Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Department of Public Works



December 1, 2003


December 16, 2003



Honorable Board of Supervisors


Neil R. Cullen, Director of Public Works


Balanced Funding for Transportation Systems



Adopt a resolution supporting the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in developing the Transportation 2030 Plan with balanced funding for transit and for the maintenance and rehabilitation of local arterial and collector streets not currently on the Metropolitan Transportation System (MTS).


Key Facts


MTC allocated approximately $0.12 for local streets and roads for every $1 that it allocated to transit in discretionary funding in the 2001 Regional Transportation Plan (i.e. $143 million for local streets and roads as compared to $1.182 billion for transit) that is funded through various State and Federal programs.



A recent MTC study identified a $7.6 billion funding shortfall in meeting local streets and roads needs over 25 years. If the shortfall continues, the needs will increase by another $3 billion in the region due to deferred maintenance.



MTC defined the MTS in 1990's as a network of what it considered major arterial and collector streets, and subsequently developed funding criteria that allocated a finite amount of funding that could only be used on roads that were identified as being on the MTS.


MTC is currently in an 18-month process of developing the Transportation 2030 Plan (T-2030) for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, which is a comprehensive roadmap to guide the development of mass transit, highway, airport, seaport, bicycle and pedestrian facilities for the years 2005-2030, and is updated every three years to reflect new planning priorities and changing projections of growth and travel demand.


Regional transportation funds programmed and distributed through MTC in the past, have allowed many cities and counties to supplement local funds to finance needed preventive maintenance and rehabilitation work on their entire local street and road system. The local funds are generally from an allocation of the State gas tax revenues that are returned to the cities and counties through a number of formulae (population and road mileage for cities, road mileage and vehicle registration for counties, etc.).


However, the amount of supplemental discretionary funds for the maintenance and rehabilitation of local streets and roads amounted to only $143 million or approximately five percent (5%) of the approximately $7.4 billion that was allocated to the various programs by MTC in the 2001 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).


This relatively small allocation of RTP monies to local streets and roads resulted in city and county public works professionals from throughout the nine-county Bay Area forming the "Local Streets and Roads Committee" earlier this year. The Committee has been working cooperatively with MTC staff to provide accurate information regarding roads needs and resources to aid MTC in making funding decisions. Similar efforts were undertaken by the transit operators.


The results from the transit and the local roads committees were the determination that there is a combined $15 billion shortfall for transit capital needs, and preventive maintenance and rehabilitation needs for local streets and roads (approximately $7.5 billion each). The available discretionary revenue for T-2030 is projected to be approximately $8.77 billion. Even if MTC ignores other regional needs, it will still leave approximately $6.23 billion in unfunded needs for transits and local streets and roads.


The Local Streets and Roads Committee is cognizant of the limited discretionary revenue that is projected to be available, but believes that any enhanced amount allocated for local streets and roads should be allowed to be used on all local arterial and collectors streets instead of restricting these funds to the MTS as occurred the 2001 RTP, as the MTS streets represent less than five percent (5%) of the total local street and road network.


We are recommending that your Board support the Committee's position of a balanced apportionment of these funds so that street and road preventive maintenance receives a fair share of whatever regional funding may be available for this purpose in the future.


Vision Alignment

We believe our recommendation is consistent with the Shared Commitment of a "responsive effective and collaborative government" as the recommendations was developed by a regional committee intending to provide collaborative input for a regional plan.


Fiscal Impact

There is no direct impact to any fund administered by the County by adopting the proposed resolution. However, less funds will be available to finance the maintenance of the approximately 316 miles of County roads if little or no discretionary funds are allocated by MTC for the maintenance of local streets and roads. An equitable allocation of the discretionary funds will not solve all the funding shortfall, but will support a balanced and equitable approach to funding local street and road maintenance needs.


There is no impact to the General Fund.


A form of resolution has been approved by County Counsel.