California Common Sense (CACS) released a brief report (and accompanying data) analyzing the impact of rising personnel costs on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system’s budget since 1999-00. The report found that though BART’s compensation levels have declined as a portion of its operating budget since 2000, they have remained above those of most California public transit systems. While rising compensation levels have strained the system’s operating budget, rising retiree health costs, in particular, account for the greatest growth among the system’s personnel spending.

We must recognize that higher compensation levels ultimately impact everyone – workers, retirees, the system, and riders. Retirement costs have already started to consume greater portions of the system’s budget. If collective bargaining drives up costs further, the natural outcome will be a decline in the quality of services BART riders have come to expect, increase in rider fees, or both.

The following are among the report’s findings:


See more here.