CONTACT: Eric Young, SFCTA Communications Director
415-522-4816 office; 415-306-4509 cell; email@example.com
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board today gave initial approval to the 2022 Expenditure Plan, a new 30-year spending plan for the existing half-cent sales tax that will help deliver safer, smoother streets, more reliable transit, continue paratransit services for seniors and persons with disabilities, reduce congestion, and improve air quality.
As with prior Expenditure Plans managed by the Transportation Authority, the 2022 Expenditure Plan does not raise the sales tax level and must be approved by San Francisco voters before implementation. The measure, which is expected to be placed on the November 2022 ballot, requires a ⅔ majority approval.
“Today the Transportation Authority took an important step to advance our transit reliability, safety, equity, and climate action goals by adopting a new long-term Expenditure Plan,” said Transportation Authority Board Chair Rafael Mandelman (District 8). “Following robust outreach and thanks to the significant contributions of the Expenditure Plan Advisory Committee, we have a plan that makes key investments in major transit improvements, safer streets, paratransit service, and community-based plans that will help our city address pressing transportation issues while promoting equitable economic recovery and connectivity across the city.”
The 2022 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, bus lanes and 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 Caltrain Downtown Extension, bringing Caltrain and California High Speed Rail service to the Salesforce Transit Center
In total, the Expenditure Plan invests approximately $2.6 billion over 30 years in the following areas:
- Transit Maintenance and Enhancements (41.2%)
- Major Transit Projects (22.6%)
- Streets and Freeways (18.9%)
- Paratransit (11.4%)
- Transportation System Development and Management (5.9%)
The Transportation Authority has administered the transportation sales tax since 1990, delivering voter-approved investments directly and allocating sales tax funds to agencies like the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, SF Public Works, and BART for transportation improvements across the city.
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 - an important consideration given passage of the historic federal infrastructure bill last fall.
“The 2022 Expenditure Plan is core to maintaining and improving Muni's entire system, from our bus and rail fleets to on-street and subway infrastructure and facilities,” said Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. "The sales tax is a cornerstone of SFMTA's delivery of safer streets and paratransit services as well. We rely on this funding to reach our strategic goals."
“For BART, the new Expenditure Plan couldn’t come at a better time as we are focused on transforming the rider experience to meet the needs of current riders and attracting new customers," said General Manager Bob Powers. “This funding will help pay for much needed upgrades to modernize our nearly 50-year-old San Francisco stations and will result in safer, more frequent service to improve transit options in the city.”
“This Expenditure Plan is essential to reaching the city's Vision Zero goal of ending traffic-related fatalities,” said Jodie Medeiros, Walk San Francisco’s Executive Director. "It provides critical funding for pedestrian, bicycle, and traffic safety that will save lives.”
Vinita Goyal, Executive Director of San Francisco Transit Riders, said: “The Expenditure Plan focuses on a more equitable, accessible transit system by maintaining and enhancing Muni, BART, Caltrain, and ferry services and prioritizing projects that service transit dependent and low-income communities.”
An extensive public outreach effort and input from an Expenditure Plan Advisory Committee played a significant role in shaping the Expenditure Plan. The EPAC, composed of 27 members from neighborhoods, community groups, advocacy organizations, and business and civic groups, met over the course of six months to discuss funding priorities and trade-offs.
“I’d like to thank the members of the Expenditure Plan Advisory Committee for their hard work,” said EPAC Chair Amandeep Jawa, a board member of the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters. “We had really direct, thoughtful and respectful discussions and debates which helped us come together and make a recommendation that balances the needs of all the different transportation sectors across San Francisco. I'd also really like to thank Transportation Authority staff for their hard work and commitment and the various department and agency leaders who spent late nights with us, helping us craft the best recommendation we could.”
Anni Chung, EPAC Vice-Chair and CEO of Self-Help for the Elderly, said: “The Expenditure Plan continues support for paratransit at increased levels, which is critical to the growing community of seniors and people with disabilities in San Francisco. We very much appreciate this level of funding for needed services and programs like SFMTA's Essential Trip Card and its ramp taxi accessible services programs.”
There are several reasons to seek voter approval of the 2022 Expenditure Plan:
• All but one of the major capital projects in the current Expenditure Plan (2003-2033) were accelerated and delivered early or are currently under construction. (See how investments have benefited San Franciscans over the years.)
• Several programs such as Paratransit and Traffic Signals have advanced funds to enable early benefits and are now running out of money.
• Sales tax provides an important source of funding for capital 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 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.
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 Expenditure Plan, which is currently in place. Since then, the Transportation Authority has directed nearly $2 billion in half-cent sales tax funding citywide.
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 completed in 2024), Muni Central Subway, and reconstructing Doyle Drive, now known as Presidio Parkway.
The sales tax program 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.
Path to the November 2022 ballot
Next steps to place the 2022 Expenditure Plan on the November 2022 ballot include:
- March 22: Final Transportation Authority Board vote
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission will consider approval of the 2022 Expenditure Plan in April, followed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approval of the ballot measure in late spring, for voter consideration in November 2022.
- New Transportation Sales Tax Expenditure Plan website
- See 2022 Expenditure Plan presented to March 8, 2022 Board (PDF)
- See list of Expenditure Plan Advisory Committee members (PDF)
- Outreach and Engagement Report (PDF)
About the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (sfcta.org)
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority’s mission is to make travel safer, healthier, and easier for all. We plan, fund, and deliver local and regional projects to improve travel choices for residents, commuters, and visitors throughout the city. The Transportation Authority Board consists of the 11 members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who act as Transportation Authority Board Members. Board Member Rafael Mandelman is Chair of the Board. Tilly Chang is the Transportation Authority’s Executive Director.