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Alameda CTC marks a decade of progress with Measure B revenues
By Tess Lengyel
ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif.
-- On April 26, 2012, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC) marked a decade of transportation gains made possible by Measure B, which 81.5 percent of Alameda County voters passed for a second time in 2000. In the first decade, the Alameda County half-cent transportation sales tax has generated over $956M to upgrade and expand the County's transportation system.
As the agency with sales tax planning and funding authority, Alameda CTC has used this money to help reduce congestion and improve mobility and access through investments in highways, streets, transit, walking and bicycling safety. Transportation options have also been expanded for seniors and the disabled. All of the projects, approved by voters, have set a course to bring Alameda County's transportation system into the 21st century and to enrich the lives and mobility of residents and businesses.
CLEAN AUDITS - BEST VALUE
Alameda CTC is also proud of that fact that throughout the last 10 years, all of its record-keeping has been accurate with "clean" audits from an independent external auditor. The audits have reinforced Alameda CTC's goal to spend tax dollars wisely and deliver projects efficiently by ensuring that the County gets the best value for the public funds it is entrusted to spend. The Alameda CTC independent Watchdog Committee has concurred with the "clean" audit opinion of the sales tax dollars.
In the last decade, 40 percent of $956.7M - or $382.7M - has been allocated to capital projects that have included rail extensions, highway widening and new or improved highway connection routes/interchanges, local streets and roads enhancements, intermodal projects (meaning they involve more than one form of transportation such as bus and rail) and other local projects.
CREATING MORE LOCAL JOBS
Through Alameda CTC's proactive contracting program, many local jobs have been created. Over $325M has been paid to local Alameda County firms, and $94M of that amount to small, local firms for construction, engineering, professional and administrative services. In the last fiscal year (2010-11) alone, about 82 percent of the engineering and administrative contracts went to 175 local firms.
PREPARING FOR FUTURE GROWTH
The Alameda CTC has been able to deliver 95 percent of its 27 capital improvement projects, approved by the voters in 2000, in half the anticipated time. Additionally, it has been able to draw into the County over $500M in federal, state and regional dollars to augment the local sales tax investments. In the coming months, over $400M in construction contracts will be released for transportation infrastructure improvements throughout the County.
More transportation investments are needed throughout the County, however, to support a growing population (including a larger percentage of seniors), address legislative mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Assembly Bill 32 and Senate Bill 375), and to support continued economic growth through job creation and efficient movement of people and goods.
In November 2012, residents of Alameda County will have a chance to determine whether to provide more transportation sales tax funds to deal with the transportation challenges in the decades to come. A new 2012 Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) will be placed on the ballot to guide $7.8 billion in multi-modal transportation investments that focus on maintenance and operations of the existing transportation system, as well as investments that address future transportation needs.
The TEP invests in the following categories (estimated in escalated dollars to 2042): Transit & Specialized Transit (48 percent) $3.732 billion; Local Streets & Roads (30 percent) $2.348 billion; Highway Efficiency & Freight (9 percent) $677M; Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure and Safety (8 percent) $651M; Sustainable Land Use & Transportation (4 percent) $300M; Technology, Innovation, and Development (1 percent) $77M to give total new net funding for 2013-42 of $7,786 billion.
The TEP is on the Alameda CTC website at: www.alamedactc.org/app_pages/view/70
THE ALAMEDA COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
The mission of the Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC) is to plan, fund and deliver transportation programs and projects that expand access and improve mobility to foster a vibrant and livable Alameda County. Alameda CTC coordinates countywide transportation planning and delivers the expenditure plan for the half-cent sales tax approved by 81.5 percent of County voters in 2000. For more information, visit www.AlamedaCTC.org.