AC Transit faces unbudgeted expenditures of over $17 million following an August 2nd court injunction suspending management-imposed new labor rules. The AC Transit District had imposed the new contract to achieve annual savings of $15.7 million. The court injunction also delayed proposed cuts this fall, accounting for a further $1.9 million in unexpected costs.

To bridge the gap, the district’s board tomorrow night is considering a swingeing set of cuts to be enacted in December. Weekend services on 39 routes, including nine that serve Berkeley, would be eliminated. Night buses would be axed, with the exception of the 800 (which runs through Berkeley) and the 801.

The nine Berkeley weekend services that would be eliminated are the 1R, 7, 12, 25, 49, 52, 65, 67 and the Transbay F. The full proposal before the district board can be read here.

The impact of the cuts would reduce AC Transit’s total platform hours to just over 1.6 million hours, which compares to a median in the years 1999 to 2009 of over 2 million hours. It would be the district’s lowest level of service in at least the past 25 years. The district board is expected to approve the proposed reductions.

The memo to the board proposing the weekend reductions suggests further cutbacks, should the board deem them necessary. These include reducing the weekend operational hours for those services that remain, complete elimination of transbay services, and elimination of services before 6 a.m. and after 8 p.m.

Update AC Transit spokesperson Adam Alberti told Berkeleyside that the management believes it had reached the point where “there’s nowhere else to cut that won’t affect services”. The court injunction is being appealed, but until that is resolved, AC Transit needs to find ways to reduce a $300,000 weekly deficit, he said.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...