The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to provide more funding to Bay Area public transportation systems. Authored by Supervisor Dean Preston, the resolution comes as Newsom revises his January state budget before its May deadline.
The drafted budget listed a $2 billion cut to public transportation funding and no operations funding for struggling transit agencies. Before it was passed, Preston hosted a rally on the steps of City Hall, which drew in transit advocates and leaders from BART, Muni and Caltrain, among others.
“We can’t afford to lose public transit. Hundreds of thousands of people rely on Muni every single day to get to their jobs, to school, to the grocery store, and to the senior center,” said Jeff Tumlin, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency director of transportation. “If we care about equity, if we care about the environment, if we care about supporting the San Francisco Bay Area’s economic recovery, we’ve got to make sure our transit agencies stay solvent.”
Preston, a proud Muni rider for the past 29 years, said Bay Area transit agencies need significant state assistance, and the passage of this resolution sends a clear message that state policymakers should “invest in public transportation before it’s too late.”
“I am excited to see so many Muni riders, transit advocates, equity and green mobility activists, and transit operators turn out in support of public transit,” Preston said.
KRON On is streaming live news now
The resolution predicts that based on current ridership data and service levels, transit agencies like BART, Muni and Caltrain will face budget gaps of tens of millions of dollars, starting in the 2023-2024 fiscal year. It calls for operations funds that can help agencies find other funding sources.
“In order to serve our most vulnerable communities, reduce emissions, and diminish traffic congestion, we need the state to invest in our transportation system,” Supervisor Hillary Ronen said. “I have fought for public transit funding during the pandemic and now we need the state to step up and ensure Bay Area transit has the bridge funding it needs to serve our expanding transportation needs.”
Copyright © 2023 Bay City News, Inc.