Public Transit: The Money is There

Image source: InvadingInvader via Wikimedia Commons

The following is reprinted from Speak Out Now’s workplace newsletter at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

Governor Newsom and the California politicians are wringing their hands over how to fund public transit. 

In our current situation – especially facing a global climate crisis – reliable, affordable (and free?) public transit is a necessity.

There could have been some real demands made on the big employers during the tech boom. But it’s not too late. The place to look is not in the pockets of those who still ride public transit, nor other taxpayers. (Most corporations and billionaires actually pay little or no tax.) 

Let’s look at the Bay Area for starters. Of the ten U.S. companies with the largest market capitalization, five are in the Bay Area. Market capitalization is the total value of a company’s shares of stock. (If a company has issued 10 million shares, and its share price is $100, its market cap is $1 billion.) 

Apple is #1, setting a record with a market cap of $3.016 trillion with a profit of $96 billion last year. Affordable, reliable public transit is a necessity, not a luxury. The rich can pay for once.

Total stock values & profits of the largest Bay Area-based companies

Ranking (nationwide) / CompanyMarket cap.Profit 2022
#1 Apple$3.016 trillion$94 billion
#4 Alphabet (Google)$1.529 trillion$59 billion
#6 Nvidia$1.039 trillion$4.37 billion
#7 Tesla$876.49 billion$11.8 billion
#8 Meta Platforms (Facebook, Whatsapp)$748.29 billion$21 billion