Bay Area Regional Measure 3

Regional Measure 3 (RM 3) is a ballot proposition on the June 5th election that will be voted on by residents of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma. For the measure to be approved, it requires a cumulative, of all counties, simple majority(50% + 1). The option to proceed with a ballot measure was provided to Bay Area Toll Authority(BATA) by California Senate Bill 595 – Metropolitan Transportation Commission: toll bridge revenues: BART Inspector General: Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority: high-occupancy toll lanes. And January 24th, 2018, the Bay Area Toll Authority board approved a resolution requesting the nine counties include Regional Measure 3 on their June ballots and information sheets.

Full Text of Regional Measure 3

What is Regional Measure 3?

Regional Measure 3 is the third regional measure to be voted on by the Bay Area. The measure will complement Regional Measure 1 and Regional Measure 2, both bay bridge toll increases, with a focus on funding elective projects. Revenue will go toward purchasing new BART cars, SMART’s rail expansion to Healdsburg, connecting northbound 101 to 580 and conversion of Santa Clara County’s Interstate 101 HOV to High-Occupancy Toll(HOT) lanes, and more projects designed to enable more capacity in the Bay Area. The description of Regional Measure 3 on the ballot is:

BAY AREA TRAFFIC RELIEF PLAN. Shall voters authorize a plan to reduce auto and truck traffic, relieve crowding on BART, unclog freeway bottlenecks, and improve bus, ferry, BART and commuter rail service as specified in the plan in this voter pamphlet, with a $1 toll increase effective in 2019, a $1 increase in 2022, and a $1 increase in 2025, on all Bay Area toll bridges except the Golden Gate Bridge, with independent oversight of all funds?

The definitive effects of the passage of this bill would be

  • Scheduled toll increases – The non-peak standard toll for the Bay Toll Bridges Bridges(minus Golden Gate Bridge – currently at $7.75) will be (assuming no other toll changes):
    $6 in 2019
    $7 in 2022
    $8 in 2025
  • Creation of a citizen oversight committee for the use of RM3 toll revenue and projects fund by that revenue
  • Create a BART Office of Inspector General
  • BATA would be able to index toll increases to match inflation
  • Require BATA to enact a 50% discount, of the RM 3 increases, on the second bridge crossing of a single day for 2-axle automobiles during commute hours. Edit: only on the RM3 increases
  • Financially support transit in all counties for operating and capital needs, traffic improvement projects such as HOV lanes and develop highway connectivity:
Regional Measure 3 Expenditure Plan

