- Three San Francisco Bay Area organizations are collaborating on a $100 billion plan, called Faster Bay Area, to create a regional transit network that would better unify the multiple rail, bus and ferry systems that currently exist, according to The Mercury News.
- Bay Area Council, SPUR and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group propose funding by a nine-county tax to be collected over several decades. The organizations want the tax plan to become a ballot measure.
- The organizations are releasing select bits of information about the plan, which should have a final draft by the end of the year. It's unclear which transportation modes would undergo changes or what kind of tax — sales, business, property or other, would be levied. The groups said they need further outreach with city leaders, transit agencies and the public.
Getting a tax plan on the ballot could prove challenging.
Citizens tend to resist additional taxes, at least initially, and a certain level of public support is needed to get a measure on the ballot. However, other cities including Seattle and Los Angeles recently have had success with voters approving new taxes for transportation network overhauls.
The organizations are polling the public to get feedback on different funding ideas. A recent poll found that the majority of respondents support a small tax for improvements that would ease traffic congestion.
The partners' leg work on the front end to ensure the plan is in line with what the public wants could lead to greater success with getting it on the ballot and ultimately with its passage.