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Sarasota News Leader October 4, 2013 A large portion of SCAT's budget comes from the county's general fund: In 2011, SCAT had an operating budget of about $19 million, with 73 percent of that allocated from the general fund. Another 18 percent came from grants, and 9 percent was from fares. Page 9 Commissioner Joe Barbetta has advocated for such a study as well as a closer look at the possibility of a merger between SCAT and MCAT. "If you combine the two, there would be better headways," Barbetta said, referring to the period of time between passenger pickups on The possibility of a merger has been a county specific routes. "If we do [the merger], it has topic for several years, after it was first consid- to be seamless." ered during a transportation planning study. If the two agencies are combined, three Only recently has it gained attention at the options have been put forth for how the County Commission dais. Sarasota County is regional organization would be operated. conducting a survey to get public feedback One is to merge the two agencies under one on the proposal. authority, while keeping them under public If the two boards vote to move ahead with local operation. the concept, the next step would be a cost A second option would be to bring in a private vendor to operate the merged agencies. analysis. SCAT had more than 3 million passenger trips in 2011. Photo courtesy of Sarasota County

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