Friday, April 06, 2018

SFMTA approves two-year budget including final Central Subway push

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SFMTA approves two-year budget including final Central Subway push SFMTA

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors has approved the agency's annual two-year operating budget for fiscal years 2019 and 2020 at $1.2 billion.



The agency said the budget will allow for investments to add rail cars, open a new bus maintenance facility and begin Central Subway service next year. The two-year budget outlines the first two years of the agency's Five-Year Capital Improvement Program, officials said.

"The budget approved yesterday balances the transportation needs of a growing city," said Cheryl Brinkman, chairman of the board. "Not only does it expand Muni service, but it keeps it equitable, low-cost and accessible for people who depend on it every day. I thank staff for all of the work to pull this together and uphold our commitments to transit and street safety."
The approved budget also aims to progress Muni Forward, an initiative meant to address transit delays, reliability and safety.

Plans to expand Muni service by adding 68 new rail cars and launch new Central Subway service are also outlined in the budget.

Additional plans include the following:

  • Increased service due to added train cars
  • Additional service based on Equity Strategy recommendations
  • Larger vehicles based on Equity Strategy recommendations
  • Increased service following Central Subway launch


"This budget is a strong one, sustaining much of the work we are doing across the agency and recommending targeted enhancements, particularly in Muni service, as we welcome new rail cars into service, a new bus maintenance facility into operation, and the startup of the Central Subway," said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA's director of transportation.

The budget continues to fund free transit service for low-income youth, seniors and disabled riders, officials said. The operating budget also funds the addition of station homeless services and relief for the taxi industry using fee reductions, SFMTA said.

The board voted to raise the cost of the single-ride cash fare to incentivize customers to use mobile and online payment options, as well.

Projects funded through the budget also include investments in infrastructure, several procurements and some one-time initiatives planned throughout the city.
The Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Capital Budget includes $513.5 million in Fiscal Year 2019 and $630.8 million in Fiscal Year 2020, officials said.

Funding commitments planned during the next two years include:

  • Transit Fleet Upgrades: $117.1 million
  • Transit infrastructure: $118.9 million
  • Transit expansion/optimization: $426 million


"Our capital budget continues to powerfully advance Muni Forward and other initiatives, such as improvements to our facilities," Reiskin said. "With these local sources of funding, we will be able to improve transportation now and for the future."

Financial support for SFMTA's capital projects derives from more than 30 local, state, regional and federal sources.

In addition to allocating $27 million per year for transit operations, state funding allocated by SB1 revenues are expected to provide $9.5 million per year from the state to support state-of-good-repair capital projects, in addition to resources that could be received from competitive grant programs.

Officials note that such revenues are uncertain, and a ballot measure to repeal SB1 is expected to appear on the state's November ballot.