Published August 19, 2014
Volume 22, Number 8
$8 Billion 2014 Transportation Expenditure Plan to Yield $20
Billion in Economic Activity and 150,000 Jobs in the Bay Area
Bay Area Council Economic Institute report outlines role of Alameda County Transportation Commission’s 2014 Plan in creating jobs and expanding economic activity
By Arthur L. Dao
Executive Director, Alameda County Transportation Commission
A report recently released by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute entitled “In the Fast Lane: Improving Reliability, Stabilizing Local Funding, and Enabling the Transportation Systems of the Future in Alameda County” states that advancing transportation — by building and maintaining transportation infrastructure, providing affordable and reliable transit service and enhancing access to housing, jobs and education — is critical to our region’s economic growth and competitiveness. It found that Alameda County represents a critical focal point in the Bay Area’s regional transportation system – serving as a vital conduit across all modes of transportation for people and goods within the Bay Area, and that this system must not only be maintained but also upgraded and expanded to keep pace with population growth.
The Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC), created in 2010 from a merger of the Congestion Management Agency and the Transportation Improvement Authority, carries forward the work of the predecessor agencies by planning, funding and delivering transportation programs and projects throughout Alameda County - specifically expanding access and improving mobility to foster a vibrant and livable Alameda County. Alameda CTC does this in large part by delivering the Expenditure Plan for Measure B, the half-cent sales tax first approved by voters in 1986 and reauthorized by 81.5 percent of Alameda County voters in 2000. Measure B funds the many capital projects, including freeway and interchange improvements, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, BART extensions and transit station development-as well as programs for local street and road improvements (fixing potholes), special transportation services for seniors and disabled individuals, bicycle and pedestrian safety, Safe Routes to Schools programs, and transit operations – that are included in the current voter-approved Expenditure Plan.
Alameda CTC receives regular input from community and technical advisory committees, and its work is reviewed annually by an independent watchdog committee that reviews the income and expenses associated with the Measure B sales tax. Doing so not only provides an important fiscal review of large county expenditures but provides an additional demonstration to Alameda County voters and businesses that Measure B delivers on its promise. This committee's annual reviews and analyses play an important role in ensuring that Measure B funds are spent in accordance with the measure. To date, the Citizens Watchdog Committee has reported 12 straight clean audits, noting that all audited income and expenditures were in compliance with specific voter-approved caps and that auditors have identified no accounting concerns.
Through Measure B (both the 1986 and 2000 measures), more than $1.6 billion has been invested in capital improvements in the Tri-Valley, and $37 million has been delivered directly to the three cities and the county for local street and road maintenance, as well as funding for bike and pedestrian improvements, paratransit services, Safe Routes to Schools, and transportation for seniors, among other critical transportation projects and programs. These capital improvements are ones we use every day, including:
- BART Extension to Dublin and Pleasanton, and the west and East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Stations
- I-580/I-680 Interchange reconstruction
- New I-580/Isabel Avenue – Route 84 Interchange
- I-680 Sunol Express Lane Northbound
- I-580 Eastbound Auxiliary Lane (under construction)
- I-580 Westbound HOV Lane (under construction)
- I-580 Express Lanes (to open fall 2015)
- Route 84 Expressway (north segment complete in June 2014, south segment construction to begin summer 2015)
- Vasco Road Improvements
Nearly 100% of all Measure B capital projects have been completed, or are currently under construction. In order to upgrade and expand our transportation systems to keep pace with the County’s growing population and to support a strong local economy, Alameda CTC has developed the 2014 Transportation Expenditure Plan (Plan) – a reauthorization and augmentation of Measure B - to meet current and future needs in our region.
Elected officials in each of Alameda County’s 14 cities have unanimously approved the 2014 Plan and the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on July 8 to place the Plan and supporting transportation measure on the November 2014 ballot. If approved by two-thirds of voters, this 30-year, $8 billion Plan will provide essential funding for transportation projects and programs throughout Alameda County, including more than $162 million in direct local funding for the Tri-Valley area for road repairs, bicycle and pedestrian paths and transportation services for seniors and people with disabilities. But this is just the beginning.
The “In the Fast Lane” report determined that direct spending from the 2014 Plan will yield $20 billion in total economic activity in the Bay Area and create 150,000 full-time equivalent jobs — local jobs in construction, transit operations and maintenance, manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical services — while influencing commute times, freight movement and local community development. The report also found that by expanding and improving transit services, keeping fares affordable, providing traffic release, and improving air quality and clean transportation, that the 2014 Plan will address current and future needs. All of this will boost economic activity, quality of life and productivity here in the Tri-Valley.
