Oakland schools abruptly cut off money for AC Transit busing

Jan 20, 2017 by

Without warning, the Oakland Unified School District has decided to stop paying AC Transit to run buses to several city schools, something the transit agency says will jeopardize service for hundreds of students.

Officials in the cash-strapped district said Wednesday that they were ending the $2.25 million annual contract with AC Transit, effective immediately. The school district has been paying for bus service for nearly 20 years without realizing that AC Transit ran buses to schools in other cities for free, Oakland schools officials said.

They disclosed their decision in an email to parents this week.

“Our district was the only school district that paid AC Transit to run lines for our students, although our Oakland students also still continue to pay individual fares to use the buses,” district spokesman John Sasaki said in the email.

Officials also cited district finances as another reason to cut off the payments, alluding to a proposed $30 million in cuts this year and next to cover projected costs.

The district notified AC Transit officials on Jan. 9, acknowledging in a letter that the news was likely to “come as a shock.” The district has not heard back, Sasaki said.

AC Transit said in a statement to The Chronicle that the move “will likely result in a reduction of supplementary bus service” if a replacement for the funding isn’t found. The service costs the agency $4.45 million a year, spokesman Robert Lyles said.

Source: Oakland schools abruptly cut off money for AC Transit busing – SFGate

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