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AC Transit board votes to slash weekend, overnight bus service

'We are faced with keeping this agency in business,' board president says

AC Transit's board of directors Wednesday night voted unanimously to slash night and weekend bus service in an effort to tackle its projected budget deficit and save more than $11 million.

The agency said the service cuts were necessary because it will face at least a $40 million budget deficit by the end of fiscal year 2011. AC Transit has made other service cuts and raised its fares in recent years in order to help balance its budget.

"We have a lot of changes to do that are going to be really uncomfortable to the status quo," board president Rocky Fernandez said in a statement.

"Right now we are faced with keeping this agency in business," he said.

The agency plans to pare down 39 minor weekend routes - about half its weekend service - while keeping major service corridors intact. Four out of six all-nighter bus routes will be eliminated, according to AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson.

The board's decision on an additional cost-saving proposal to outsource paratransit services for seniors and the disabled was postponed so board members could try to determine whether paratransit services could be self-sustaining.

Information on which routes will be affected by the changes is available at www2.actransit.org.

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