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BART Finishes Fiscal Year With $20 Million Surplus

OAKLAND (KCBS) – BART directors were all smiles Thursday as the transit system finished the fiscal year with a $20 million surplus, which is rare in the current economic climate.

BART's bean counters said an unexpected increase in ridership and sales taxes helped boost income.

Directors have decided to spend some of that money on a seat replacement project that will see vinyl installed instead of the current wool seats. The money will also go towards new lighting at the Concord BART yard, and towards fixing some internal computer issues.

The vast majority of the money was set aside for a car replacement project that BART Director Joel Keller said is desperately needed.

KCBS' Bob Melrose Reports:

"Rail cars have to be our number one priority and I'm pleased that we are doing a demonstration project for the seats, and if we're able to move those out of the district over the next several years in a uniform way, that would be a good thing," said Keller. "We still get comments and feedback about the wool seats."

The majority of the car replacement money is expected to come from the state and federal governments.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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