SFMTA Board Approves Two-year Budget to Invest in Current and Future Transportation Needs
The Board of Directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today approved the agency’s two-year budget for Fiscal Year 2015 and 2016(July 2014 – June 2015 and July 2015 – June 2016). This budget makes a significant investment in the overall transportation network by increasing Muni service, making the city safer for people who walk, improving bicycle network connections, and bolstering the SFMTA’s goals to make every mode of transportation safe, accessible and affordable.
“The budget approved today invests in the future of transportation in our city,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “By supporting families, addressing affordability issues and increasing Muni service, this budget works hard to enhance how San Franciscans get from point A to point B, while doing what we can to make this city an even better place to live and work.”
The budget provides for a continued two years of free transit service for low to moderate income youth, ages 5-17, made possible by a $6.8 million gift from Google, and also extends it to 18 year olds. The budget approves the elimination of the enforcement of parking meters on Sundays and funds a three percent transit service increase based on the Muni Forward Rapid Network Improvement recommendations during the first fiscal year.
“This budget responsibly addresses San Francisco’s current and future needs fairly and equitably, increases service reliability, and makes public transportation accessible and within reach for all who need it,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “San Franciscans deserve an updated transportation system that they can rely on to get around and the passage of these budgets reflects our desire to make that happen.”
This budget also lays out plans to implement some or all of the following programs or services, contingent upon the SFMTA Board’s determination of the agency’s fiscal health in January 2015: Funding a seven percent increase in transit services in FY 2016; providing free Muni for low- and moderate-income seniors and disabled riders who use a Clipper® card as a pilot program for FY 2015 and FY 2016 effective June 1, 2015; allocating additional funding in the amount of $0.6 million in FY 2015 and $1.2 million for FY 2016 from discretionary operating funds for transit vehicle fleet cleaning and appearance; eliminating all service transaction fees effective April 1, 2015.
Increases to Muni fares as well as other fees and fines, including a 25 cent increase for daily adult cash fares on Muni, monthly transit passes, and annual parking permits are the result of the SFMTA Board’s approved Automatic Consumer Price Indexing (CPI) policy that was approved in 2009. Per a recommendation by Chairman Nolan, the Board approved a freeze on the CPI increase for senior and disabled Muni riders during the FY 2015, contingent upon approval of the free Muni proposal for low- and moderate-income seniors and disabled riders that will be determined in January 2015, after the board evaluates the fiscal health of the agency.
Key components of two-year capital budget:
The Capital Budget consists of $562.9 million in FY15 and $637 million in FY16 ($32 million will come from the additional general fund allocation that is contingent upon upcoming November ballot measures). Funding commitments over the two years include:
- Bicycle Projects: $52.5 million
- Pedestrian Projects: $10.9 million
- Traffic/Signals: $33.6 million
- Traffic calming: $11.6 million
- Muni Forward Transit Optimization/Expansion: $118.9 million
- Muni Forward Fleet renewal and expansion: $468.9 million
“In order to make better transportation in San Francisco a reality, we need to invest in shoring up and strengthening our transportation infrastructure. Voters will have the opportunity to approve two transportation funding measures on the November 2014 ballot that will create new and stable funding sources for core transportation needs including smoother roads, improved transit reliability and reduced crowding, pedestrian safety enhancements, and better-defined bikeways,” said Reiskin. “With these local sources of funding, we will be able to improve transportation now and for the future.”
An increase to the SFMTA’s two-year Capital budget is reflective of the additional monies that could be realized if two transportation funding measures slated for the November 2014 ballot are passed. Recommended by the Mayor’s Transportation Task Force, which investigated what must be done to fix the transportation system for the people of San Francisco, the city is now pursuing a $500 million General Obligation transportation bond and a measure to increase the local vehicle license fee for the November 2014 ballot. These funding measures will work together to create a $1.5 billion transportation funding package that will, over the next 15 years, invest in better roads, safer streets and improved transit.