New Starts

Funding

Bay Area and California Housing and Transportation Highlights from the Fiscal Year 2018 Federal Budget

An Aerial View of Marin County with the Bay in the Background
Karl Nielsen

Last month Congress approved a $1.3 trillion appropriations bill to fund the government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. In a departure from previous years, the budget included major boosts in funding for both defense and non-defense discretionary programs and also significantly increased investment in federal housing and transportation programs.

This post will provide summaries of major housing, transportation and other relevant provisions from the final FY 2018 spending bill; a chart comparing FY 2017 and FY 2018 funding levels; and analysis of California and/or Bay Area impacts for select housing and transportation programs. Continue reading on for more details. Read More

MTC-ABAG

MTC and ABAG Release First-Ever Joint Annual Report to Congress

Annual Report to Congress

MTC and ABAG have released their first-ever joint annual report to Congress for 2018, urging lawmakers in Washington D.C. to honor long-standing bipartisan commitments to transportation, housing and disaster relief.  The report, Accelerating Progress: Strong Partnerships Move the Bay Area Forward:

  • Provides an overview of the Bay Area’s policy and funding priorities, including priorities for a national infrastructure and a response to the Trump Administration’s budget proposal
  • Discusses the region’s major capital investment grant requests, including Caltrain modernization and the Bay Area’s next generation of transit capacity
  • Provides an update on both agencies’ major ongoing initiatives, including North Bay wildfire recovery efforts, climate change adaptation, bold efforts to solve the region’s housing crisis, the expansion of the Bay Area Express Lanes network, as well as research, planning and funding to maximize the benefits of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies. 

For more detail on these and other issue areas and initiatives, download the report. Read More

Transportation

New Light Rail Vehicles Come to San Francisco, Plus the Wilderness of Transportation Finance

The City of San Francisco is celebrating a major milestone with a once-in-a-generation new light rail train now in service, as shown in the above video from our partners at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni).  Muni reports:

These… trains are more comfortable, reliable, and rider-friendly. They include a new seating configuration that will provide wider aisles for more capacity, better customer signage, quieter cars and improved design that will reduce delays.  This new car represents the first of more than 200 vehicles that will add more train service that will reduce congestion, improve service frequency and overall service for hundreds of thousands of daily riders.

So: as the nine-county Bay Area’s transportation financing agency, did MTC help pay for these new vehicles? The answer is: yes, mostly, and then not exactly, and then mostly again… but… it’s complicated.

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Esoteric transportation finance wonkery to follow. Read More