BART Airport Extension Update

RCED-96-246R: Published: Aug 30, 1996. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided updated information on the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District's (BART) proposed extension to the San Francisco International Airport. GAO noted that: (1) the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved the final BART environmental impact statement and finance plan and provided a status report to Congress; (2) FTA planned to issue a record of decision in August 1996 and sign the BART funding agreement by October 1996; (3) BART included an adjustment that added $33 million to its project cost estimates for inflation through 1999; (4) BART reduced the set-aside for design contingencies, and identified other cost savings to offset the inflation adjustment; (5) the state amended BART legislation to allow BART to pledge its own revenues as collateral to obtain more favorable interest rates and provide an additional contingent revenue source; (6) the San Mateo County Transit District has agreed to accelerate its financial contribution to the project, which should compensate for delayed federal contributions; (7) the Airport identified revenue bonds as its funding source and requested Federal Aviation Administration approval to use airport revenues; and (8) the airport extension project will add an estimated net 29,500 daily customer boardings, and the extension's daily total ridership is expected to be about 78,100 people.

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