Tomorrow: East Bay Advocates Call for Fixing Alameda Transit First

A coalition of East Bay advocates is urging supporters to speak up tomorrow morning and tell the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) to take advantage of a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to repair and restore a failing system and provide a cost-effective, equitable, and sustainable transportation future.”

Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/pfsullivan_1056/6286531770/sizes/l/in/photostream/##THE Holy Hand Grenade!/Flickr##

Measure B, Alameda County’s largest source of transportation funding, is set to go to voters for re-authorization next November, and advocates say it’s crucial that the proposal prioritize investments in fixing transit and improving walking and bicycling conditions.

“The ACTC is preparing to ask voters in November 2012 to double the county’s current half-cent transportation sales tax to one cent, make the tax permanent, and approve a 30-year Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP),” states a press release from the Community Vision Coalition, comprised of members like the East Bay Bike Coalition (EBBC) and TransForm. “The TEP will determine the spending priorities for the first $7.8 billion generated by the new measure.”

Dave Campbell, the EBBC’s program director, says the measure as it’s currently being drafted puts expensive road and transit capital expansion projects ahead of the needs of the existing transit system, and a strong show of public support is needed tomorrow to convince the ACTC to invest the revenue more wisely.

“Our needs are to fix the potholes on the streets, get BART trains and AC Transit buses running on time, and make our streets safer for walking and bicycling,” said Campbell. “The ACTC has done public surveys, polling, and outreach, and consistently they’ve been told, ‘Fix the system first.'”

Reaching the two-thirds vote needed to pass the measure in November will require all the support it can get, and “more voters are going to vote for it when projects line up with their priorities,” he said.

The ACTC meeting will be held tomorrow from 9:30 a.m.  to 12:30 p.m. at the Newark Pavillion at 6430 Thornton Avenue, Newark.

To learn more about Measure B and the Community Vision Coalition’s agenda, check out the Community Vision Platform at the TransForm website.

  • mikesonn

    Doesn’t BART already have its own dedicated funding source? Or is this current 1/2 cent tax BART’s?

  • Tim

    Its good that someone is making a concerted effort to fund system improvements and service restoration (7-8 billion dollars are needed for BART alone), but to write off politically motivated expansion projects like BART to Livermore is a nonstarter. With the election of John McPartland (represents Livermore) as the BART Board president, its going to happen. I’m also wary of TransForm, as they tend to support BRT and HOV toll lanes everywhere, in place of more environmentally and politically palpable options (ie. electric rail, not necessarily BART).

  • If this means more money for BART to Livermore then the vote should be NO.  Also, nothing good will happen as long as Berkeley keeps rejecting dedicated bus lanes and pushing back against development. 

  • mikesonn

    I’m still confused as to why ANY of this money would go to BART.

  • Anonymous

    Is BART to Livermore even going to happen? Last I heard, there was strong local opposition to a downtown station, with the city council backing an I-580 route instead. An I-580 route was considered unlikely as BART would not be able to build the necessary TOD next to the freeway to secure funding.

    A freeway only alignment should be opposed by every sensible transit activist. Why spend billions just so that commuters from Livermore and Tracy can spend ten minutes less driving and ten minutes longer on a BART train? The value of rail transit lies in it’s ability to bring large amounts of people to a location without destroying the livability and walkability of that location. Building BART stations in a freeway median is a waste of money because that location is already unlivable and walkable, so these benefits cannot be realized.

    I would love to see a BART leadership that had the courage to move away from the park and ride model and replace parking with TOD. Ashby and North Berkeley stations are both great candidates for this.

  • Jwbaker

    If they wanted to make sure no transit riders attend they could hardly have picked a better venue. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn it is easier to get there by zodiac than by bus.

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