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Legislative Update

Regional Measure 2 Passes

Bay Area voters’ approval of Regional Measure 2 on March 2, 2004 will raise an estimated $125 million each year to implement the Regional Traffic Relief Plan — a comprehensive strategy for addressing congestion in the transbay bridge corridors and enhancing the convenience and reliability of the Bay Area’s public transit system. Funds for the Regional Traffic Relief Plan will be generated by a $1 increase, effective July 1, 2004, in tolls on the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges.

Transit projects receiving Measure 2 funds include a BART link to Oakland Airport and the first leg in the planned BART extension to Silicon Valley; redevelopment of San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal, seismic retrofit of the transbay BART tube, expanded Caltrain service along the Peninsula and the introduction of commuter rail service over a rehabilitated Dumbarton rail bridge. Measure 2 fund also will support express and local bus service, and new ferries for expanded transbay service. Highway projects to receive Measure 2 funds include a fourth bore for the Caldecott Tunnel, reconfiguring the Interstate 80/Interstate 680 interchange in Solano County and upgrading the U.S. 101/Sir Francis Drake Blvd. interchange in Marin County. For a complete list of the projects funded by Measure 2, click here.

In addition to capital investments, the Regional Traffic Relief Plan dedicates up to 38 percent of total annual Measure 2 funds to providing operating funds for commuter rail, express and enhanced bus and ferry service. Operating funds are a critical element in improving transit service, and this cash infusion is expected to total some $1.63 billion over the next 35 years. These funds are currently held up by a provision in federal law that restricts toll revenues on bridges that have used federal funds to highway and transit capital expenditures. In 2000, the Davis Administration opted to use federal funds for seismic retrofit work on three of the toll bridges: the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge, and the Richmond-San Rafael. MTC is currently pursuing an exemption to this provision, similar to that enjoyed by the Golden Gate Bridge.

The results by county are as follows:

County “Yes” Votes Percent “Yes” “No” Votes Percent “No”
Alameda 164,497 56% 131,098 44%
Contra Costa 121,167 51% 114,766 49%
Marin 51,285 64% 28,487 36%
San Francisco 115,891 69% 53,214 31%
San Mateo 81,381 55% 65,986 45%
Santa Clara 178,540 60% 121,231 40%
Solano 30,980 41% 44,584 59%
Total 743,741 57% 559,366 43%
Source: County Registrars, 3/30/04