Since October of last year, when voters rejected a property tax to fund the Capital Area Transit System, officials have known CATS would face a serious budget shortfall in 2011. In fact, with the lack of dedicated funding, higher operating expenses and evaporating state and federal subsidies, CATS must account for a $1.2 million projected deficit.
CATS appears to have done its due diligence in examining areas of potential reduction. There just don't seem to be any. It operates at a lean 8 percent administrative overhead in an industry that averages 12%.
CATS proposed raising fares and cutting weekend and holiday service to achieve a balanced budget, but the Metro Council voted against that plan. A good public transit system is important for many of our citizens, those who need it to get to work or school, or even to a doctor's office, and as an alternative to adding more cars to our gridlock.