Oakland’s Waterfront Takes Center Stage at PortFest 2003
Oleta Adams to Star at PortFest 2003
Grammy-Winning Oakland Interfaith Choir on PortFest 2003
Bay Crossings Journal
Bay Crossings Poetry
Freeway Service Patrol Logs 1 Million Assists
Wine Festival by the Bay
How Do Bus Drivers Feel About Golden Gate’s Financial Problems?
Paving the Way for Buses – The Great GM Streetcar Conspiracy
Port of Call: Cayenne, French Guyana
Opening of Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Changing of the Guard at San Francisco’s Last Shipyard
The Port Of Oakland Needs Your Help!
Taste of Oakland
East Bay French-American School To Host Annual "La Place Du Marche"
What the AC Transit Bus Driver Knows
The Iraq war reader
Judge Orders Carnival Cruise Line to Stop Illegal Dumping
On the Oakland Waterfront, Seafarers Club Breaks New Ground
Year of the Salmon!
WTA: For Whom the Bridge Tolls
New Ferry Building Sunday Garden Market Opening May 4th
San Francisco Bay
Vermeer Chocolate Martini
Oakland Arts Focus
Music Calendar - May 2003
In appreciation: David Clark
Water Transit Authority  WTA

For Whom the Bridge Tolls

Some of the Projects that are likely to be funded in SB 916: $1 Toll Increase (Partial list courtesy of TALC)

System-Wide Projects

· Earthquake safety

· Transbay Tube

· BART station upgrades

· Translink

· Nextbus

· Transbay owl service

· Regional express bus program

· Significantly increased regional ferry service


San Francisco

· MUNI-3rd street (E line)

· Improved BART / MUNI connectivity

· Transbay terminal

· Increased express bus service


East Bay


· Oakland BART Airport Connector

· Warm Springs BART extension

· East Dublin BART connector

· Improved Contra Costa express bus infrastructure

· AC Transit BRT and enhanced bus service

· Express bus along I-580 to Tri-Valley

· Direct HOV / bus access from I-680 to Pleasant Hill BART


· New Berkeley and Albany ferry service


North Bay

· SMART train extension

· Capital support for possible I-80 / I-680 transit alternative

· I-80 HOV / bus lane connector from SR-4 to Carquinez Bridge

· Golden Gate Express Bus service over Richmond Bridge

· Increased express bus service for Solano County

· Increased ferry service


South Bay

· Dumbarton Bridge rail service

· New ferry service to South San Francisco

Senator Don Perata announced the regional transit projects that would be funded out of the proposed dollar toll increase

On Thursday, April 17, Senator Don Perata invited press and regional transit advocates to join him in announcing the details of a comprehensive regional Bay Area traffic relief plan, Senate Bill (SB) 916. This bill, which proposes a dollar toll increase on state-owned bridges to fund regional transit projects, is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Transportation Committee on April 29. If passed through the Senate and then by the Assembly Transportation Committees and approved by the full legislature by majority vote, Bay Area voters in seven counties will get to weigh in on the plan during the March 2004 election. Specifically, voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Solano counties will have an opportunity to approve the measure. Surveys showed that 66% of Bay Area voters would support the measure; passage only requires a 50% majority.

Christine Zook, ATU Local 192, shown in front of a sea of t-shirts proclaiming, "Labor Keeps Transit Moving"

Senator Perata said, "We need to use every opportunity to strengthen the Bay Area’s economy. If this becomes law, we have a fighting chance to stay even with the growth of congestion." Referring to those who will pay the increased toll, he said, "Voters have shown overwhelming support for this plan. We’ve seen that [they] will support fees if we lay out a specific plan for how the money will be spent. We’re not saying, ‘Trust us.’ We’re saying, ‘This is what your money will buy.’"


Stuart Cohen, Executive Director of Transportation and Land Use Coalition, said, "What you won’t find in the Senator’s plan is overly expensive ribbon-cutting projects. This process weeded out projects that were not going to deliver relief. How do you spell relief? SB 916 is clearly the answer."


Rallying support from around the region, representatives from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), BART, the Transportation and Land Use Coalition, local transportation and congestion management agencies, and transit unions spoke in favor of SB 916. Framing the issue, Steve Hemminger, MTC’s Executive Director, said, "What bridge commuters need is more choices."

The Senate Select Committee on Bay Area Transportation, chaired by Senator Perata, initiated hearings in 2002 on the subject of bridge tolls and formed an advisory committee. The final project list was developed through months of lengthy meetings and negotiations with transit agencies, congestion management agencies (CMA), environmentalists, and advocates and staffed by MTC. During Fall 2002, the Advisory Committee held 15

Ezra Rapport staffed the Senate Select Committee on Transportation’s Bridge Toll Expenditure committee

meetings to review proposed projects. The projects were evaluated based on performance measures such as number of new transit riders, impact on congestion, cost effectiveness, transit connectivity, project readiness, sustainability, environmental impacts, land use opportunities, safety, social equity, and other considerations. Commenting on that process, Dennis Fay, Director of the Alameda County CMA, said, "We tortured each other over several months presenting projects. Hopefully, this (SB 916) will be the path to success."

Jim Gleich, Executive Director AC Transit, rubs elbows with union leaders Marina Secchitano, IBU, and Christine Zook, ATU

Christine Zook, President/Business Agent of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192, said, "The only thing that working families spend more on than housing is transit." In mid-March, transit unions joined forces to lobby Sacramento legislators on the value of SB 916. Ms. Zook recognized members of that coalition who filled two rows of the packed press conference, wearing yellow t-shirts bearing their slogan, "TransitWorks: Labor Keeps Transit Moving."

Summing it up, Tom Margro, Executive Director of BART, pronounced Senator Perata’s bill "A bold vision for a bold plan.

BART’s connection to Oakland Airport is one of many projects funded out of SB 916