Filters: See All | Transit Funding | Traffic Funding
BART Expansion Cars $500M
BART Expansion Cars. Purchase new railcars for the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) to expand its fleet and improve reliability. The project sponsor is the BART. Five hundred million dollars ($500,000,000).
BART to San Jose Phase 2 $375M
BART to San Jose Phase 2. Extend BART from Berryessa Station to San Jose and Santa Clara. The project sponsor is the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Three hundred seventy-five million dollars ($375,000,000).
Caltrain Downtown Extension $325M
Caltrain Downtown Extension. Extend Caltrain from its current terminus at Fourth Street and King Street to the Transbay Transit Center. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission shall allocate funding to the agency designated to build the project, which shall be the project sponsor. Three hundred twenty-five million dollars ($325,000,000).
Bay Area Corridor Express Lanes $300M
Bay Area Corridor Express Lanes. Fund the environmental review, design, and construction of express lanes to complete the Bay Area Express Lane Network, including supportive operational improvements to connecting transportation facilities. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, express lanes on Interstate 80, Interstate 580, and Interstate 680 in the Counties of Alameda and Contra Costa, Interstate 880 in the County of Alameda, Interstate 280 in the City and County of San Francisco, Highway 101 in the City and County of San Francisco and the County of San Mateo, State Route 84 and State Route 92 in the Counties of Alameda and San Mateo, Interstate 80 from Red Top Road to the intersection with Interstate 505 in the County of Solano, and express lanes in the County of Santa Clara. Eligible project sponsors include the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority, and any countywide or multicounty agency in a bay area county that is authorized to implement express lanes. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission shall make funds available based on performance criteria, including benefit-cost and project readiness. Three hundred million dollars ($300,000,000).
Ferry Enhancement Program $300M
Ferry Enhancement Program. Provide funding to purchase new vessels, upgrade and rehabilitate existing vessels, build facilities and landside improvements, and upgrade existing facilities. The project sponsor is the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority. Three hundred million dollars ($300,000,000).
Contra Costa Interstate 680/State Route 4 Interchange Improvements. $210M
Contra Costa Interstate 680/State Route 4 Interchange Improvements. Fund improvements to the Interstate 680/State Route 4 interchange to improve safety and reduce congestion, including, but not limited to, a new direct connector between northbound Interstate 680 and westbound State Route 4, a new direct connector between eastbound State Route 4 and southbound Interstate 680, and widening of State Route 4 to add auxiliary lanes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes. The project sponsor is the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Two hundred ten million dollars ($210,000,000).
Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Access Improvements $210M
Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Access Improvements. Fund eastbound and westbound improvements in the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge corridor, including a direct connector from northbound Highway 101 to eastbound Interstate 580, westbound access and operational improvements in the vicinity of the toll plaza east of the bridge in Contra Costa County, and Richmond Parkway interchange improvements. Of the amount allocated to this project, one hundred thirty-five million dollars ($135,000,000) shall be dedicated to the direct connector from northbound Highway 101 to eastbound Interstate 580 in Marin County and seventy-five million dollars ($75,000,000) shall be dedicated to the projects in Contra Costa County. The project sponsors are the Bay Area Toll Authority, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, and the Transportation Authority of Marin. Two hundred ten million dollars ($210,000,000).
Goods Movement and Mitigation $160M
Goods Movement and Mitigation. Provide funding to reduce truck traffic congestion and mitigate its environmental effects. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, improvements in the County of Alameda to enable more goods to be shipped by rail, access improvements on Interstate 580, Interstate 80, and Interstate 880, and improved access to the Port of Oakland. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission shall consult and coordinate with the Alameda County Transportation Commission to select projects for the program. Eligible applicants include cities, counties, countywide transportation agencies, rail operators, and the Port of Oakland. The project sponsor is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Alameda County Transportation Commission. One hundred sixty million dollars ($160,000,000).
San Francisco Bay Trail/Safe Routes to Transit $150M
San Francisco Bay Trail/Safe Routes to Transit. Provide funding for a competitive grant program to fund bicycle and pedestrian access improvements on and in the vicinity of the state-owned toll bridges connecting to rail transit stations and ferry terminals. Eligible applicants include cities, counties, transit operators, school districts, community colleges, and universities. The project sponsor is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. One hundred fifty million dollars ($150,000,000).
Solano County Interstate 80/Interstate 680/State Route 12 Interchange Project $150M
Solano County Interstate 80/Interstate 680/State Route 12 Interchange Project. Construct Red Top Road interchange and westbound Interstate 80 to southbound Interstate 680 connector. The project sponsor is the Solano Transportation Authority. One hundred fifty million dollars ($150,000,000).
Core Capacity Transit Improvements $140M
Core Capacity Transit Improvements. Implement recommendations from the Core Capacity Transit Study and other ideas to maximize person throughput in the transbay corridor. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, transbay bus improvements and high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane access improvements. Priority funding shall be the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District’s (AC Transit) Tier 1 and Tier 2 projects identified in the study. The project sponsors are the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Alameda County Transportation Commission, and AC Transit. One hundred forty million dollars ($140,000,000).
MUNI Fleet Expansion and Facilities $140M
