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  • Writer's pictureZack Deutsch-Gross

Tell Your Representatives: Commit to Funding Transit, not Highways, with Regional Funding Measure

Updated: 2 days ago

Update: Please join TransForm and Voices for Public Transportation in Sacramento on April 23 for the Senate Transportation Committee Hearing. This may be our best chance to get bill language that prohibits highway expansion and prioritizes transit operations and progressive revenue sources. Please use the form below to RSVP.

This post was first published 2/28/24.

Public transit is essential, particularly in the Bay Area, where traffic congestion would become unbearable if people didn’t have the option to take transit to work, school, and other destinations. TransForm won stopgap funding in the state budget last year to delay the transit fiscal cliff, but Bay Area transit agencies face more funding shortfalls as soon as 2026.

We can’t let our transit resources fail. In fact, with the climate crisis deepening every year, the need to shift from single-driver cars to active and public transportation becomes more urgent. The Bay Area needs safe public transit with high-frequency service that residents can rely on to get where they need to go.

So TransForm and our allies have worked with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to pass a new regional transportation measure that will truly transform the Bay Area’s transportation network into a more sustainable, equitable, and user-friendly system. The regional transportation measure will raise enough revenue to support public transit operations and fund new biking and walking safety measures and roadway repairs. 

We need more funding for public transportation, not highway expansion

The language of the regional transportation measure is crucial. The legislature will decide whether the funds are raised from a progressive mechanism like a property tax or a regressive sales tax. It will set the parameters determining how much new funding the measure will produce and how it will be allocated. And, critically, the legislature can decide to allow some of the funds to be used not just for roadway repairs but to build new lanes. The expense of even one highway building project could eat through the funding, leaving little for transit or active transportation.

TransForm continues to advocate for:

  • A progressive funding mechanism (i.e., not a sales tax)

  • Generating $2 billion annually to transform public transportation 

  • A guaranteed minimum amount to maintain and improve transit service 

  • No funding for highway expansion.

Over 150 people emailed their legislators in our Valentine’s Day action, which kicked off our campaign at the state level. Please join us in pushing the legislature to craft a strong bill that ensures the future of public transit in the Bay Area.

It’s a long road for the regional transportation measure

The regional transportation measure will only affect the Bay Area, but the enabling legislation needs to pass the California Assembly and Senate and be signed by the governor this year. The Save Public Transit Bill, SB 925 (Wiener), provides the authority for MTC or voters to place a measure on the ballot to keep Bay Area transportation healthy and thriving. 

TransForm will be working this year to pass the enabling legislation and ensure the bill language will enable the most equitable, transformative, and climate-friendly measure possible. Once SB 925 goes through the legislature and is signed by the governor, we’ll campaign to get the votes to pass it in 2026.

1 commentaire

Jacob Courtney
Jacob Courtney
7 days ago

The legislature's choice to allocate funds for building new lanes instead of just roadway repairs could significantly impact the availability of funding for transit or active transportation. drive mad 2

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