TransForm is pleased to offer its support of the proposed renewal, extension, and increase of Alameda County’s transportation funding measure, often known as “Measure B”.
Many of you have been following the fact that Alameda County faces a big decision in November. Transportation officials plan to ask voters to double the existing transportation sales tax, extend it in perpetuity, and approve a $7.8 billion plan for the next 30 years of spending. This would be the largest transportation funding measure ever in northern California.
TransForm was intimately engaged in efforts to shape the spending plan, working with a diverse coalition since 2010. The Final Plan, passed in January, included many of the changes we and others recommended. On Thursday (May 24), the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) will take the next step, asking the Board of Supervisors to place the measure on the November ballot.
After doing an extensive analysis of the proposed reauthorization Measure B Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) and discussing it with members and partner groups, TransForm has decided to SUPPORT the proposed reauthorization, increase, and extension of the measure.
In the discussions leading up to the adoption of the final plan, TransForm worked with a broad coalition of groups who came together behind a "Community Vision Platform" with specific recommendations about changes to the spending plan and the language describing specific projects and programs. We encouraged members of the public to speak out and worked with ACTC staff to improve the plan. By the time the final plan was adopted in January, it included many of the changes we and others had recommended, but certainly not all of them.
We recognize that the final plan is the result of a long process with many voices. It is not perfect, but we believe it is good enough to deserve our support.
TransForm supports the new Measure B because it would fund several vital improvements: restore cut bus service, start a new youth bus pass program, repair potholes, and make unprecedented investments for pedestrian and bicycle safety and infrastructure and for transit-oriented development. We remain concerned about some components of the plan and we will continue to address our concerns in other appropriate decision-making arenas. For example, we will continue to press for fast, effective transit that serves Livermore residents while making sure all riders have a BART system that is safe and affordable.
On balance, we believe Alameda County will be better off with the new Measure B plan. In the coming months TransForm plans to help educate voters and encourage passage of the new Measure B plan on the November ballot. We will also continue to work with decision-makers to address transportation and land use planning issues in Alameda County and throughout the region.