MUNI Fleet Expansion and Facilities. Fund replacement and expansion of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s MUNI vehicle fleet and associated facilities. The project sponsor is the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. One hundred forty million dollars ($140,000,000).
Dumbarton Corridor Improvements $130M
Dumbarton Corridor Improvements. Fund planning, environmental review, design, and construction of capital improvements within Dumbarton Bridge and rail corridor in the Counties of Alameda and San Mateo to relieve congestion, increase person throughput, and offer reliable travel times. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, the projects recommended in the Dumbarton Corridor Transportation Study and improvements to facilitate rail and transit connectivity among the Altamont Corridor Express, Capitol Corridor, and Bay Area Rapid Transit District, including a rail connection at Shinn Station. The project sponsors are the Bay Area Toll Authority, Alameda County Transportation Commission, the San Mateo County Transit District, and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. One hundred thirty million dollars ($130,000,000).
Highway 101-Marin/Sonoma Narrows $120M
Highway 101-Marin/Sonoma Narrows. Construct northbound and southbound high-occupancy vehicle lanes on Highway 101 between Petaluma Boulevard South in Petaluma and Atherton Avenue in Novato. The project sponsors are the Transportation Authority of Marin and the Sonoma County Transportation Authority. One hundred twenty million dollars ($120,000,000).
Interstate 80 Westbound Truck Scales $105M
Interstate 80 Westbound Truck Scales. Improve freight mobility, reliability, and safety on the Interstate 80 corridor by funding improvements to the Interstate 80 Westbound Truck Scales in the County of Solano. The project sponsor is the Solano Transportation Authority. One hundred five million dollars ($105,000,000).
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) Rapid Bus Corridor Improvements $100M
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) Rapid Bus Corridor Improvements. Fund bus purchases and capital improvements to reduce travel times and increase service frequency along key corridors. The project sponsors are AC Transit and Alameda County Transportation Commission. One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000).
Eastridge to BART Regional Connector $100M
Eastridge to BART Regional Connector. Extend Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail from the Alum Rock station to the Eastridge Transit Center. The project sponsor is the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. One hundred thirty million dollars ($130,000,000).
North Bay Transit Access Improvements $100M
North Bay Transit Access Improvements. Provide funding for transit improvements, including, but not limited to, bus capital projects, including vehicles, transit facilities, and access to transit facilities, benefiting the Counties of Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, and Contra Costa. Priority shall be given to projects that are fully funded, ready for construction, and serving rail transit or transit service that operates primarily on existing or fully funded high-occupancy vehicle lanes. The project sponsor is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Eligible applicants are any transit operator providing service in the Counties of Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Solano, or Sonoma. One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000).
San Jose Diridon Station $100M
San Jose Diridon Station. Redesign, rebuild, and expand Diridon Station to more efficiently and effectively accommodate existing regional rail services, future BART and high-speed rail service, and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail and buses. The project sponsor shall consider accommodating a future connection to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and prioritizing non-auto access modes. The project sponsor is the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000).
State Route 37 Improvements $100M
State Route 37 Improvements. Fund near-term and longer-term improvements to State Route 37 to improve the roadway’s mobility, safety, and long-term resiliency to sea level rise and flooding. For the purposes of the environmental review and design, the project shall include the segment of State Route 37 from the intersection in Marin County with Highway 101 to the intersection with Interstate 80 in the County of Solano. Capital funds may used on any segment along this corridor, as determined by the project sponsors. The project is jointly sponsored by the Transportation Authority of Marin, the Napa Valley Transportation Authority, the Solano Transportation Authority, and the Sonoma County Transportation Authority. Funds for this project may be allocated to any of the project sponsors. One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000)
Tri-Valley Transit Access Improvements $100M
Tri-Valley Transit Access Improvements. Provide interregional and last-mile transit connections on the Interstate 580 corridor in the County of Alameda within the Tri-Valley area of Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore.The Metropolitan Transportation Commission shall consult with the Alameda County Transportation Commission, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, and local jurisdictions to determine the project sponsor. One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000).
Capitol Corridor $90M
Capitol Corridor. Provide funding for track infrastructure that will improve the performance of Capital Corridor passenger rail operations by reducing travel times, adding service frequencies, and improving system safety and reliability. The project sponsor is the Capital Corridor Joint Powers Authority. Ninety million dollars ($90,000,000).
Interstate 680/State Route 84 Interchange Reconstruction Project $85M
Interstate 680/State Route 84 Interchange Reconstruction Project. Improve safety and regional and interregional connectivity by conforming State Route 84 to expressway standards between south of Ruby Hill Drive and the Interstate 680 interchange in southern Alameda County and implementing additional improvements to reduce weaving and merging conflicts and help address the additional traffic demand between Interstate 680 and State Route 84. The project sponsor is Alameda County Transportation Commission. Eighty-five million dollars ($85,000,000).
Highway 101/State Route 92 Interchange $50M
Highway 101/State Route 92 Interchange. Fund improvements to the interchange of Highway 101 and State Route 92 in the County of San Mateo. The project is jointly sponsored by the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. Fifty million dollars ($50,000,000).
Next-Generation Clipper Transit Fare Payment System $50M
