Sarasota News Leader

07/11/2014

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The results of a recent internal study of Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) found that county funding represents a higher annual percentage of the bus system's budget than the local government support provided to 11 other comparable systems in the Southeastern United States. Sarasota County con- tributed more than $14 million of SCAT's $20 million in total operating funds in the 2013 fiscal year, the study showed. That is more than 2.5 times higher than the aver- age amount of local funds contributed to the "peer group" transit systems. In addition, SCAT's total operating expenses — $20,017,000 — were the highest of the study group, with Lee County's Lee Tran in second place. A considerably higher c o s t p e r m i l e f o r paratransit service — which is offered for residents with special needs, veterans and the elderly who have A SCAT Express bus travels its county route. Express buses, which operate between North and South county, feature Wi-Fi. Photo courtesy Sarasota County EVALUATING THE SYSTEM AN INTERNAL STUDY SHOWS SARASOTA COUNTY IS CONTRIBUTING CONSIDERABLY MORE MONEY TO THE OPERATION OF ITS BUS SYSTEM EACH YEAR THAN 11 OTHER COMPARABLE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS This will serve as a baseline for the County Commission to make decisions regarding public transit. Jonathan Paul Interim Transportation Planning Director Sarasota County By Roger Drouin County Editor

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