EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR STEVE HEMINGER’S REPORT TO THE
OF JANUARY 24, 2007
SUMMARY OF EVENTS:
BART-SFO Toll Bridge Notes Retired
Oakland, December 29
With MTC’s final payment of $3.3 million to BART late last
month, our financial obligations to the $65.7 million San Francisco
Bay Area Transit Financing Authority Bridge Toll Notes (Series
1999) were completed. These notes — backed by a portion
of toll bridge revenue earmarked for transit expansion by Regional
Measure 1 — were issued to help finance the BART extension
to San Francisco International Airport.
Toll Hike Takes Effect on State-owned Bridges
As authorized by the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) some months
ago to help finance completion of the toll bridge seismic retrofit
program, an additional $1 surcharge per vehicle took effect
on the state-owned bridges at the start of the New Year. For
the month of January, FasTrak users will not be charged the
extra dollar, which has led to another surge in account-holders.
The total number of FasTrak accounts is nearing 600,000, but
peak period FasTrak usage still has not reached the 50% level.
This may suggest that many of our newer customers are only
occasional users of the toll bridges rather than everyday commuters.
We also have launched a retail distribution program for FasTrak
toll tags at Costco and Safeway. The toll tags were the
number #1 selling item at Costco in the first week of the campaign. Congratulations
especially to Rod McMillan and Linda Lee for all their hard
work on the retail program.
Governor Releases FY 2007-08 Budget Proposal
Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget for next year
contained both good news and bad news for transportation.
While his budget fully funds Proposition 42 and repays outstanding
Proposition 42 loans – for a grand total of $1.5 billion
in these funds – it also proposes shifting $1.1 billion
from the Public Transportation Account to offset costs that
are traditionally covered by the state’s General Fund.
Rebecca Long has prepared an excellent summary of the budget
IBTTA Board Meeting
Ft. Lauderdale, January 12-13
I attended the regular board meeting of the International
Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. At the request
of Board President Jim Ely of the Florida Turnpike, I moderated
a board discussion about the future of the toll industry.
SAFETEA Commission Meeting
Washington DC, January 17-18
I attended the monthly meeting of the National Surface Transportation
Policy and Revenue Study Commission. The Commission reviewed
drafts of several working papers on baseline conditions of
the transportation system that will serve as the foundation
for our final report to Congress due in December 2007. We
also discussed the agendas for the next set of field hearings
to be held in February in Los Angeles and Atlanta. In
addition, I made a presentation on the transportation challenges
facing the nation’s major metropolitan areas. While
in town, I also briefed members of the Bay Area Congressional
delegation on the work of the Commission.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Testimony
DC, January 24
I will be absent from the Commission meeting today because
I have been invited to testify before the House Transportation
and Infrastructure Committee about my work on the National
Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission.
I am especially disappointed that I will miss the last MTC
meeting for Commissioners Anderson, Torliatt, and Young. I
wish all three of them the very best in their future endeavors.
MTC Operational Statistics (PDF)
February 14 — Special
Commission Meeting, Oakland
Commission Field Hearing, Los Angeles
Previous Executive Director's Reports