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AC Transit is 50 years old today. Will it last 50 more?

By dcuff
Friday, October 1st, 2010 at 7:20 pm in Uncategorized.

AC Transit is having its 50th birthday today. Yes. it’s a half century since the public transit system began service, replacing the privately owned and defunct Key System that ran buses, ferries, and trolleys in East Bay neighborhoods and and across the Bay.

 It hardly seems like a happy time for the public bus system, which plans two more service cuts this year and continues court battles with its labor union over cost-cutting measures.

Still, it’s worth a moment to reflect on its half century of service.

In a press released posted on its Web site, AC Transit quotes 87-year-old Oakland resident Martin Huff talking about the transit system. He was the first paying passenger to board an AC Transit bus in 1960. 

“We were looking forward to AC Transit as an improvement in the system,” Huff said. “It has fulfilled my expectations.”

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One Response to “AC Transit is 50 years old today. Will it last 50 more?”

  1. david vartanoff Says:

    For AC to last even another 10 years will necessitate major changes both in funding sources and agency function. In the 70s AC had a % valuation real estate tax base, served most areas within the district, and regularly won fleet maintenance awards from the transit trade assn. Today,large tracts in the hills have scant or no service, ridership is down, labor relations are in the toilet, and insolvency looms.
    While AC is not unique (NY MTA is nearly bankrupt), it also suffers because it serves several cities where transit is not a political priority. When AC holds hearings on service cuts, mayors, city councilpersons are absent. In the carbon/GHG/climate fights, funding for adequate alternatives to driving get lost and the transit dependent are redlined.

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