Alameda County’s Measure B 1

Alameda County's elected officials have been working to put a measure on the November 2012 ballot to ask voters to double the existing transportation sales tax, extend it forever, and approve a $7.7 Billion plan for the next 30 years of transportation spending. The stakes have never been higher for transportation in Alameda County!

Latest Updates:

  • The official campaign is now called Alameda County Measure B1 and the website is available at http://yesonb1.com/
  • Join the numerous groups and individuals who have endorsed Measure B1, see all of them here.
  • May 23 2012: Transform offers its support of the proposed reauthorization, increase, and extension of Alameda County’s transportation sales tax, often known as “Measure B”.  See letter of support submitted to ACTC Board. For more details please read our blog about our announcement.  
  • March 7, 2012: TransForm publishes our comprehensive analysis of the Measure B plan. For the one-page Executive Summary, see the first page of the analysis or read our blog post (which also has a link to the full analysis).
  • February 9, 2012: The BART Board passes a Motion by President McPartland to advance the proposed BART to Livermore Project to the next level of project development, including environmental review. To read the entire motion please go to the BART board meeting minutes
  • January 26, 2012: The Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) adopted a final expenditure plan. The final plan is an improvement from where the Commission started, but it also lacks some taxpayer safeguards that TransForm and others recommended. As the plan moves forward to approvals at individual cities, TransForm will weigh the pros and cons of the full package, look for opportunities to secure the necessary safeguards in other forums, and seek input from our constituents before taking a formal position.

    We want to take a moment to thank the hundreds of people who emailed ACTC, numerous public interest groups who worked for months to improve the plan, and the elected officials who engaged in the tough work of trying to craft a solution. Working together in the coalition behind the “Community Vision Platform” is what created the pressure to make the real improvements in the plan. Thank you!

What’s next?

During February-May, ACTC will proceed to each city, the county Board of Supervisors, BART, and AC Transit to present the plan and seek the cities’ approval to place the measure on the ballot. In June or July, ACTC will ask the Board of Supervisors to officially place the measure on the ballot.

  1. Share TransForm's comprehensive analysis of the Measure B package  by pointing people to our blog post
  2. To share your comments, suggestions, and corrections about all the facts and opinions presented in our analysis, or to tell us what you think about the final spending plan and whether you plan to support Measure B in November, contact Manolo González-Estay.
  3. See here for a calendar of dates and times when ACTC will present to City Councils.

Past Meeting & Event Summaries

Thursday, January 26 ACTC Steering Committee Meeting and ACTC Board Meeting

ACTC held two meetings. First the Steering Committee took extensive public comment and discussed the TEP. Several Commissioners echoed the concerns of TransForm and others with the coalition, and Chair Mark Green accepted some small changes. The Steering Committee voted to forward the plan to the full Board, with three abstentions (Kaplan, Atkin, Harper).

Then the full ACTC Board again took extensive public comment. Several more Commissioners echoed coalition concerns. The Chair formalized two changes to the plan’s language, and the full Board voted to send the plan to the cities, with 22 votes in favor and 2 against (from Supervisor Carson who is counted for two votes).

See news coverage by the Contra Costa Times and ABC-7.

For the final version of the ACTC Transportation Expenditure Plan click here.

Tuesday, January 24 Community Vision Platform Press Conference

Several public interest groups stood together to express concerns about the expenditure plan, including speakers from the League of Women Voters, ATU Locals 192 and 1555, Urban Habitat, TransForm, Genesis, East Bay Bicycle Coalition, and Greenbelt Alliance.

Listen to what our coalition allies said: click here for a video.

See news coverage by the Contra Costa Times and a related article in the New York Times.

Friday, December 16th ACTC’s Annual Board Retreat
No vote was taken to adopt any draft, but staff were given input from Alameda Commissioners to have something ready to vote on for their January 26th meeting. Over a dozen people from our coalition showed up and spoke out in support of our Community Vision Platform, yet a majority of Board members agreed that the staff draft was getting very close to what they wanted to see in the final expenditure plan. Many speakers also showed up in support of BART to Livermore.

Much hope is being pinned on a negotiation meeting to be held with members of our coalition by an ad hoc committee of the TEP Steering committee (including Chair Mayor Green, Supervisor Haggerty, Councilmember Kaplan, Councilmember Henson, Supervisor Miley, and Councilmember Worthington). The hope is that a compromise can be reached over the things we are asking for (flexible language for Livermore to BART, a youth bus-pass program, programmatic funding for TOD, local streets and roads, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and increased funding for transit operations that will not just MAINTAIN existing service, but will RESTORE a bit of what has been lost). 

The Board will meet again to vote on a plan on January 26th.  

Thursday, December 15th BART Board of Directors Meeting7 of 17 of the speakers (more than 1/3!) spoke out against supporting the existing draft of the TEP. No action was taken, but consensus was reached regarding the need for any language about BART to LIvermore on the 2012 ballot conveying that it is just a portion of the funding needed. BART Directors and staff also acknowledged that they do not know where the rest of the funding would come from. TransForm staff distributed suggested alternative language for a rapid transit connection for Livermore residents to the Dublin-Pleasanton BART station.

 

Background

In 2000, Alameda County voters approved the second "Measure B", reauthorizing the county's ½¢ transportation sales tax through 2022 and approving a $1.4 billion spending plan. TransForm played a key role in shaping and helping to pass that measure, which received over 81% of the vote. That came after a 1998 measure failed to gain consensus support and failed at the ballot box.

Recent polls found that there is strong community support to focus spending on: saving BART from its pending fiscal crisis; expanding transit service after years of cuts; fixing local streets; keeping transit affordable, especially for youth; and fully funding the Countywide Bicycle Plan.

In early November 2011, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) released a "Preliminary Draft Expenditure Plan" less than 48 hours before asking their Community Advisory Working Group to comment on the plan, and without a clear explanation of the basis for the specific elements in the plan. Community response was largely negative.

Key Issues

Save BART! BART has huge unfunded shortfalls to maintain its existing system. Built in the 60s and 70s, it is getting old and needs major upgrades. BART cars are already packed at rush hour. More and more people want to ride, but BART can't handle the increase without major investment to fix it first. Without those investments, trains would move much slower and could carry as few as half as many riders at commute hours. The situation will get worse if additional riders from new extensions get on board, and there are already 3 unfinished extensions on the books. Alameda County needs to invest in saving the existing BART system, not promising more extensions. See two presentations to the BART Board; one with details of the looming problem and another report about what could happen if the problems aren't solved.

Livermore needs real transit solutions now, not false promises. Extending BART to downtown Livermore, or the I-580 exit close to downtown, would cost over $3 billion. Recently, project proponents have been talking about a one-station extension, taking BART just five miles down the road to Isabel Avenue for $1.2 billion. But promising "BART to Livermore" is a recipe for another decade of disappointment for Livermore residents, forcing the county to scramble to find money that isn't there for an overly expensive project.  ACTC, BART, and Livermore need to focus on figuring out the most cost-effective and realistic way to connect Livermore to the BART system and job centers – in a few years instead of a few decades – taking advantage of HOV lanes recently built or coming in the next 3 years. See a related article in the New York Times.

Respond to the "Measure B Community Vision Platform". TransForm signed on to a 4-page platform of recommendations (see attachment below), with details on specific funding recommendations. The platform asked the county to create a Measure B that would:

  • Fix it First
  • Help meet state and regional climate change targets
  • Improve mobility and health for all communities
  • Achieve geographic equity
  • Uphold high standards for planning
  • Protect the county from skyrocketing project costs