Billions needed to fix transit in S.F.

By Michael Cabanatuan and John Coté : sfgate – excerpt

San Francisco’s transportation system – famous for its slow Muni buses, pothole-pocked streets and inadequate bike and pedestrian amenities – needs a lot of help: $10.1 billion worth, a task force appointed by the mayor has concluded.
And, the panel adds, city leaders should ask voters to approve nearly $3 billion in taxes, bonds and fees to help pay the bill…
After months of study and discussion, the group concluded that the city has $10.1 billion in transportation infrastructure needs through 2030 and that the bulk of those needs are in maintaining and improving the core of the existing system, which has been neglected for decades. That means replacing and expanding the city’s bus and streetcar fleet, systematically and regularly repairing streets, and dealing with Muni’s overcrowding, unreliability and slowness, which riders have complained about for years…

$3.8 billion short: The task force will recommend that the Board of Supervisors put before the voters three ballot measures that would each raise roughly $1 billion…

  • Two $500 million general obligation bonds – one in November 2014 and another in November 2024.
  • A measure to raise the vehicle license fee from 0.65 percent to 2 percent – in November 2014. State law allows San Francisco voters to restore the fee, which was cut by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • A proposition that would increase the sales tax by half a cent – in November 2016. That would raise the city sales tax from 8.75 percent to 9.25 percent.


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