Frequently Asked Questions

What is Transportation 2030?

Transportation 2030 is San Francisco’s transportation infrastructure investment program to invest in better roads, improved transit and safer streets throughout the city. The program recommends a series of funding measures that would provide almost $3 billion to fund hundreds of local transportation infrastructure projects by 2030. The funds would go toward street repaving, new Muni vehicles, transit stop and route upgrades, pedestrian safety enhancements, Muni train track replacement projects, well-defined bikeways, accessibility enhancements and other infrastructure improvements.

Two measures, a $500 million Transportation and Road Improvement Bond and a population-based set-aside for transportation, passed as Propositions A and B in November 2014. These new funds will invest in improving Muni reliability and travel speed, upgrading transit stops and stations, purchasing new Muni buses, enhancing safety for people walking and bicycling, and preparing for growth on the City’s busiest travel corridors.

How will Transportation 2030 improve transportation in San Francisco?

Transportation 2030 investments will result in better roads, improved transit and safer streets in San Francisco. The program includes targeted investments in local transportation infrastructure, focusing on some of the city’s most pressing needs and most effective, cost-efficient improvements.

In future years, three more funding measures would raise funds locally to invest in these critical projects:

  1. A restoration of the vehicle license fee to 2 percent locally to provide a long-term source of funding for local transportation projects, including road repaving and new Muni vehicles. For vehicles registered to San Francisco addresses, the VLF would increase from 0.65 percent to 2 percent, its traditional rate until 1998.
  2. A half-cent sales tax dedicated to transportation funding. Significant investments include improving Muni’s rail system and expanding and maintaining its vehicle fleet.
  3. A second $500 million bond to continue investing in urgent transportation needs as the City continues to grow and its infrastructure continues to age.

San Franciscans approved two transportation funding measures in November 2014. What do they fund?

Proposition A, the Transportation and Road Improvement Bond, is investing $500 million in some of San Francisco’s most critical transportation needs to make city streets safer and improve Muni. Specific investments include:

Improved Transit: $358 million

  • More reliable service on Muni’s busiest routes – including the 8X Bayshore Express, the 38/38L Geary, the 14/14L Mission, and all Muni Metro routes.
  • Improved transit stops and routes – new elevators and escalators, accessibility improvements, better signage and wayfinding.
  • Muni maintenance facility upgrades, leading to fewer breakdowns and more reliable service.
  • Plan and design large-scale transportation projects of citywide benefit, such as bus rapid transit.

Safer Streets: $142 million

  • Proven safety upgrades, such as such as pedestrian signals, lighting enhancements, traffic calming measures and wider, more visible crosswalks, on our most dangerous streets.
  • Up to 30 miles of safer, better-defined bikeways that protect all road users.
  • Modern traffic lights to make streets safer for people walking and improve traffic flows.

Proposition B requires the City to adjust funding for transportation each year based on population growth. With these funds, the City will purchase Muni vehicles and complete street safety projects. In the future new revenue sources could replace the population-based funds to ensure a stable, long-term commitment to improving and maintaining the local transportation network.

Aren’t we already paying for transportation services?

The majority of funding for transportation comes from Muni fares and parking revenues, not from taxes, and pays for the ongoing operation of the Muni system, not the infrastructure repairs required to keep the system in good working order.

The only tax that directly pays for infrastructure repairs and investments is the Proposition K sales tax, but the city’s transportation infrastructure need far exceeds the funding provided by this source.

How did San Francisco’s transportation infrastructure get so old and unreliable?

Funding for local transportation infrastructure has been insufficient for decades. The results of underinvestment are the potholed roads, unreliable transit and sometimes vulnerable street conditions we experience daily.

Locally, the city has struggled for many years to adequately invest in maintaining its infrastructure. Only in the past eight years has there been a comprehensive program to strategically invest in maintaining city assets such as parks, hospitals and fire stations.

Before 2014, the last time the City of San Francisco voted on a bond for public transportation was 1966, and it did not pass.

At the state level, California spends the majority of its transportation budget on highways, and as a whole, state funding for transportation projects is often unstable. While Californians did pass a statewide transportation bond in 2006, Proposition 1B, most of the projects funded by this bond have been completed and the money spent.

As a nation, the US is at a critical juncture in how it pays for transportation. The federal gas tax, which has been the primary method of paying for transportation infrastructure since 1956, has lost 1/3 of its buying power. Furthermore, currently 85% of the gas tax goes to the highway system and only 15% to mass transit. The last time the federal gas tax was raised was in 1993. Today, the federal gas tax is only 18.4 cents per gallon, and it has not been adjusted for inflation.

San Franciscans cannot depend on the state or federal governments to find transportation funding solutions to fix our city’s problems now. In order to create better roads, improved transit and safer streets, we’ll need to invest in them using local funds.

How were Transportation 2030 projects chosen?

In 2013, Mayor Ed Lee convened a Transportation Task Force made up of over 40 stakeholders, including transportation experts and advocates, policy leaders, members of the Board of Supervisors, the disability community, and large and small businesses. The Task Force undertook extensive analysis of the city’s transportation network and made recommendations on what needed improvements. To develop its recommendations, the Task Force worked from the many plans and strategies developed in recent years by city agencies partnering with local communities and stakeholders.

The projects identified by Transportation 2030 are based on existing plans, programs and strategies that have gone through extensive review and community process. Examples include the Transit Effectiveness Project, which held 15 community meetings between January to March 2014 alone, and the WalkFirst initiative which took direct feedback from San Franciscans on pedestrian safety through focus groups, surveys and an interactive website.

How can I be sure the money will be responsibly managed?

The Transportation 2030 program represents the highest levels of transparency and fiscal accountability. It includes rigorous public oversight, reporting and financial accountability measures, including regular review before public boards and expenditure reporting on a public website.

Transportation 2030 is a key part of San Francisco’s 10-Year Capital Plan, a formal commitment to long-term, strategic and fiscally responsible investment in the city’s public infrastructure.

How many jobs will the 2014 Transportation and Road Improvement Bond create?

Proposition A, the 2014 Transportation and Road Improvement Bond, is projected to create 4,610 jobs in San Francisco over the next six to eight years. Based on the City Controller’s estimates, about nine jobs are created for every $1 million spent on construction-related projects.

To encourage local hiring, Transportation 2030 legislation states that proceeds from these funding measures must maximize employment opportunities for economically disadvantaged individuals through the city’s employment referral program. And San Francisco is committed to exceeding local hiring goals, currently at a 30 percent minimum requirement for local hires.

Will this increase taxes?

The two measures passed in 2014 will not lead to any increase in tax rates. To fund Proposition A, the Transportation and Road Improvement Bond, the city will add new debt only as old debt is retired. The population-based funds will come from the City’s general fund and are not connected to a new revenue source.

In future years, voters will have the opportunity to approve a local restoration of the vehicle license fee and an increase to the local sales tax, providing stable, long-term funds to fix San Francisco’s aging transportation infrastructure.

What will happen if the funding measures recommended in Transportation 2030 are not approved?

Without additional investment in transportation infrastructure, the city’s transportation system will continue to degrade and it will become more stressful and difficult to get around the city.

The cost to complete essential projects escalates at least 5 percent for every year we do not invest. The investment program will save taxpayers money in the long run.

Rather than waiting for conditions to get so bad that they require extensive repairs, this program will help us maintain road and transit conditions much more inexpensively.

How can I find out more?

For more information, please email us at transportation2030@sfmta.com or call us at 415.701.4686.