COMMISSIONER PESKIN’S INAUGURAL REMARKS AFTER BEING ELECTED TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY CHAIR

January 24, 2017

Good morning, colleagues. Thank you again for your support in helping to guide this body through its next big chapter. The Transportation Authority is the steering mechanism for San Francisco’s sustainable and balanced growth strategies, and with your input and guidance, I think that we are poised to make some smart investments to bolster a bold planning vision for our city and our region.

In 2016, we worked in partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments to update the Plan Bay Area, our region’s smart growth blueprint. Plan Bay Area forecasts 137,000 new households and almost 300,000 new jobs for San Francisco between 2010 and 2040—all of which we will accommodate with a strategic and responsible balance of affordable housing and neighborhood-serving transportation infrastructure.

Guided by our climate and equity goals, the Transportation Authority is focused on maintaining and upgrading our existing transportation infrastructure, including shepherding the pending arrival of 151 light rail vehicles and 42 additional vehicles to expand our light rail fleet. In addition, we have prepared strategies to bolster our core systems—particularly safety improvements to transit, pedestrian projects and cycling facilities.

We continue to lead in the creation of complete communities through transit-oriented development, and I want to thank the SFMTA and Planning for partnering with us to examine TOD at underutilized bus yards citywide.

This body has led the region in advocating for data-driven Vision Zero safety investments citywide, particularly in communities and neighborhoods where our most vulnerable residents are competing with heavy congestion and fast-moving arterials.

This year, we will help shape regional measure 3, MTC’s planned bridge toll increase measure for 2018, and of course looking at reasonable ways to ensure that our public realm is being utilized safely and responsibly—whether you’re a bikeshare or not.

We have had tremendous progress, but there is still much to do, as I said in my opening comments to the Annual Report. I want to be candid with respect to where we are at, acknowledging our strengths and victories while keeping our focus on the work ahead. Muni trip times are still unreliable, our roads continue to need repaving while in a constant state of construction repair and we frankly our Vision Zero goals still have not been fully realized.

To address all of these issues, we are going to need local revenue, and I have tasked our SFCTA staff to work with my office and our SFMTA and Public Works department heads to identify local sources of funding to ensure we hit the goals outlined in our annual report. We know that we need to generate long-term sustainable revenue, and whether it’s an income tax locally, a Vehicle License Fee, or a combination of several sources, this body and the City and County will need to take bold steps to ensure our collective success.

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