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LTD Board Passes 2020-21 Operating Budget

July 2, 2020
Lane Transit District’s (LTD) Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve the operating budget for the District’s fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2020 and ends June 30, 2021.

The $47 million 2020-21 operating budget reflects approximately $12 million in expected lost revenues from the 2019-20 operating budget due to the unintended consequences from businesses being closed and a reduction in ridership due to people staying home to limit exposure to COVID-19.

Those unintended consequences have resulted in reductions to the employer and employee payroll taxes paid to the District and passenger fares, which combine to fund more than 80% of the LTD annual operating budget.

“COVID-19 has not only put our community’s physical health at risk but our financial health as well. LTD has not been exempted from this, “ said Carl Yeh, President of the LTD Board of Directors. “However, despite significant impacts to revenues, the Board recognized that decisive action needed to be taken to have LTD operate within a budget matching this new reality to continue to provide affordable public transportation and aid in the economic recovery of our community."

To balance its operating budget, LTD reduced its workforce from 325 employees to 287 through lay-offs, retirements, and not filling open positions; reduced fuel costs by scheduling an essential-trips-only service level; and required administrative employees to take unpaid furlough days. In addition, the $25 million LTD received from the Federal CARES Act was used to fill the gaps of the 2019-20 operating budget created by COVID 19, and will enable the District to continue providing needed services for Fiscal Year 2020-21. About $3 million in CARES Act funding has been held in reserve to fill additional projected operating budget gaps in 2021-22 Fiscal Year.

“These were difficult decisions to make, but were necessary for LTD to operate within its budget,” said Aurora Jackson, LTD’s general manager.  “The CARES Act funding makes a temporary difference with regard to the service LTD can provide going forward. There is no normal as we knew it pre-COVID. We will monitor ridership to determine if service should be added to the system as businesses expand their schedules and when students return to the UO and LCC campuses.”

LTD’s RideSource paratransit service, providing origin-to-destination service to people who cannot access the bus due to a disability and are traveling within the Eugene/Springfield area, continues to be available for essential trips only.

Projects such as Transit Tomorrow and MovingAhead remain on hold. Construction of the new Santa Clara Transit Station continues based on the funding requirements from the project’s state and federal sources.

For information on the budget, click HERE.

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