San Franciscans deserve a reliable, safe and affordable world-class transportation system for the 21st century 

click to enlarge S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner file photo
Last year when I gave my State of the City address, I called for the creation of a Transportation Task Force to develop a coordinated set of priorities and actionable recommendations for funding The City’s transportation infrastructure between now and 2030. Eleven months later, the task force released its findings and strongly recommended investments in capital needs and transportation infrastructure for our long-underfunded transit system to make it more reliable, safe and affordable.

The SF2030 Transportation Task Force called for a $10.1 billion investment in transportation infrastructure over the next 15 years, and also recommended to generate $3 billion in new revenue for our public-transit system by 2030 because for too long we have systematically underinvested in our rails, our roads and our public-transit vehicles.

The good news is that while the task force’s findings are startling, they represent the first steps necessary to advocate for and coordinate improvements to the transportation network.

The most pressing issue is that The City’s infrastructure is inadequate to meet current demand, and decline in transportation services will become even more severe without new investments as demands on the transportation system grows. What does investment in core infrastructure mean to San Franciscans?

It means improved walking and cycling safety for residents and visitors on our roads and sidewalks. In addition to enforcement and education campaigns, we need infrastructure funding for more safety and accessibility projects that can reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, as well as improve workplace safety for transit operators.

In terms of our streets, our pavement condition needs improvement. The good news is our pavement condition score improved over the past year, but we must do better and keep up the momentum. We need reliable and consistent funds to fix our streets, because if we don’t fix it today, we are going to pay up to triple the costs later.

San Francisco needs and deserves a world-class transportation system to meet the demands of today and tomorrow. Muni’s fleet is aging and deteriorating as a result of under-investment in routine maintenance. Because Muni deferred vehicle maintenance over the years in order to meet the needs of daily transit service, some of our vehicles have not received midlife rehabilitations or replacement, resulting in unreliability and frequent and expensive emergency repairs. We need a funding source for midlife rehabilitation of Muni vehicles.

Our Muni system is heavily loaded with 700,000 boardings per day. Regional transit provides an additional 370,000 riders with daily trips in and out of The City. It is obvious that without new investment, transit crowding will get worse in the future, degrading more routes and lines at the busiest times of day. To sum up, we need a funding source for more Muni vehicles.

The message is loud and clear. We need to find sustainable sources of funding for our transportation network. These findings and recommendations are shaping the decision and plans we must pursue with members of the Board of Supervisors, transit experts, transportation agencies and the community to make sure our transportation is safe, reliable and affordable for everyone.

To view the SF2030 Transportation Task Force Report, go to:

Ed Lee is the mayor of San Francisco.

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