At the risk of rubbing salt in the wounds of those affected by today’s “sick out” by Muni workers which has left two-thirds of Muni’s vehicles stuck in the yards, the Mayor’s recently established “Transportation Task Force 2030” has come to two rather troubling conclusions:
- The City’s infrastructure is inadequate to meet current demand and decline in transportation services will become more severe without new investments as the City grows and demand for transportation increases.
- Required improvements to the City’s transportation system infrastructure are estimated at $10.1 billion over the next 15 years. The City has identified $3.8 billion in funding, leaving a $6.3 billion funding gap over the next 15 years.
The latest report from the Task Force characterizes our existing Muni service as “slow and unreliable” (with an average operating speed of eight miles per hour and current on-time performance of less than 63%). And while San Francisco’s population is expected to boom, BART stations in the city are expected to reach capacity in 2016.
The Task Force’s proposed approach to address the current state of affairs and funding needs:
- Future investments should focus on primarily improving [the City’s existing transportation capital and infrastructure] (54%);next enhancing the existing system (32%); then expanding to meet growth (14%).
- The City should support two General Obligation bonds, each for $500 million, to fund bond eligible infrastructure improvements.
- Vehicle License Fees should be increased to 2 percent to fund transportation improvements.
- Sales tax should be increased by 0.5 percent to fund remaining highest priority transportation projects.
- City leaders and regional agencies should continue to seek additional transportation funding to fill the gap of unfunded, underfunded, or delayed projects and priorities.
By increasing taxes and fees and issuing bonds, the Task Force believes that San Francisco will be better positioned to compete for matching investments from state and federal sources. No mention of developing a vaccination to eradicate any future “sicks.”