Next-Generation Clipper Transit Fare Payment System. Provide funding to design, develop, test, implement, and transition to the next generation of Clipper, the bay area’s transit fare payment system. The next-generation system will support a universal, consistent, and seamless transit fare payment system for the riders of transit agencies in the bay area. The project sponsor is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Fifty million dollars ($50,000,000).
Transbay Rail Crossing $50M
Transbay Rail Crossing. Fund preliminary engineering, environmental review, and design of a second transbay rail crossing and its approaches to provide additional rail capacity, increased reliability, and improved resiliency to the corridor. Subject to approval by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, funds may also be used for construction, and, if sufficient matching funds are secured, to fully fund a useable segment of the project. The project sponsor is the Bay Area Rapid Transit District. Fifty million dollars ($50,000,000).
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) $40M
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART). Provide funding to extend the rail system north of the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport to the Cities of Windsor and Healdsburg. The project sponsor is the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District. Forty million dollars ($40,000,000).
San Rafael Transit Center $30M
San Rafael Transit Center. Construct a replacement to the San Rafael (Bettini) Transit Center on an existing or new site, or both, in downtown San Rafael. The selected alternative shall be approved by the City of San Rafael, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, the Transportation Authority of Marin, and Marin Transit. The project sponsor is the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Thirty million dollars ($30,000,000).
Interstate 80 Transit Improvements $25M
Interstate 80 Transit Improvements. Fund improvements to support expanded bus service in the Interstate 80 corridor including, but not limited to, bus purchases, expansion of the WestCAT storage yard and maintenance facility. Fund implementation of the San Pablo Avenue Multi-modal Corridor (AC Transit). The project sponsor is Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000).
Regional Express Bus $20M
Regional Express Bus. Thirty-four percent of the amount available for operating assistance pursuant to paragraph (1), not to exceed twenty million dollars ($20,000,000), to be distributed for bus service in the bridge corridors, prioritizing bus routes that carry the greatest number of transit riders. To the extent that a portion or all of the toll revenue provided pursuant to this subparagraph is not needed in a given fiscal year, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission shall reduce the allocation accordingly
State Route 29 $20M
State Route 29. Eligible project expenses include State Route 29 major intersection improvements, including Soscol Junction, and signal and signage improvements, which may include multimodal infrastructure and safety improvements between Carneros Highway (State Route 12/121) and American Canyon Road. The project sponsor is the Napa Valley Transportation Authority. Twenty million dollars ($20,000,000).
East Contra Costa County Transit Intermodal Center $15M
East Contra Costa County Transit Intermodal Center. Fund the construction of a Transit Intermodal Center in Brentwood enhancing access to eBART and Mokelumne Bike Trail/Pedestrian Overcrossing at State Route 4. The project sponsor is Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
Interstate 680/Interstate 880/Route 262 Freeway Connector $15M
Interstate 680/Interstate 880/Route 262 Freeway Connector. Connect Interstate 680 and Interstate 880 in southern Alameda County to improve traffic movement, reduce congestion, and improve operations and safety. The project sponsor is the Alameda County Transportation Commission. Fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
Vasco Road Safety Improvement $15M
Vasco Road Safety Improvements. Fund the widening of lanes and construction of a concrete median barrier along 2.5 miles of Vasco Road beginning approximately three miles north of the Contra Costa/Alameda County Line. The project sponsor is Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
Byron Highway-Vasco Road Airport Connector $10M
Byron Highway-Vasco Road Airport Connector. Fund construction of a new connector between Byron Highway and Vasco Road south of Camino Diablo Road as well as shoulder and other improvements to the Byron Highway, including a railroad grade separation, to improve safety and access to the Byron Airport and to facilitate economic development and access for goods movement in East Contra Costa County. The project sponsor is Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Ten million dollars ($10,000,000).
Expanded Ferry Service $10M-$35M
Expanded Ferry Service. Ten million dollars ($10,000,000) in the first year of allocation, fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000) in the second year of allocation, twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) in the third year of allocation, and twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) in the fourth year of allocation. These allocation amounts shall be subject to the adjustments in subdivision (b). In the fifth year of allocation and thereafter, 58 percent of the amount available for operating assistance pursuant to paragraph (1), not to exceed thirty-five million dollars ($35,000,000). These funds shall be made available to the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) to support expanded ferry service, including increased frequencies of existing routes and the operation of new routes.
Interstate 680 Transit Improvements $10M
Interstate 680 Transit Improvements. Fund improvements that will enhance transit service in the Interstate 680 corridor, including, but not limited to, implementing bus operations on shoulder (BOS), technology-based intermodal transit centers/managed parking lots and development of technology to enhance real-time travel information. Fund implementation of Shared Autonomous Vehicles (SAVs) to improve first and last mile transit connectivity. The project sponsor is Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Ten million dollars ($10,000,000).
The San Francisco Transbay Terminal $5M
The San Francisco Transbay Terminal. Eight percent of the amount available for operating assistance pursuant to paragraph (1), not to exceed five million dollars ($5,000,000). These funds are available for transportation-related costs associated with operating the terminal. The Transbay Joint Powers Authority shall pursue other long-term, dedicated operating revenue to fund its operating costs. To the extent that a portion or all of the toll revenue provided pursuant to this subparagraph is not needed in a given fiscal year, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission shall reduce the allocation accordingly.
Total
Source:SB 595

