TAMC Contact: Theresa Wright
Community Outreach Coordinator
MST Contact: Lisa Rheinheimer
Director of Planning and Marketing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“FEDERAL SHUT-DOWN IMPACTS LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS”
Salinas, CA (January 22, 2019) — In a joint statement, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) and Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) announced that the federal shut-down in Washington is adversely affecting regional transportation projects and transit services in Monterey County.
Debbie Hale, the Executive Director of TAMC, said, “In addition to the impact that this shut-down is personally having on federal workers, it is now affecting transportation projects and services on the Central Coast; and we are concerned about the short-term and long-term effects that the shut-down will have locally.”
Carl Sedoryk, General Manager and CEO of Monterey-Salinas Transit, added, “At this time, the shut-down has placed our existing grant and low-interest loan applications with the Federal Transit Administration in limbo.” According to Mr. Sedoryk, the shut-down affects MST’s ability to pay for new buses purchased to replace older ones and to go out to bid for the new King City garage facility. He continued by saying that, “If the shut-down continues, we are going have a serious cash flow problem which will affect our ability to pay employees and buy diesel fuel this spring.”
Ms. Hale said that the Marina – Salinas Multimodal Corridor: Imjin Parkway Project is currently in limbo. The construction of that project which is a collaboration between the Transportation Agency and the City of Marina could be delayed. This project is primarily funded with local Measure X and state SB 1 funds. “It’s frustrating because we are waiting for one signature from a federal agency to move the project forward. The longer it sits idle in an inbox, the more likely it is that that we will miss important deadlines to apply for state funding in July so that we can start construction as planned this year.”
The Marina-Salinas Multimodal Corridor project will improve overall mobility by making significant improvements on Imjin Parkway. The project on this major arterial for commuters traveling between the Monterey Peninsula and the City of Salinas will widen Imjin Parkway to four lanes for its entire length, with a new bicycle path and sidewalks, and roundabouts at key intersections. The result will ease congestion and serve all users on the corridor.
The adverse effect of having $14.5 million of funding in limbo is being felt by MST. “We are very concerned about what’s happening,” said Mr. Sedoryk. He pointed out that because of the shut-down MST can’t apply for their annual operating assistance grant from the federal government, which under normal circumstances takes four months to process. The serious impacts of further delays will be felt this spring when MST will have a cash flow shortfall affecting their ability to pay employees and pay for diesel fuel and may result in MST having to reduce services to the community. He concluded by saying, “We are in a serious bind and can’t do anything about it until a budget is approved, federal employees are back at work and our applications are moved forward in the process.”
The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) is responsible for investing in regional transportation projects for Monterey County residents, businesses and visitors. The mission of TAMC is to develop and maintain a multimodal transportation system that enhances mobility, safety, access, environment quality and economic activities in Monterey County. For more information visit www.tamcmonterey.org or call 831.775.0903.
MST provides bus service to the greater Monterey and Salinas areas and as far south as Templeton and Big Sur and as far north as Santa Cruz and San Jose. MST’s mission is advocating and delivering quality public transportation as a leader within our community and our industry. For more information, visit, www.mst.org or call 888.MST-BUS1.