Details on the Sales taxes we are already paying as of:
SALES TAX LIST – Bay Area Trans Taxes 10 19 19
Details on the Sales taxes we are already paying as of:
SALES TAX LIST – Bay Area Trans Taxes 10 19 19
By Wendell Cox : newgeography – excerpt
The Reason Foundation has just published an important review of transit in Los Angeles County, by transportation consultant Thomas A. Rubin and University of Southern California Professor James E. Moore II. A total of four reports have been released, under the title A Critical Review of Los Angeles Metro’s 28 by 2028 Plan. Links are provided at the end of this article. More reports are to follow.
Rubin, former Chief Financial Officer at the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) and founder of the Deloitte transportation practice, and Professor Moore have published extensively on transportation issues, and in particular, on developments in Los Angeles.
Background on the Rail and Busway System
Four decades ago (1980), Los Angeles County embarked on a huge rail transit development program, when the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC) adopted Proposition A, which was enacted by the voters and took effect after successfully defending a California state Supreme Court challenge (Note). As a board member of LACTC, I was pleased to have drafted and introduced the amendment that created the rail funding set aside in Proposition A, out of a belief that such a system would alleviate traffic congestion in Los Angeles. Experience has proven otherwise, as traffic delays per commuter have risen 60 percent since the early 1980s, according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute Annual Mobility Report.
Rubin and Moore demonstrate that building the rail (and fixed busway) system has cost considerably more than anticipated while the revenue from the multiple sales taxes passed by voters has fallen short of projections. Nearly $20 billion (not inflation adjusted) was spent on construction through 2016…
Links to the four reports are below.
1. Introduction, Overview, and the Birth of Transit in Los Angeles
2. The Rise of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
3. Metro’s Transit Ridership Is Declining
4. Metro’s Long Range Plans Overpromise and Underdeliver
Note: LACTC and SCRTD merged in 1993, creating Metro (the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority).…(more)
By Holly Quan : kcbsradio – excerpt (in cludes audio)
OAKLAND — Early morning commuters are getting an early warning from BART that starting in February the first trains won’t start rolling until 5 a.m., an hour later than now.
The schedule change will affect commuters for the next three and a half years as the transit agency conducts seismic retrofitting of the Transbay Tube.
Roughly 3,000 riders regularly use BART during the hour of service that’s poised to be eliminated… (more)
One of the best reasons to not vote for any more transit bonds is to avoid these cutbacks. The more money they get the worse the service is.
Dear SaveMuni members and friends,
For a variety of reasons San Francisco needs strong representation on the BART Board. Given the constant pressure from the eastern and southern parts of the Region to put extensions of BART service to their areas ahead of properly operating and maintaining the core system, strong San Francisco representation on the BART Board is now more important than ever
BART Board District 8 covers the northern, western and southern parts of San Francisco. At the 10/15 Save Muni meeting we heard from the five District 8 candidates…all earnestly trying to win the seat. One candidate stood out. Eva Chao is smart, serious, independent and has clearly been doing her homework about BART. Most of the input from the other candidates centered around ideas familiar to every newspaper reader or, in one case, pie-in-the-sky subway-building fantasies. What was particularly impressive about Ms. Chao’s approach was her independent and thoughtful responses to important BART operational and financial issues.
Her campaign needs are not huge, but she needs financial help and other indications of support. Please help her to get elected. Send checks and endorsements to:
“Eva Chao for BART Director 2018”
Mailing address: 9460 TEGNER ROAD, HILMAR, CA 95324
Or, you can donate on-line, https://evaforbart2018.org/home
This is an important race.
Regards to all,
We support Eva Chao for District 8 and all the other BART Board candidates who are interested in running the BART transportation system instead of getting involved in other enterprises such as construction projects. BART has enough on its plate without taking on anything else. It is so close to being a good transportation choice it just needs a few tweaks to make it better.
By Ben Christopher : calmatters – excerpt (includes graphics)
California Republicans say that drivers can have smoother roads, more reliable public transit—and lower taxes.
In November, voters will get the chance to repeal a recent increase in the state gas tax and assorted vehicle fees. That tax hike—an extra 12 cents per gallon of gasoline, 20 cents per gallon of diesel, and two new vehicle registration fees—was signed into state law last year, part of a Democratic-led transportation package that directs an extra $5 billion per year toward the state’s dilapidated roads and highways. Making voters pay more at the pump is a tough political sell, but Democrats and other defenders of the law argue that our infrastructure is long overdue for an upgrade. The gas tax hasn’t been increased in over 20 years while the cost of highway construction has tripled. And, they say, you can’t get something for nothing.
Not so, say supporters of the repeal, Proposition 6. Chief among them is John Cox, the Republican running to be California’s next governor… (more)
caltransit – excerpt
The California Transit Association’s 2018 Spring Legislative Conference takes place May 22-23 at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria in Sacramento….
With Defending Our Future as the theme, this year’s program will feature an in-depth discussion of Senate Bill 1 – both the opportunities presented by this monumental new transportation funding package, and threats posed by current efforts to repeal the funding measure through a statewide ballot initiative. In addition to discussion on other timely topics, such as the potential Innovative Clean Transit regulation, attendees will get an update on the Association’s legislative priorities for the current year… (more)
Sounds as if the California Transit Association is in doubt of their future if they are concerned with defending it. Wonder what the legislative priorities are going to be other than protecting SB 1.
