Statement on Assembly Passage of Bill to Relieve Bay Area Transit and Traffic Woes

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) issued the following statement after the California State Assembly approved Senate Bill 595 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose), which would authorize the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to reduce transit and traffic congestion by placing before Bay Area voters a toll increase on state-owned bridges. Asm. Chiu is a Principal Co-Author of the bill and managed it on the Assembly Floor. AB 595 now returns to the Senate for a concurrence vote before heading to the Governor’s desk.

“We have to invest in transit and traffic reduction or the Bay Area will grind completely to a halt. Our residents already spend an average of 82 hours per year stuck in traffic and our transit systems are struggling to keep overcrowded buses and trains moving.

This important measure empowers voters of the Bay Area to move our transportation system forward. The $4.4 billion plan includes a significant expansion of ferry service and funds for new BART and Muni vehicles as well as pedestrian and bicycle projects. It will also dedicate resources to the Caltrain extension to the Transbay Terminal and will relieve some of the most critical traffic congestion problems on Bay Area freeways. The investments in this regional measure will also help provide important jobs, improve the quality of life, and reduce emissions. Numerous provisions in the bill, including a new Inspector General for BART, will ensure that these projects deliver their promised benefits.

This bill represents the work of a strong coalition from each of the nine Bay Area counties. After extensive negotiations in recent months, SB 595 now enjoys the support of every countywide congestion management agency in the Bay Area as well as many labor and business groups, and I am proud to stand with my colleagues from the region in support of this measure. In particular, I appreciated working with Senator Beall as well as Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo), and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).”

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Assemblymember David Chiu (D – San Francisco) is the Chair of the Housing & Community Development Committee of the California State Assembly. He represents the 17th Assembly District, which encompasses eastern San Francisco.

CONTACT: Judson True, judson.true@asm.ca.gov, 916.319.2017