Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion Jr., chair South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Governing Board, released a statement Tuesday regarding the lack of funds for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Fiscal Year 2010 budget:
“We have just learned that there are no additional funds to save Tri-Rail in the state of Florida’s FY10 budget. Clearly, this is a serious issue, which will create a hardship for the people of South Florida who rely on the train for their livelihood and well-being. It will also have a devastating effect on thousands of businesses that depend on the train to get their employees to work.
"The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority is faced with two scenarios, at this time. In scenario number one, Tri-Rail can operate for only 18 months as of October 5, 2009, based on the counties funding Tri-Rail at the $1.565 million provided by legislation. This would mean a drastic reduction in Tri-Rail service with only 30 trains per day and no weekend or holiday service. I have asked the Executive Director to prepare a budget based on this scenario for the Fri., May 22, 2009 Governing Board Meeting.
"In the second scenario, Tri-Rail can only operate for nine to 12 months as of Oct. 5, 2009, with the reduced schedule as mentioned above, if any one of the three counties elects to give zero dollars to the SFRTA/Tri-Rail, which is a very real possibility.”
Last week, MiamiTodayNews.com reported that despite a newly approved fare hike, “Oct. 5 could be the end of the line for Tri-Rail weekend service, and weekday service could be cut nearly in half, from 50 daily trains to about 30. And with no devoted funding stream, the system could only maintain that level for up to two years before facing further reductions.”