Ventura County has until 2014 to figure out how to invest millions on public transit, but if Assemblyman Das Williams has his way, that deadline will move up to July 2013.

At issue is money associated with the Transportation Development Act, and a law that was passed in 2009 that required that all of the money that comes from the TDA be used on public transit. However, over the last three years in Ventura County, some TDA dollars have been used by cities to repair roads. Nearly $4 million of the $28 million allocated to Ventura County this year went to road repairs.

However, Mr. Williams introduced a bill in response, saying that the use of TDA money for road repair takes money from the poor. Local public transportation has long been a project for Williams focused on improving bus services as a community organizer before running for the assembly.

However, over the last three years, the Ventura County Transportation Commission has been creating a plan to improve public transportation and the interconnectivity of the area’s systems. Their plan was designed with a 2014 deadline.

However, Williams sees the plan as a fake, one that would permanently allow cities to raid the TDA funds for street repair, and not public transit improvements.

From the Ventura County Star:

When the Legislature enacted a law three years ago requiring that all large counties spend their entire share of Transportation Development Act money on transit services, it gave Ventura County a pass.

The law gave the county until 2014 to meet that requirement. In the meantime, about half of the county’s 10 cities are spending some portion of those funds on street repair. In all, about $4 million of the $28 million the county’s cities are expected to collectively receive this year in TDA funds will be spent on streets instead of transit.

Read the full article here.