SB 1 funds are crucial for BART and our riders
Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, is expected to raise more than $5 billion annually over the next 10 years for road repairs and improvements to mass transit systems throughout the state. More than $750 million per year goes solely to transit.
SB 1 is a dedicated and reliable source of funding that allows BART to invest in what our riders and Bay Area residents care about. BART is upgrading and updating its nearly half-century old infrastructure, and SB 1 funding is going to a project that will help us run longer trains more frequently into San Francisco, increasing capacity by 40 percent. The Transbay Corridor Core Capacity Project involves the purchase of new Fleet of the Future rail cars, the modernization of BART’s train control system and the expansion of our soon to open modern maintenance facility in Hayward. The project was selected this year to receive $318.6 million in state grant funding over the next decade. If SB 1 is repealed, the project would lose more than half of this funding.
BART-to-Silicon Valley was also selected to receive $730 million dollars in grant money through 2028 to help extend service into San Jose and Santa Clara. More than half of that funding would be lost if SB 1 is repealed.
These vital projects could be put at risk, as it is unclear what steps the state would take to deliver the already awarded grant money. BART is committed to keeping the Bay Area moving and taking more cars off the road. SB 1 is a major part of this effort.
SB 1 funds also help with operating costs
BART was facing possible service reductions before the bill passed last year, but those cuts were avoided when the funding came through and closed a $30 million budget gap. It also allowed us to hire more station cleaners and police officers.
This year’s budget is set to receive $38 million dollars in State Transit Assistance (STA) funding, which includes $25.4 million in SB 1 funds. These funds will go towards improving elevators and escalators, increasing maintenance on our train cars and improving safety.
The BART Board of Directors voted to oppose Prop 6, a ballot measure to repeal SB 1, because these vital projects would lose funding and it would blow a $25 million hole in the current budget and an estimated $173 million over ten years.