Today, the San Mateo County Elections Office released an updated report showing that San Mateo County voters have approved Measure W, which will create approximately $80 million per year in new investment to relieve traffic congestion and provide expanded mobility options for County residents. The results show that 66.87 percent of county voters supported the 30-year measure putting it above the required two-thirds threshold.
“We, with our partners, are grateful for this opportunity and we are prepared for the challenge of putting these funds to work to create transportation and traffic solutions for everyone who lives and works in San Mateo County,” said San Mateo County Transit District General Manager/CEO Jim Hartnett. “Getting to this point was a tremendous team effort, and we are incredibly thankful to everyone who helped make it happen. We were able to put Measure W on the ballot thanks to an extraordinary partnership with Assembly Member Kevin Mullin and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, and it was successful thanks to tremendous efforts from the business community, transportation advocates, and residents, families, and workers throughout the County that committed such invaluable support.”
“Voters have spoken loud and clear a truth we’ve known for some time; that transportation and transit need substantial investment in order for us to solve our traffic problems,” said Transit District Board Chair Charles Stone. “There are projects and programs ready to go, from express buses to microtransit to reducing chokepoints at our highway interchanges. The funding provided by Measure W will help to make them a reality. My sincerest thanks go out to the people of San Mateo County for making their voices heard.”
The distribution of the funds will be shaped by the Congestion Relief Plan, which was a product of this community feedback and was developed to reflect how residents think transportation funding should be invested. The Plan includes five investment categories designed to focus on advancing these priorities, while also addressing other important transportation needs:
- 22.5 percent toward Countywide Highway Congestion Improvements to improve throughput and travel times on highway facilities in San Mateo County.
- 12.5 percent toward Local Safety, Pothole and Congestion Relief Improvements for investment in local transportation priorities including efforts to separate the rail corridor from local roads, improve bicycle and pedestrian connections, incentivize transit options, and improve traffic flow in key congested areas.
- 5 percent toward Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements that safely connect communities and neighborhoods with schools, transit and employment centers countywide.
- 10 percent toward Regional Transit Connections to better connect residents traveling from San Mateo County to neighboring counties with new and enhanced transit options.
- 50 percent toward County Public Transportation System Investments to maintain and enhance bus, paratransit, rail and other countywide mobility services.
Investments in these five categories will be guided by 11 Core Principles that were developed in consultation with a group of more than 100 local transportation experts, advocates and community stakeholders. The Core Principles include:
- Relieve traffic congestion countywide
- Invest in a financially sustainable public transportation system that increases ridership, provides quality transit options for everyone, and embraces innovation to create more transportation choices and improves travel experience
- Prioritize environmentally-sustainable transportation solutions
- Promote economic vitality and economic development
- Maximize opportunities to leverage investment and services from public and private partners
- Enhance safety and public health
- Invest in repair and maintenance of existing and future infrastructure
- Facilitate the reduction of vehicle miles traveled, travel times and greenhouse gas emissions
- Incorporate the inclusion and implementation of policies that encourage safe accommodation of all people using the roads, regardless of mode of travel
- Incentivize transit, bicycle, pedestrian, carpooling and other shared-ride options over driving alone
- Maximize traffic reduction potential associated with the creation of new housing opportunities in high-quality transit corridors
To ensure that the Plan is implemented in a way that reflects these Core Principles, the Plan also includes a new citizen oversight protocol. The protocol requires the appointment of a 15-member independent citizen oversight committee that would meet regularly to monitor decision-making, ensure accountability, and provide assurance that the plan is implemented in a way that stresses public transparency.
The tax is scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2019.
About the San Mateo County Transit District: The San Mateo County Transit District operates 70 SamTrans routes throughout San Mateo County. Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the San Mateo County Transit District also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. The San Mateo County Transit District has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976.
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