Proposed Bond Introduced to the City’s Capital Planning Committee and the Board of Supervisors
The demands on San Francisco’s transportation system have grown and revenues from transit fares and parking fees have not kept up. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened this problem. New revenue sources to fund our system are needed. The first step is a proposed $400 million Muni Reliability and Street Safety Bond that would support priority transportation capital investments across San Francisco. On Tuesday, December 7, the SFMTA Board of Directors voted to urge the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to place the Bond on the June 2022 ballot. Additionally, the Bond earlier this week was reviewed by City’s Capital Planning Committee and yesterday introduced to the Board of Supervisors.
The recommended Bond would provide financial resources to improve the transportation system, increase street safety, and meet the long-term needs of the City. Based on both the agency’s infrastructure needs and priorities identified in the SFMTA community survey, as well as outreach, the proposed Bond is focused on keeping Muni equipment and facilities working efficiently, providing quick and convenient transit access, improving Muni service for communities that depend on transit, ensuring Muni service is inclusive and accessible to all, making street safety improvements for people walking and biking.
The proposed Bond would fund repairs and upgrades to aging bus yards and equipment. This will allow the SFMTA have more modern facilities, maintenance bays and equipment to repair the Muni bus fleet, reducing vehicle breakdowns and supporting reliable Muni service. Additionally, funding on-street infrastructure improvements for public transit will support faster, more reliable, and more frequent Muni service. The proposed Bond would fund improvements to reduce congestion for transit, such as traffic signals that get buses through intersections quickly, wider sidewalks at bus stops for easier, more accessible boarding, and dedicated transit lanes. Finally, the Bond would provide funding to modernize the 20-year-old Muni train control system and leverage substantial state and federal matching funds for the project to increase subway capacity and reduce delays.
Bond Components are split across two major programs:
Make the Transportation System Work Better Amount
Speed up Muni repairs and keep public transit moving by repairing, upgrading and maintaining aging bus yards, facilities and equipment ($250 million)
Enable faster, more reliable, and more frequent Muni service by improving on-street infrastructure for public transit ($26 million)
Increase subway capacity, reduce delays, and deliver dependable, high-frequency transit by modernizing the Muni train control system ($10 million)
Improve Street Safety and Traffic Flow
Improve safety and visibility at intersections by upgrading traffic signals, signage, and crossings ($42 million)
Increase safety for walking and bicycling and access for Muni connections along major corridors by redesigning streets and sidewalks ($42 million)
Slow speeds and reduce crashes by implementing traffic calming and speed reduction tools ($30 million)
The Transportation 2050 effort is based on transportation needs and priorities identified by the community over the last eight years through two Mayoral transportation task forces (T2030 and T2045) with additional input from the city’s Muni Reliability Working Group in 2020. Transportation 2050 evaluates the resources needed to achieve the community’s vision for transportation developed through the city’s ConnectSF planning process, as well as infrastructure needs identified in the SFMTA’s 20-Year Capital Plan.
The proposed Muni Reliability and Street Safety Bond is just one of the community’s recommended strategies to invest in the transportation system and is only one piece of the funding puzzle.
Under-investment in transportation has been a decades-long trend. Existing transportation funding draws on multiple local, state, and federal sources, each of which can be uncertain. For example, funding from the city’s Proposition K transportation sales tax or local and federal grants make improvements to our streets and public transit but are not enough and are too variable to address the larger need.
Transportation 2050 considers a package of revenue sources over several years to sustain a more reliable, affordable, and safer transportation system. Through a combination of local ballot measures, continued state and federal grants, and the development of SFMTA properties, we can put our transportation system on firmer financial footing. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for regular updates.