Heavily influenced by a massive pro-Prop A spending campaign, the San Francisco voters approved Prop A on November 4, 2014. Prop A authorizes San Francisco’s government to sell $500 million in transportation General Obligation bonds. Including interest on the bonds, Prop A will cost the tax payers of San Francisco over a billion dollars.
According to Matier and Ross’s pie chart, most of the proceeds of Prop A are destined to be spent on items having little to do with Muni or other public transit:
- positioning Muni to keep up with San Francisco’s population (+34% projected by 2040) and employment growth (+ 29% projected by 2040). Source: Mayor’s Transportation Task Force
- getting buses and LRV’s jammed with riders out of traffic congestion
- easing the peak period crush in the Market Street subway
- extending Caltrain to the new Transbay Transit Center, therefore giving 280,000 daily Peninsula motorists a classier and less troublesome way of getting into San Francisco
- putting the SFMTA’s financial house in order.
Given the vague language of Prop A, SFMTA still has a choice. It can continue to follow the lead of the Mayor’s inexperienced Transportation Task Force of 2012/13 and consequently waste much of the $500 million raised by Proposition A.
Or it can tackle the major transportation problems facing San Francisco at this time. How SF’s government responds to these challenges is crucial to the future of San Francisco.