The free Broadway Shuttle bus service risks losing about a quarter of its funding next month, potentially forcing the city to scramble for money to avoid service cuts.
AC Transit has operated the $630,000-a-year shuttle service since 2010 with the help of a $355,000 grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
But a district committee on Thursday recommended cutting that grant in half to $177,000, said Zach Seal, who manages the shuttle service for the city.
The full district board will consider the proposed cut at a March 6 meeting, he said.
A funding cut from the air district could have a ripple effect for the shuttle service, Seal said, because several other grants are dependent on the shuttle maintaining its current hours and service schedule.
The shuttle serves an estimated 2,650 riders per day connecting Jack London Square and the 12th Street BART Station with many office buildings around Grand Avenue. It runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and comes every 10 minutes during commute hours.
"The city is aware of how popular and iconic this service has become," Seal said. "If the grant is reduced, we would make every attempt to find funding sources both public and private to keep (it) running."
The air board grant is part of a program to reduce air pollution by providing shuttles linking people to transit hubs. The air district's committee recommended cutting in half the Broadway Shuttle's funding because it
The city, which provides over $100,000 in annual funding for the service, is reviewing the committee's finding. Seal said that the service tallied 1,755 daily transfers to BART, Amtrak's Capitol Corridor, ferries and major AC Transit lines.
Appeal filed against wind turbine project in San Leandro
A decision to allow a local business to build a 100-foot wind turbine on their industrial district property will be reconsidered following an appeal by a representative of the Heron Bay Homeowners Association, whose members have actively opposed the project for months.
The appeal was filed Thursday with the city clerk, and will prompt a review of the project approval granted by the city's Board of Zoning Adjustments earlier this month for Halus Power Systems to build the turbine higher than the city's typical 60-foot height limit in industrial areas.
The decision will be reconsidered by the City Council at an upcoming council meeting, said Marian Handa, San Leandro's city clerk.
Halus Power Systems, which manufactures and remanufactures wind turbine components, wants to use the turbine to test new parts and power its operations. The business is located on a 5-acre property on Grant Street along the San Lorenzo Creek stormwater drainage channel. On the other side of the channel are the 629-homes in the Heron Bay Homeowners Association.
Since the initial application for the turbine was submitted in the summer of 2012, association members and their attorney, A. Alan Berger, argued that a complete environmental impact report needed to be conducted and said the turbine would have a significant adverse impact on the area's aesthetics, noise levels, property values and bird population, and possibly cause a disruption to airplane navigation, among other issues.
City officials said their staff review indicated impacts would be minimal and could be mitigated, and a full environmental impact report was not necessary.
Hayward union makes its presence known
Union members packed the chambers at Tuesday's City Council meeting, wearing matching T-shirts and holding a large banner at the back of the room.
Contract talks started last week between the city of Hayward and Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents 295 city maintenance and clerical workers. The contract expires April 30.
Union members are upset over some of the city's proposals, including the right to a grievance on a letter of reprimand and what appears to be a restriction on outside work, union spokeswoman Anna Bakalis said later.
Vice president of the union's Hayward chapter, Gil Hesia, told the council that the proposal was insulting.
Linda Reid, president of the Hayward chapter, said that city workers already have given about $2.7 million back to city in the form of wages, health benefits and unpaid furloughs.
"Will Hayward be remembered as the Heart of the Bay or as the Heart of Stone?" she asked the council.