SAN FRANCISCO—Mayor Edwin M. Lee recently presented his proposed balanced budget for seven City departments (the Airport, Port, Public Utilities Commission, Municipal Transportation Agency, Child Support Services, Retirement System and Public Library), totaling $5.9 billion over the next two years. The May 1st budget includes enterprise and other self-supporting departments.
The proposed capital projects deliver more than $4 billion into the local economy and support over 36,000 local jobs. “We have opportunity to protect and continue our economic recovery while at the same time improve our City’s infrastructure for generations to come,” says Mayor Lee.
He continues that “As we invest in and strengthen our transportation, waterfront and water system infrastructure, we are also putting our residents back to work. We will ensure that San Francisco remains an economic engine for the region and is a City that people from all levels of the economic spectrum can call home.”
Supervisor Mark Farrell points out that “Although San Francisco is in a better place economically, we cannot take anything for granted and must continue to ensure that our City is fiscally responsible, safe and successful while balancing many competing needs.”
A well-functioning, safe, and efficient public transportation system is critical to ensuring that San Francisco is accessible and livable for all, says the Mayor. The Municipal Transportation Agency’s budget implements a 10% service increase over the next two years, which includes additional maintenance and front-line transit workers. “This investment will ensure the reliability, affordability, and accessibility of our City’s public transit system, which is central to San Francisco’s well-being and livability.”
Aging, outdated infrastructure and insufficient vehicles are a major cause of service delays and performance challenges for the public transit system, and San Francisco must invest $10.1 billion in transportation infrastructure over the next 15 years, according to findings from the SF 2030 Transportation Task Force. Taking a comprehensive approach to funding San Francisco’s long-underfunded transportation system by 2030, Mayor Lee, working with the Board of Supervisors, will support the SF 2030 Transportation Task Force’s two recommendations for 2014, bringing to the voters this November a $500 million general obligation transportation bond and a measure to increase the local vehicle license fee.
As GlobeSt.com previously reported in an infrastructure analysis piece, while one source doesn’t see San Francisco’s infrastructure being overwhelmed anytime soon, another does. According to Mark Gedymin, senior advisor of TRI Commercial/CORFAC International, “Caltrain and BART continually upgrade their services.” But Markus Shayeb, SVP of tenant advisory at Transwestern’s San Francisco Bay Area office, told GlobeSt.com that “you have to question some recent projections of the high number of jobs coming. If you look at all the commitments of lease expansion, our research shows it translates to upwards of 20,000 additional jobs—an enormous figure that doesn’t seem possible, given the city’s current infrastructure and housing.”