Better late than never. The Bay Area Council this week (Jan. 25) wildly cheered a ruling by the California Supreme Court tossing a lawsuit that has blocked funding from a regional transportation ballot measure we led to victory in 2018. Regional Measure 3 (RM3) secured 55% voter support for a toll increase on regional bridges to generate $4.45 billion to invest in an array of vital transportation and transit improvement projects, including the continuing expansion of regional ferry service.
The Council helped craft the legislation (SB 595, Beall) in 2017 authorizing RM3 and helped lead the campaign for its passage in June 2018. An anti-tax group almost immediately challenged the outcome, arguing that a two-thirds vote was needed for passage. A series of lower courts disagreed and the Supreme Court gave the final word.
In a celebratory statement, Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman said, “with transportation funding in decline and on the chopping block, today’s ruling couldn’t have come at a more critical time for the Bay Area. It’s a shame it took so long to beat back this ridiculous legal challenge, but it’s now time to start putting this money to work upgrading and improving our transit and other transportation systems. Bay Area voters in approving RM3 understood the critical importance of investing in transportation and that is even more true today as we work to adapt our transit and transportation systems in this post-pandemic world.”
News of the ruling was carried in numerous media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle and Mercury News.
To learn more about RM3 and the projects it will fund, please visit MTC Regional Measure 3. To engage in the Council’s transportation policy work, please contact Vice President Emily Loper.