Earlier this summer, Bay Area voters passed Regional Measure 3 with 54% of the vote, authorizing $4.5 billion of transportation improvements throughout the region. Commuters will pay a $1 toll hike on seven Bay Area bridges, excluding only the Golden Gate Bridge, beginning on January 1, 2019. Our original article summarizing RM-3 lays out the planned improvements.
San Francisco commuters may have already noticed new Muni railcars on the N-Judah line, added in late June 2018 with money from other sources. With RM-3 funding on its way, Muni officials estimate that 68 new cars – featuring automated stop announcements and new seating configurations – will go into service by the end of next year.
RM-3 requires the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA), a joint-powers agency with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), to establish an independent oversight committee to manage the allocation of funds throughout the nine Bay Area counties. The committee would submit an annual report to the State Legislature, detailing the status of the projects in the Measure’s operating and capital expenditure plans.
The construction schedule for RM-3 projects is not expected to be determined until next year, pending the resolution of a taxpayers’ lawsuit seeking to invalidate the Measure. The lawsuit claims that the toll hikes are a tax requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to qualify for the ballot.
We expect more information about the RM-3 improvements beginning in January of 2019, when the Measure is scheduled to take effect, and we will continue to provide updates.