The Twin Cities public bus and rail system faces deeper money problems.
Metropolitan Council officials say the reason is lower than expected revenues. Money for transit from the motor vehicle sales tax is down because of slumping auto sales. The latest numbers show Metro Transit is short $72 million over the next two and a half years.
State Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), who serves on the Senate transportation committee, says the shortfall is serious.
"There's a point beyond which you can't recover, those represent many fixed costs, and you won't have a viable system, an entire system is in danger of collapsing if we don't find the dollars to support it," said Dibble.
Two options for solving the transit funding problem are fare increases and service cuts. Fares were recently increased 25 cents.
Five Twin Cities counties have imposed a quarter penny sales tax for transit. However, the money is intended for funding new projects rather than paying Metro Transit operating expenses.