Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) Chair Jake Mackenzie and Commission Vice Chair Scott Haggerty today applauded the transportation funding package unveiled by Governor Brown, state Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. The package, if approved by the Legislature, would mark the largest transportation investment in state history, directing some $5 billion annually to help restore California’s local streets and roads, state highways and bridges to a state of good repair; improve public transit; reduce congestion in major commute corridors; establish programs for upgrading key freight routes; and promote active transportation with new projects for bicycle and pedestrian travel. These improvements would be financed through a combination of higher taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel as well as an increase in vehicle license fees.
“This is what real leadership looks like,” said Mackenzie, who also serves as Mayor of Rohnert Park, noting that 23 years have passed since the state government last increased funding for transportation. “The state has kicked the can down the proverbial road for a full generation, during which time some of our rural roads have started returning to gravel. The governor, Senate and Assembly leaders and State Transportation Agency secretary Brian Kelly all had a lot of heavy lifting to do, and they’ve done it. Now we’ll see if our crumbling pavement, crawling traffic and corroding transit infrastructure will spur the rest of our legislators to do some heavy lifting of their own.”
Haggerty, an Alameda County supervisor who has served as an MTC Commissioner since 2000, praised the funding package for its scope, its accountability and its economic impact. “It guarantees funding for local needs like street and road repairs and transit service as well as for state highways. It provides a new program to help goods movement in places like the I-880/I-238/I-580 corridor between the Port of Oakland and the Central Valley. And it prevents the Legislature from diverting the funds for non-transportation purposes. That’s a recipe for creating thousands of good construction jobs and sustaining long-term growth,” he said.
Formally known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, the funding package is expected to generate $52.4 billion for transportation investment over the next decade. This includes:
- $24.4 billion by increasing the state excise tax on gasoline by 12 cents per gallon;
- $16.3 billion from an annual vehicle license fee based on vehicle value;
- $7.3 billion by increasing the state excise tax on diesel fuel by 20 cents per gallon;
- $3.5 billion by increasing the sales tax on diesel fuel to 5.75 percent;
- $706 million through repayments from the state General Fund; and
- $200 million from an annual $100 Zero Emission Vehicle fee that would start in 2020.
These funds would be split 50/50 between a “Fix Local Streets and Transportation Infrastructure” element and a “Fix State Highways and Transportation Infrastructure” component. The 10-year forecast for the local funding portion includes:
- $15 billion for local street and road repairs;
- $7.5 billion for public transit improvements;
- $2 billion to support “self-help” counties in which voters have approved dedicated transportation sales taxes. (These include all Bay Area counties except Solano);
- $1 billion to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure;
- $825 million for local contribution to State Transportation Improvement Program; and
- $250 million for local transportation planning grants.
Revenue projections for Bay Area cities and counties through the “Fix Local Streets” component are available here. Ten-year projections for the state portion of the funding package include:
- $15 billion for highway repairs;
- $4 billion to repair bridges and culverts;
- $3 billion to improve freight-movement corridors;
- $2.5 billion to reduce congestion in major commute corridors; and
- $1.4 billion for other projects.
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.
See also: Governor's press release