Much Work Before Regional Transportation Funding Measure Is Ready for the Ballot

As BART and other transit agencies work to recover ridership lost during the pandemic and the shift to remote work, the Bay Area Council last week (Feb. 8) joined a panel of experts convened by the BART Board of Directors to provide insights on what it will take to pass a future regional transportation funding measure. BART is one of many transportation and other groups around the region working to craft a funding measure.

Council Vice President Emily Loper urged the BART Board to take a number of actions to bolster voter and rider confidence in the system, including continuing to focus on safety and cleanliness; working with the region’s many other transit agencies to deliver a more seamless and integrated rider experience; and re-imagining their operations to make them more fiscally sustainable, efficient and cost-effective. The Council, which has been a strong and leading advocate for addressing safety concerns on the system, applauds BART for the important action it has taken to bolster police presence on trains and in stations and increase cleaning.

Also last week (Feb. 9), the Council’s Transportation Committee hosted Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to discuss legislation (SB 925) he is authoring that would authorize the Bay Area to pursue a regional transportation measure as early as 2026. Sen. Wiener provided an overview of the types of projects the measure could fund, the potential revenue mechanisms, and what employers can do to incentivize more employees to commute on transit. Nearly 100 Council members joined to provide crucial feedback on what employers need to see to help their employees commute to work around the region.

The Council, which was instrumental in creating BART, has been the leading voice over the past several years to improve the rider experience on the system. The Council also played a leading role in securing $5.1 billion in the state budget last year for transit to stave off service cuts and we’ve been a chief advocate over many decades for investing in transit and securing billions in local, state and federal funding for capital projects and operations.

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