposed in February that called for a 25% increase in services over the previous year.

But the proposed budget hit roadblocks in the Ventura and Oxnard city councils, which together control four-fifths of the votes on the transit agency board.

Oxnard's share of the reduced budget would be $1 million, $181,219 less than the city would pay if the larger budget is adopted.

Last month, the Ventura City Council requested that the transit agency re-submit its budget plan, and hold any increase to 5%. The Ventura council has directed its agency representative to cast the city's 38% weighted vote for the budget reduction.

On Tuesday, the Oxnard council will also consider directing its representative to cast Oxnard's 42% weighted vote with Ventura, thereby forcing the agency to follow the smaller budget.

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