Transit agencies to receive quake money

March 7, 2008 12:19:53 PM PST
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is hoping to stimulate this state's economy with a big infusion of cash for transit projects. The money is coming from Proposition 1B, it's a transportation bond measure passed by voters in 2006.

The governor touted this as a double bonus for those in the Bay Area, he said the money will not only go to making BART safer, but it will also create jobs during this tough economic time.

The money is going to go towards getting BART ready for the next big earthquake. They are going to focus on the columns that give support to many of the elevated stations. BART will be making them wider to withstand the next big one. They are going to be focusing on 74 miles of the old system, and they are going to go underground and widen the columns.

Crews also need to strengthen the soil around the Transbay Tube, that work will take place this summer. They say they are in a race against time. The governor said that he and the legislature came together and rushed to get this money released so the work can also start creating some jobs.

"We are creating serious jobs, 7,200 jobs are being created and there are so many people that are being laid off because of the slowing down of the housing market, that these people need jobs, and it is our responsibility to be the people that stand here, it is our responsibility to create those jobs, and we are going to create those jobs, and pump this money as quickly as possible back into the economy," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) California.

The governor announced today that $24 million dollars will be going towards BART, so that work can begin on this 10 year plan. The work on BART's columns will not begin until next spring or summer. They will be doing it in fazes over the 10 years. They said service should not be disrupted but you will see a lot of crews at the stations.

The governor was at the press conference with many politicians who were all very proud of the proposition and the voters who made it possible.