Editorial: Newsom Should Fund Ailing Transit Systems

With many of California’s low-income workers dependent on public transit to get to work and run daily errands, the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board calls on the state’s governor to support faltering transit systems.

1 minute read

May 23, 2023, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Blurred red San Francisco streetcar speeding past tall downtown buildings

Wolfgang Hauke / San Francisco streetcar

Will California Governor Gavin Newsom let the state’s transit systems fail? The San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board argues that he shouldn’t. “Without money to keep public transit from going kaput, and with fewer grants available to buy electric vehicles, how will lower-income Californians get to work or the doctor’s office?”

Without state intervention, in the Bay Area alone, “The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency estimates that it will have to slash one line per month for 20 months starting this summer if state funds don’t come in. BART, meanwhile, is bracing for a worst-case financial scenario that could result in closing service on weekends, shuttering two of its five lines and nine of its 50 stations, and running trains as infrequently as once per hour.”

Meanwhile, the governor’s proposed budget steadfastly supports transit funding cuts. The editorial board argues that “Many other investments will be for naught if California’s public transit systems enter financial ruin.”

The board points out that transit agencies are working to develop better accountability systems as they seek additional funding. “On Thursday, the California Transit Association released a proposed accountability framework that would require agencies receiving state funds to submit detailed plans to recover ridership and address operating deficits. Agencies would also have to submit progress reports every two years outlining how they spent the money.”

Saturday, May 20, 2023 in San Francisco Chronicle

Black and white Rideshare Pick-Up Zone sign

The Slow Death of Ride Sharing

From the beginning, TNCs like Lyft and Uber touted shared rides as their key product. Now, Lyft is ending the practice.

June 1, 2023 - Human Transit

Red on white 'Room for Rent, Inquire Inside' sign

In Most U.S. Cities, Archaic Laws Limit Roommate Living

Critics argue laws preventing unrelated adults from living in the same home fail to understand the modern American household.

May 24, 2023 - The Atlantic

Vancouver Chuck Wolfe

Ten Signs of a Resurgent Downtown

In GeekWire, Chuck Wolfe continues his exploration of a holistic and practical approach to post-pandemic urban center recovery, anchored in local context and community-driven initiatives that promote livability, safety, and sustainability.

May 24, 2023 - GeekWire

Self-driving Mercedes semi truck on highway with white semi truck behind it

California Moves to Limit Autonomous Trucks

A bill passed by the State Assembly and moving on to the Senate would require autonomous semi trucks to have a trained human operator in the vehicle.

June 2 - The Sacramento Bee

Minnesota state capitol building with red flowers on green front lawn

Minnesota Budget Includes Significant Transit Investments

After a contentious debate, the state legislature passed a budget that changes how transportation projects are funded and supports increased transit service in the state.

June 2 - Governing

A vacant lot between two one-story brick buildings with graffiti in Detroit, Michigan

Proposed Land Value Tax Plan in Detroit

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan proposes hiking property taxes for vacant land and buildings while lowering the rate for occupied homes and businesses in a split tax plan he contends will resolve many of Detroit's blight and high property tax woes.

June 2 - The Detroit News

Project Manager III

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

UDO Transportation Planner

City of Charlotte - Charlotte Area Transit

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.