The Arizona Republic reports that Mesa, Arizona, lost its state transportation funding and now faces a transportation deficit of $1.3 million. Mesa will be forced to cut bus and dial a ride services. Federal law requires cities to provide dial a ride services to disabled people within five miles of fixed bus routes for not more than two times bus fares. For Mesa, this unfunded federal mandate means that Mesa must pay $33.75 for every dial a ride passenger for which it collects $3 from the passenger. Mesa’s total federally mandated dial a ride cost is $4 million a year. I note that the story does not say that Mesa will cut any funding to its share of the cost for the highly favored, lightly used additional money pit known as the light rail.
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