Why do we need it RM3 / Whats the point?

Traffic in the SF Bay Area is terrible during commute hours, seemingly the 3rd worst in the country, and used to be the 4th worst in the world. According to the historic vehicle counts toll-paying vehicles use has gone up from 2010 with 119 million vehicles to 136 million in 2016, a 14.3% increase. Due to the traffic, commuters on 80 are slowed to 35mph by 5:30AM in the westbound direction. Congestion and gridlock have a negative effect on the Bay Area including economic lost and additional pollution, a problem for everyone. In the world of economics, to reduce demand of a product or service the most effective method is to increase costs. As the Bay Area toll bridges are in high demand, the state legislature is giving the Bay Area the opportunity to raise prices and discourage driving.

RM 3 is not only about decreasing future demand but about reinvesting in the region’s transportation system to support the requirements of a rapidly growing Bay Area.  The proceeds of RM 3 would go toward developing highway express lanes, improving access to freeways and most importantly support improvements to alternative transportation – transit, walking and cycling. Examples include funding for BART’s purchase of new train cars, BART to Silicon Valley phase 2, reconstructing the San Rafael Transit Center and construction of SMART to Windsor.

Approval of RM 3 also provides a mechanism for those suspicious of Bay Area Rapid Transit(BART) District. Not often mentioned in RM 3 discussions, passage of this measure would officiate the creation of the BART office of the Inspector General. An independent office dedicated toward providing California and the BART community insight to any misuse of funds or projects.

How did bridge tolls get to $5 dollars already?

Regional Measure 1 was approved in 1988 to match the bay area bridge tolls to $1. In 1997, California’s legislature approved SB 60 that imposed a $1 toll increase. SB 60 funded the Bay Area bridges’ seismic retrofitting and the plan to build a new east span of the bay bridge. SB 226 was passed in consolidation with SB 60 and gave BATA the authority to raise the toll to ensure enough revenue to pay off debts for bridge safety. Regional Measure 2 was approved by Bay Area voters in 2004 and raised the toll of the bridges to $3 dollars[MTC Timeline]. Regional Measure 2 also primarily supported transit projects such as BART to Warm Springs, BART to East Contra Costa, Vallejo ferry, Clipper Card and the MUNI central subway.

