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In San Francisco, Vote ‘Yes’ for Reliable Transit

This endorsement originally appeared on the San Francisco Transit Riders medium page. It is reprinted here with permission.

Imagine tagging your Clipper Card at Montgomery station, your mind at ease knowing in 30 minutes you’ll be home, guaranteed. Or knowing you don’t have to leave the house an hour and a half before school starts because the zero-emissions bus that runs along your street will show up on time and zoom past traffic along Sunset Boulevard.

Proposition A will create a transit system riders can depend on. It will help San Francisco reach its equity, livability and climate goals by supporting a faster, safer and more reliable Muni service that centers the needs of riders. San Francisco Transit Riders is in strong support of Prop A.

What is Proposition A?

Proposition A is a $400 million general obligation bond to fund needed transit and safe street improvements. It represents a down payment on the almost $12 billion needed over the next 20 years to meet San Francisco’s transit infrastructure needs. With the passage of Proposition A this June, that $400 million investment will be heavily leveraged to secure additional transit investment at the state and federal level, including the $108 billion for public transportation in President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Without Proposition A, much of this funding could be lost.

Proposition A does not raise taxes while making Muni more reliable and in good repair. Last fall, SFTR’s Local Funding Working Group identified Proposition A as a key piece in helping address Muni’s critical infrastructure needs that will help prevent subway breakdowns and delays that have been the bane of riders pre-pandemic.

Why is it needed?

Travel patterns may have changed post-pandemic, but Muni still provides vital connections to our communities, our libraries, our grocery stores. Close to 250,000 people rely on Muni every week, and many more will need to count on transit if we are to hit our climate and sustainability goals. All riders deserve a transit system they can rely on, where trains don’t break down and they can count on the bus to show up on time.

The fast, reliable transit service that Proposition A supports will provide real access to jobs, schools, and parks, all the tremendous opportunities San Francisco has to offer, from Park Merced to North beach, from the Outer Richmond to Visitacion Valley. Proposition A’s needed investments in faster, more reliable and convenient transit will benefit all San Franciscans, but especially seniors, youth, people with disabilities, people of color, and low-income San Franciscans who are some of Muni’s most transit-dependent riders.

What would it fund?

Proposition A is vital to modernizing our aging transportation system, supporting our conversation to clean, zero-emissions buses, and creating a faster, more reliable transit system. It would fund new, earthquake-resilient Muni yards that will support increased transit service and electric bus charging. While it doesn’t fund transit operations itself, it does build the infrastructure to support Muni service increases in the future.

Proposition A would also deliver much more reliable bus and train service by funding Muni Forward improvements such as bus bulbs, red lanes, and smart transit signals. These low-cost transportation improvements allow buses and trains to skirt traffic that is already at pre-pandemic levels, supporting a faster and more reliable trip for riders. These investments are key parts of SFTR’s 30x30 vision: a transit network that can get you across the city in thirty minutes or less by 2030.

Finally, Proposition A would make major investments in the subway system and street safety. A new Automatic Train Control System would support longer and more frequent trains in the subway while pedestrian and street improvements will ensure riders can travel safely between their bus stop and destination of choice.

All told, these investments would be a huge boon to riders, addressing the dreaded ‘ghost buses’ that never come and routine subway delays and breakdowns that force riders to budget an additional thirty minutes to every trip.

What can I do?

First and foremost, vote yes on Proposition A on June 7th. In addition, you can help SFTR educate riders about Proposition A. You can also talk to your neighbors and local businesses in your community and drop off Proposition A window signs.

***

Rebecca Gibian is a communications consultant for the San Francisco Transit Riders

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