Our coalition, composed of environmentalists, taxpayer advocates and transit advocates, has seen decades of waste in the region’s transportation spending. We want to prevent the proposed tax* from merely vacuuming up vast amounts of money for the construction industry. A November 2020 timeline is so rushed that there can be no meaningful public process to achieve a consensus plan. We want to ensure that there is a sensible plan that will achieve desirable results, BEFORE a tax goes on the ballot.
We agree that transportation needs a major fix, but the Faster Bay Area proposal, in its current vague state, won’t solve anything. On the one hand,
- Highways and local roads have far too many cars on them
- Transit is too difficult to use, because of the nearly 30 different agencies involved.
- Housing is so expensive that people commute for very long distances, making congestion far worse.
But on the other hand,
- These business groups have an agenda: to push the cost of fixing transportation onto the public. They don’t want to pay their fair share
- They have no plan for actually achieving the goals they promote.
- They are doubling-down on the failed planning strategy of the past: ask local government what they want.
- There’s actually plenty of money available. The problem is that our governance for transportation, called the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), spends it without a strategy, so things keep getting worse.
- Any proposal that places MTC in charge of newly raised money is guaranteed to fail miserably, as its performance over the last 37 years amply demonstrates.
- There are cost-effective methods to address traffic congestion without waiting decades, using existing revenue sources. Faster Bay Area is not that.
*The three major business organizations, Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and SPUR, are attempting to build support for a 1% sales tax called Faster Bay Area. It would raise the phenomenal amount of $100 billion over 40 years. They hope it will appear on the ballot in November of 2020.
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