SFMTA Board Approves $1.2 Billion Annual Operating Budget to Expand Transit Service
The Board of Directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) yesterday approved the agency’s annual $1.2 billion two-year operating budget for fiscal years 2019 and 2020.
This budget makes significant investments to enhance San Francisco mobility by adding more rail cars, opening a new bus maintenance facility and launching Central Subway service in 2019. The capital budget continues to advance Vision Zero, the city’s effort to eliminate traffic fatalities, and Muni Forward, which was designed to address transit delays, improve reliability and increase the safety and comfort of customers along Muni’s most popular routes
“The budget approved yesterday balances the transportation needs of a growing city,” said Cheryl Brinkman, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Not only does it expand Muni service, but it keeps it equitable, low-cost and accessible for people who depend on it every day. I thank staff for all of the work to pull this together and uphold our commitments to transit and street safety.”
This operating budget outlines plans to expand Muni service by adding 68 new train cars, applying recommendations from the Muni Service Equity Strategy and launching Central Subway service. Changes include:
- Increased service because of new train cars: J Church, K Ingleside, L Taraval, M Oceanview, N Judah;
- Additional service based on Equity Strategy recommendations: 12 Folsom, 29 Sunset, 44 O’Shaughnessy, 48 Quintara, 56 Rutland;
- Larger vehicles based on Equity Strategy recommendations: 9R San Bruno Rapid and 30 Stockton; and
- Increased service from Central Subway launch: T Third
“This budget is a strong one, sustaining much of the work we are doing across the agency and recommending targeted enhancements, particularly in Muni service, as we welcome new rail cars into service, a new bus maintenance facility into operation, and the startup of the Central Subway,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation.
The operating budget also provides continued funding for free transit service for low-income youth, seniors and disabled riders. It will also supports the opening of the Islais Creek bus maintenance yard, adds additional Muni/BART station homeless services and provides relief to the taxi industry through targeted fee reductions, including a fifty percent reduction to the medallion renewal fee for Prop K medallion holders and a fifty percent reduction to the taxi stand application fee.
To further promote Muni ridership and incentivize pre-payment of fares, the Board voted to increase the single-ride cash fare differential (the difference between the cash price and the price paid using MuniMobile or a Clipper Card) to fifty cents. The agency will also adopt a new low-income single-ride fare to meet the needs of low-income riders and complement the Monthly Pass program; will implement a new Adult Day Pass to increase flexibility for regular customers and incentivize pre-payment; and authorize a 10 percent discount for bulk purchases.
Key components of two-year capital budget:
The Capital Budget is the SFMTA’s two-year financial plan and consolidated capital program. It represents the first two years of the SFMTA’s Five-Year Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
Projects funded through this two-year budget include infrastructure investments as well as various procurements and other one-time initiatives (plans, educational programs, etc.) to be implemented throughout the city.
The FY 2019-20 Capital Budget consists of $513.5 million in FY19 and $630.8 million in FY20. Funding commitments over the two years include:
- Street Safety Projects: $94.8 million
- Traffic and parking improvements: $34.5 million
- Transit Fleet Upgrades: $117.1 million
- Transit infrastructure: $118.9 million
- Transit expansion/optimization: $426 million
“Our capital budget continues to powerfully advance Vision Zero, Muni Forward, and other initiatives, such as improvements to our facilities,” said Reiskin. “With these local sources of funding, we will be able to improve transportation now and for the future.”
Funding for SFMTA’s capital projects comes from more than 30 local, state, regional and federal sources. In addition to providing $27 million/year for transit operations, state SB1 revenues are projected to provide am $9.5 million/year state to fund state of good repair capital projects as well as additional resources from a variety of competitive grant programs. However, these revenues are uncertain as a ballot measure to repeal SB1 is likely to appear on the November ballot.
Projects contained in the proposed FY 2019 - FY 2020 Capital Budget continue to reflect the SFMTA Board of Directors’ adopted policies and plans including Vision Zero, Transit First, the San Francisco Pedestrian Strategy, the SFMTA Bicycle Strategy, the City and County of San Francisco Adopted Area Plans, the SFMTA Strategic Plan, and the San Francisco County Transportation Plan.
The SFMTA oversees all ground transportation in San Francisco, which includes operating the Municipal Railway as well as maintaining 1,212 signalized intersections, 447 lane miles of bicycle paths, 441,950 publicly available parking spaces (including garages) and more. The agency is also responsible for providing paratransit service and regulating the taxi industry as well as some emerging mobility services.
“The SFMTA has worked closely with Senior Disability Action and its constituents to ensure our needs and concerns were heard as they were developing the budget package. I am pleased, as are our members, that programs for seniors and low-income have been preserved,” Jessica Lehman Director of Senior Disability Action.