Developed in collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders, including business, technical experts, environmental and social justice organizations and seniors and people with disabilities, and with input collected at public workshops throughout the county, the Plan serves the county’s diverse transportation needs, and comes at a time when demand on roads, highways and transit systems are increasing, and state and federal funding for transportation is not sufficient to meet these needs. In 2013 alone, freeway delays increased by 21%, and 20% of our roads are classified as “poor” or “failed.” Over the term of the Plan (through 2045), Alameda County’s population is expected to grow by nearly 30 percent (last year the county had the highest population growth rate in the state), and the senior population will double.
Additionally, 20% of all public transit boarding in the Bay Area are in Alameda County, 34% of all BART boardings originate in Alameda County, and 37% of Bay Area workers travel to, from or through Alameda County, while 53% of all workers in Alameda County live outside it – making Alameda County a critical hub for movement of people and goods in the Bay Area.
The 2014 Plan will:
- Improve and modernize BART, including BART expansion, modernization and extension to Livermore in the I-580 median to Isabel Avenue
- Fix streets and roads in our communities
- Increase reliable bus service, including a significant increase in operating funds for LAVTA/WHEELS transit service
- Keep fares affordable for seniors, youth and people with disabilities, including funding for a student transit pass program and Safe Routes to Schools
- Provide traffic relief, including Route 84/I-680 interchange improvements and Route 84 widening, improvements on major commute corridors such as El Charro Road, Dublin Blvd. and Dougherty Road, I-580/I-680 interchange improvements, I-680 carpool/express lanes from Alcosta Blvd. to SR-237, freight and interchange improvements on I-580, and Bernal Bridge construction
- Improve air quality and provide clean transportation, including investing in Iron Horse Trail bike and pedestrian projects
- Support improvements to transit oriented development at the West Dublin and East Dublin/Pleasanton BART stations
- Create good quality, local jobs within Alameda County
- Invest in technology to improve transportation system efficiencies and commuter safety and information.
- Independent watchdog committee review and annual reports to the public
- Annual independent audits
- Performance measures
- Strict project deadlines and compliance reports
- The requirement that all funds must be spent locally to benefit Alameda County residents
The measure that will be on the November ballot is an extension and augmentation of the existing Measure B half-cent sales tax for transportation that was originally approved by voters in 1986 and reauthorized by 81.5 percent of Alameda County voters in 2000, and which was a significant source of funding for the BART extensions to Dublin and Pleasanton. Over the past decade Measure B has generated more than $1 billion in revenue to maintain and improve the transportation system throughout the county. Alameda CTC has leveraged these local sales tax dollars into over $4 billion in project delivery, supporting local jobs throughout the county, and has allocated more than $500 million in contracts to local Alameda County businesses.
It is now more critical than ever to implement innovative solutions for our County’s transportation operations and infrastructure needs. The 2014 Plan will provide the funding necessary to expand transportation investments, while supporting economic competitiveness and creating jobs. Learn more about the 2014 Transportation Expenditure Plan at www.alamedactc.org/2014Plan.
Alameda CTC plans, funds and delivers transportation programs and projects that expand access and improve mobility to foster a vibrant and livable Alameda County. Alameda CTC coordinates countywide transportation planning and delivers the expenditure plan for the half-cent sales tax approved by 81.5 percent of county voters in 2000. Follow Alameda CTC on www.facebook.com/AlamedaCTC and www.twitter.com/AlamedaCTC. Arthur L. Dao is Alameda CTC’s first executive director and led the integration of the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency and the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority, which eliminated redundancies and created efficiencies, saving taxpayers more than $3 million. Dao brings over 25 years of transportation engineering and management experience to Alameda CTC that includes his tenure as deputy director of Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority from 2001 to 2010. Dao has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis and is a registered engineer.
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- HMM Improves Traffic Flow with Express Lanes
- VentureSoft Offers a Variety of Business Solutions
- Business Bits
- Accountant Focuses on Important Aspects of Career and Life
- IPtec Provides High-Quality Video from Remote Locations
- Richards Law for Real Estate & Business
- Transportation Plan Yields Economic Benefits
- Keeping Kids Healthy with Tri-Valley Health Fair
- Go Green with Great Ideas from Green Scene
- Classic Cars Sparks Memories at Annual Car Show and Fundraiser
- Hacienda Index