TransForm statement on Governor's 2017-18 budget proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 10, 2017

CONTACT:
Shannon Tracey, Deputy Director of Campaigns, 510-338-2937 (cell), stracey@transformca.org
Edie Irons, Communications Director: 510-334-1344 (cell), eirons@transformca.org

Today, Governor Brown released his 2017-18 budget proposal. In response, Shannon Tracey, TransForm Deputy Director of Campaigns, released the following statement:

“We need a budget that funds the future of transportation — not the past. Today, Governor Brown proposed a budget that contains some promising moves in the right direction, but keeps one foot firmly planted in outdated transportation strategies that generate traffic and pollution.

“We applaud Governor Brown for prioritizing safer walking and biking by proposing $100 million for the Active Transportation Program. Crosswalks, sidewalks, and bike lanes are highly cost-effective investments that prevent tragedies in our communities and encourage healthier living, especially for low-income Californians.

“We are also encouraged by the Governor’s focus on public transportation funding, as demonstrated by an additional $400 million of climate funding for transit capital projects as well as a repayment of past funding borrowed from transportation programs. However, we cannot count on climate funds alone to meet our public transportation needs, and we are disappointed that none of the new transportation revenue is allocated to transit. We are also concerned that this money is entirely focused on transit capital. We need greater investment in operations funding to keep buses and trains running once they are built, and we need to dedicate long-term transportation funding sources to public transit.

“We are most concerned that this budget does little to address social equity concerns regarding transportation, and it makes no meaningful connection between transportation funding and climate change. It is in stark contrast to the Governor’s bold statements on climate action that the third-largest transportation funding program, STIP, which funds significant freeway expansions, continues to contain no climate or equity requirements.

“If California is going to meet our bold emission reduction targets by 2030, we need bold change in our transportation sector, which is the largest single contributor to emissions in the state. That will require leadership, vision, and money. The governor and the legislature have championed ambitious climate targets, but they are missing a big opportunity to meet them.

“We look forward to working with our leaders in Sacramento to ensure that they invest in forward-looking transportation choices for all Californians — to strengthen our communities, get us out of gridlock, and fight climate change.”