AB 144 was approved in 2006 and increased the standard toll of the bridges another dollar to $4. AB 144 enabled BATA to keep up with the growing cost of the seismic retrofitting and construction of the east span of the bay bridge. Finally in 2010 BATA approved a last $1 toll increase and introduced congestion pricing($1 during peak times) to the Bay Bridge to make the standard cost $5.00. This was done to secure the ability to pay off debt(which they were having difficulty paying due to the 2008 recession) and fund seismic retrofitting of the Dumbarton and Antioch bridges, both excluded from either legislature toll increase.

Common arguments of Regional Measure 3

Arguments For:

  • $4.45 billion to support Bay area transportation
  • Supports transit and other alternative methods to move about the region.
  • Reduces future traffic and pollution
  • Intense oversight of use of toll revenue and extra oversight of BART

 

Arguments Against:

  • Regressive tax – affects the poor more than the rich
  • It does not fix public transportation
  • It does not fix traffic congestion
  • Revenue will go to projects unrelated to the bridge corridors such as improvements for goods transportation(trucks going in or out of port of Oakland), BART to silicon valley, rebuilding Diridon Station
  • BART Inspector General will not resolve traffic in anyway
  • Historically regional measure toll revenue has gone toward underutilized or financially unsound projects – Bay Bridge, Oakland Airport connector, Transbay terminal

 

Rebuttal to Arguments Against:

  • The alternative is to do nothing substantial to improve Bay Area Transportation – Just let it get worse. RM3 does not fix Bay Area public transit, not even close, but it enables the improvement of mass transportation and alleviates some of the bottlenecks of the traffic congestion.
  • Progressively applying a bridge toll is not realistic would be subject to loopholes due to paradoxes such as the one-dollar salary executives. Crossing the same bridge with the same experience, regardless of income, should cost the same high or low income.
  • Prospective low-income transit riders may benefit by riding on transit as the MTC Means-based fare study starts a pilot program to subsidize families below the poverty level to ride BART and other agencies.
  • By not increasing the toll we are subsidizing driving – BART cost $7.5 round trip from West Oakland to SF and the Bay Bridge toll is $6 dollars.
  • BART as the backbone of the Bay Area Transportation has been subject to incredible scrutiny from the public and media. $1 million supports possibly improving BART processes and eliminating fraud.

 

Source: Alameda County – Official Voter guide including arguments

More Information

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My Take:

The status quo is not working. Traffic gets worse and transit gets more expensive for an inferior experience.  RM3 won’t make transit better overnight and probably will not noticeably reduce traffic on the bridges during peak time. This measure is an attempt to decelerate the growth of traffic congestion, not eliminate it. Humans are creatures of habit, even if they have to pay $1 more each day $260 more a year, most commuters will be unwilling to modify what they’re used to doing. The toll increases are spread over 6 years, so asking another dollar every 3 years will barely be noticeable. But for new Bay Area residents and commuters, this is a chance to affect their decision making. They’ll be comparing it as $1,360 a year and the time wasted in endless car traffic versus riding a new BART car or double-decker transbay bus and maybe decide that transit is the better option.

Transit, currently, is the more expensive option to get from East Bay to downtown San Francisco. BART from downtown Oakland is $7 round trip using a clipper card, any further and the cost only goes up. AC Transit Transbay bus service is $9, scheduled to be $11 in early 2019. If commuters are to consider alternatives to driving themselves, to limit automotive pollution and congestion, we need to commit to improving the public transportation system and make it the economical decision. The Golden Gate Bridge, with no mercy for low-income drivers, is already at $7.75! $8 after July 1st, 2018.  $2.75 more than every other bridge in the Bay Area, there is no reason why there should be such a large discrepancy between the bridges.