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BART Plans Layoffs

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BART officials have given layoff orders to 19 train cleaners and 22 part-time station agents, among others. They say they expect the number of layoffs to total almost 70 by July 4.

The layoffs followed the board´s vote last Thursday to cut service, hike fares and institute parking fees in order to close a $28 million budget gap.

The union that represents some of the laid off workers called for state audits of the agency´s finances. The union said the layoffs could have been avoided. An economist hired by BART unions identified $185 million in unspent surpluses they say could have been spent to avert layoffs. BART officials say the money is earmarked for repairs and improvements. The layoffs are BART´s first since the early 1980s.

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