By Katy Murphy : santacruzsentinel – excerpt
SACRAMENTO >> A state Senate bill to allow local authorities to place a 1/8-cent sales tax for Caltrain on the ballot in Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Mateo counties cleared the Assembly on Friday, pushing it close to the finish line.
Senate Bill 797, by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, is part of an effort to raise $100 million annually for the popular train that shuttles more than 60,000 riders on weekdays up and down the Peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose… (more)
More tax updates from a nine-county perspective.
I asked a transit expert to compare the two cities. Here is the response.
TAR: LA and SF are two of the worst, overall, in the U.S. If you look at
the rankings, LA is almost always the absolutely worst.
However, as a practical matter, it comes down to particular commutes in each
Transit is different in LA. To a large extent, the only place where transit
can really be competitive is peak-hour commutes to the central business
district — and LA has, by far, the smallest CBD relative to urbanized area
population in the U.S., if not the world. Also, believe it or not, greater
LA is, by far, the densest urbanized area in the U.S. and is almost dead
last in freeway center-line miles and total road miles per capita (I win a
lot of bar bets on these two). But, much of LA has a very good grid system
of arterial streets and LA-DOT is world-class, particularly on traffic
signal progressions and the like.
So, in a strange way, commuting is better in LA than in SF. Because we
don’t have a single huge downtown that a whole lot of people are trying to
get to, there is a much better work/live balance, and people have shorter
commutes to the distributive downtowns and other disbursed work locations.
Also, Greater LA is one of the poorest regions in the nation; we’ve just
about kicked out the last of the middle class and the good middle class
jobs, so we have some very rich and a lot of very, very poor – even more so
than in SF, which is saying something. So, the bus system is very highly
utilized, frequently with the highest average load factor in the industry
(fighting New York City and Honolulu for that “honor”).
But, while SF started with a very good – but very old – rail system, which
was then added to by BART, starting fifty years ago, LA lost the last of
what was the finest rail system in the nation in 1961 – and then tried for
years to get something going. Finally, in 1980, the rail proponents passed
a one-half cent sales tax to begin building rail – which was supposed to
provide eleven rail lines all over the County. Thirty-seven years later,
and three more half-cent sales taxes (Los Angeles County Metropolitan
Transportation Authority gets over $3.5 BILLION a year in sales tax revenues
that no one outside the County has any say over) – and we have about half
of that rail system built.
Unfortunately, this has come at the expense of the bus system, which has
suffered through multiple fare increases (when the median bus rider
HOUSEHOLD income is $15,000, trying to afford even one thirty-day pass at
$100 is a rather large segment of income) and reductions in service, so
total ridership has been going steadily down – even after $16 billion spent
on building new rail lines (and that’s just for the ones that have been
If you want more detail, here’s a link to something I prepared about fifteen
The only thing that has really changed since this was written is that two
more rail lines have been finished and went into service, another half-cent
sales tax was passed, even more rail lines have been started – and
ridership has continued to drop.
Sad, isn’t it?
By Catherine Cruz : kitv – excerpt (includes video)
HONOLULU – Former Hawaii governor Ben Cayetano took out a full page ad in Friday’s Washington Post newspaper. The letter calls on the President to terminate Honolulu’s Full Funding Agreement for transit.
“Honolulu’s rail project does not deserve a single dollar more from the federal government. It has become a poster boy of how politics, incompetence, disinformation and outright lies are at the root of wasteful projects which do little for the public except raise taxes.”
The ad also notes that the city is at least $3 billion short and six years behind schedule.
The ad comes as the legislature decides next week on whether to extend the half percent excise tax an extra two years or another ten.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell released the following statement:
“The people of O’ahu have now gone through three election cycles where rail was the issue of the day, and each time affirmed that rail should be completed as originally planned with 20 miles of guideway and 21 stations. In each of those elections, ads like the one that appeared in today’s Washington Post were paid for by those who oppose the project, as is their right under the First Amendment. I remain focused on working really hard to extend the city’s half-percent rail surcharge for at least another 10 years. This will allow the country’s first driverless train to reach all the way to Ala Moana Center and ensure a viable project. That’s what the people of O‘ahu expect, and that’s what I’m concentrating on.”
Tune in to KITV Island News at 5, 6 and 10 as rail proponents react to this latest campaign… (more)
California is not alone in the quest for bogus transit project funds. Governor is already under attack for the “pothole” gas tax he just signed. People are watching that money and there is already a recall effort out of San Diego.
By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt
San Francisco voters voted overwhelmingly to approve $150 million for improved transit and homeless services Tuesday night — while rejecting by a similar margin a sales tax increase that would provide the funds.
Election night results in San Francisco show Proposition K, a three-quarter sales tax increase that would have taken effect in April of next year, failing with 67 percent of voters against the increase.
The 0.75 percent sales tax increase — to 9.25 percent — would have provided funds for Proposition J that would create the Homeless Housing and Services Fund and the Transportation Improvement Fund… (more)
“San Francisco’s current sales tax is at 8.75 percent, but will decrease to 8.5 percent after Dec. 31, 2016.”
Voters need to look forward to lower taxes in this volatile, unpredictable economy with high rents and evictions looming. They are watching SFMTA roll out one ridiculous future project after another non-stop while they are being squeezed out of the city.
In spite of all the back-slapping at City Hall the public does not appreciate the constant “improvements” being slapped down on the streets at our expenses, and no amount of PR and advertising dollars will convince us to spend another dime on systems we will never live to see.