The San Francisco Board of Supervisors placed Measure L on the November 2022 ballot. The measure would approve a new 2022 Transportation Expenditure Plan and extend the existing half-cent sales tax for transportation for 30 years to fund the new plan. Measure L does not raise the city’s sales tax level and requires two-thirds majority approval by San Francisco voters before it can be enacted.
The half-cent sales tax was first approved by San Francisco voters in 1989. Voters continued the half-cent sales tax in 2003 with the adoption of a newTransportation Expenditure Plan, which is currently in place. If Measure L were to be approved, it would replace the existing Expenditure Plan.
What is in the Transportation Expenditure Plan?
The 2022 Transportation Expenditure Plan will help deliver safer, smoother streets and more reliable transit; support paratransit services for seniors and persons with disabilities; reduce congestion; and improve air quality.
The Transportation Expenditure Plan includes funding for:
- Neighborhood-level investments such as crosswalks, traffic calming, new and upgraded traffic signals, bicycle lanes, and Safe Routes to School programs.
- Citywide improvements like electrifying Muni’s bus fleet, transit signal priority, maintaining buses and trains so they operate safely and reliably, and increasing capacity on both Muni and BART to reduce crowding
- Implementing improvements identified in community-based plans across the city and particularly in Equity Priority Communities
- Major projects like the Downtown Caltrain Extension, bringing Caltrain to the Salesforce Transit Center
In total, the Transportation Expenditure Plan invests approximately $2.6 billion over 30 years in the following areas:
2022 Transportation Expenditure Plan
$2.6 billion (2020 dollars) in sales tax revenues over 30 years*
* Includes both Priority 1 (conservative forecast) and Priority 2 (more optimistic) revenues.
There are several reasons we are working on a new Transportation Expenditure Plan for the half-cent transportation sales tax:
- All but one of the major capital projects in the current plan are done or under construction. (See how investments have benefited San Franciscans over the years.)
- Several programs have advanced funds to enable early benefits and are now running out of money.
- Sales tax provides an important source of funding for projects that can support the city’s economic recovery and maintain or create jobs.
- San Francisco has new and emerging transportation priorities that are being developed by our countywide plan update, the San Francisco Transportation Plan 2050.
- A new Transportation Expenditure Plan allows us to use sales tax as seed funding for planning and project development, and to serve as the local match needed to secure federal, state, and other grant funding.
Making Sure A New Transportation Expenditure Plan Is Fair
Sales taxes have regressive aspects. We plan to continue some of the policies from the existing half-cent sales tax that help advance equity to mitigate the regressivity, including:
- Facilitating transparency and accountability in governance and administration, including reviewing all funding items with our Community Advisory Committee prior to consideration by the 11 members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who sit as the Transportation Authority Board.
- Making a majority of the investments in transit and safety, which disproportionately benefit low-income San Franciscans.
- Engaging the public early, including low-income communities and communities of color, in shaping the new transportation expenditure plan.
See our Outreach and Engagement Report for more details on how this was implemented. (PDF)
As part of our Racial Equity Action Plan, we are using the Racial Equity Toolkit (created by the Government Alliance on Race & Equity) to operationalize equity throughout all aspects of this process. Our Equity Assessment Report is a product of this work, and includes research on transportation disparities and recommendations to help address those disparities in the expenditure plan development process and in the New Expenditure Plan programs and policies.
Transportation Expenditure Plan Advisory Committee
The new expenditure plan effort received guidance from a Transportation Expenditure Plan Advisory Committee composed of neighborhood, business, advocacy, and community representatives.
The committee met regularly over six months, ending in February 2022. All meetings were open to the public and attendees had the opportunity to provide feedback. Meeting dates are listed at the bottom of this page along with links to agendas and other meeting materials.
The half-cent sales tax was first approved by San Francisco voters in 1989. Voters continued the half-cent sales tax in 2003 with the adoption of an Transportation Expenditure Plan, which is currently in place. Since then, the Transportation Authority has directed more than $1.9 billion in half-cent sales tax funding citywide.
On average, every $1.00 in half-cent sales tax funding attracts $4.00 – $7.00 in additional funding from federal, state, or other sources.
The half-cent sales tax generates about $110 million per year (pre-pandemic) and helps fund transportation projects large and small across the city. Major capital investments have included the purchase of new Muni buses and light rail vehicles, Salesforce Transit Center, the electrification of Caltrain (anticipated to be done in 2024), Muni Central Subway, and reconstructing Doyle Drive, now known as Presidio Parkway.
It also makes a big difference in people’s lives through smaller projects like traffic calming, street repaving projects, paratransit service for seniors and persons with disabilities, protected bike lanes, new and upgraded signals, and, during the pandemic, taxi rides home for essential workers.