If county transportation officials terminated their contract with the Golden Gate transit district, bus service for the thousands of Marin riders would suffer and as many as 125 transit workers could lose their jobs, according to the agency's authorities.
The Golden Gate Highway and Transportation District held a press conference at the San Rafael Transit Center Wednesday morning to gather support for its contract offer to Marin Transit, the agency responsible for the bus service within Marin County. The two agencies have worked together for 40 years, until Marin Transit decided to notify GGHTD that it would end its contract come December 2013 in order to save money.
In a new contract offer to Marin Transit, GGBHTD will reduce what it charges the county for its services from $133 per hour to $120, as well as a 25 percent reduction in annual service hours, going from the current 120,000 hours to 90,000 hours. The yearly 5 percent increase would also be cut to 2.7 percent.
The offer, which goes before the Marin Transit board on Monday, would cut as many as 30 Golden Gate Transit jobs and would transfer some routes and school services to a private operator. These routes include services around the Marin Civic Center, North San Rafael, Novato, San Anselmo, Fairfax, Tiburon, Belvedere and Strawberry.
If Marin Transit does not accept the contract, it would lead to "the loss of the now seamless, integrated bus services that are relied upon by millions of customers, coupled with the potential loss of 125 GGT jobs," Golden Gate officials said in a release.
Under the current contract, GGBHTD gets 65 percent of Marin Transit's operating budget and carries 92 percent of Marin Transit’s customers.
According to the Marin Independent Journal, Marin Transit could save $1 million and expand bus service in Novato and Tiburon with a private operator by offering less employee benefits.
The Marin Transit Board of Directors, which includes Marin County supervisors and city officials from San Rafael, Novato and Mill Valley, will discuss the new contract at 10 a.m. on Sept. 17 in Room 330 at the Marin Civic Center.
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