This category contains 21 posts

Proposition 26, and its implications for transportation funding (Part 1)

Ever since voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978, California has been playing a game of cat and mouse.  Government would enact a charge, and someone would claim it was unconstitutional.  Courts, realizing that in spite of Prop 13 the government still needs money to function, would read Prop 13 narrowly, allowing new categories of government charges to pass through with a … Continue reading

AC Transit prepares for its next round of service cuts

Even while AC Transit moves forward to piece together needed approvals for the locally preferred alternative of its planned bus rapid transit route — last week, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved the LPA, and the Berkeley City Council is expected to issue its decision this week — the agency is already gearing up for … Continue reading

About Face: Governor Signs Gas Tax Swap Legislation, After All

Although Governor Schwarzenegger indicated last week that he planned to veto the the Legislature’s modification of his gas tax swap budget proposal, the Governor did an about face tonight and signed AB X8 6 and AB X8 9 into law. AB X8 6 and AB X8 9 form the pair of budget bills (explained in … Continue reading

Governor Will Veto Gas Tax Swap Legislation

Governor Schwarzenegger has indicated he will veto the legislative measures that would have executed the gas tax swap mechanism, while restoring some of the funding that transit agencies lost when the State zeroed out State Transit Assistance (STA) funds.  Agencies throughout California had previously relied on STA to fund transit operations.  The Legislature made a … Continue reading

California Legislature Passes Legislation to Restore STA Funding

Actually encouraging news … from Sacramento? Could it be?  Dare we hope? The State Legislature, as part of the ongoing state budget effort, has passed a pair of bills, AB X8 6 and AB X8 9, which would establish a tax swap and restore State Transit Assistance (STA) funding, a critical source of money that … Continue reading

Killing Muni Softly: Foreseeable Emergency

“Killing Muni Softly” is the sort of post title one would rather use at most once, preferably not at all — but certainly not as the headnote of an occasional series.  No such luck in San Francisco, where transit is caught in a death cycle that may be on course to spiral out of control.  And while … Continue reading

SFMTA Weighs Proposals To Close FY11-12 Budget Gap

Since we last wrote about the year-end FY10 budget, MTA adjusted the amount of savings that would result from certain measures and incorporated $6 million of funding from the Oakland Airport Connector’s ARRA component to be applied toward operations and preventive maintenance.  The MTA Board has since confirmed its desire to move forward with the … Continue reading

Obama FY 2011 Budget Includes Transit Funding for the Bay Area

The Obama Administration has released its proposed budget for FY 2011.  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s portion of the budget, which accounts for $78.8 billion, mostly perpetuates the status quo approach to transportation spending.  In particular, it includes requests for FHWA ($42.1 billion), FAA ($16.5 billion), FTA ($10.8 billion), the National Infrastructure Innovation and Finance … Continue reading

Killing Muni Softly: End of FY10 Budget Scramble

In December 2009, the San Francisco MTA implemented sweeping changes to Muni service that affected more than half of the routes in the system.  The changes redrew routes, renumbered routes, eliminated a few routes, eliminated some route segments, and even added some service.  While those changes have not been completely successful in all aspects, we … Continue reading

An Open Letter to the Green Governor

To Governor Schwarzenegger: It’s quite clearly the case, Green Governor, that we need to fix California’s transit systems, which are broke and breaking. Under-served areas had critical lifeline service put to the chopping block, but climate change demands that we reduce vehicle miles traveled statewide. Killing the gas sales tax and raising the excise tax … Continue reading


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