California Transportation Commission

I Hate Taxes. But I Hate Traffic More.

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January 28  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . I hate taxes. But I hate traffic more.

The gas tax, the primary source of state and federal transportation funds for the past century, may not long survive this century. More fuel-efficient cars, all-electric cars and fully autonomous cars are here or on the horizon, and they are gaining market share.

Because of this, the California Transportation Commission, which I Chair, recently appointed a Road Charge Task Force, consisting of 17 Californians with the task to recommend a pilot program to ultimately replace the gas tax. The Task Force will look for a more stable, long-term source of funds as an alternative to the gas tax.

In 1994, when the gas tax was increased to 18 cents a gallon, no one would have known that just two decades later the buying power on that tax would have been cut in half. That’s why Governor Brown wisely called for solutions to fill the $59 billion hole in our deteriorating system of roads, highways and bridges.

This task also will need all Californians to engage in this conversation, so we can collectively determine our path forward. It may sound like a rocky road – but it cannot be any rockier than the pothole-infested roads on which we currently drive.

Join us. Go to the CTC website and provide your questions and potential solutions to re-build our roads in a not-too-distant future when we will need to wean ourselves away from the gas tax.

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BART Extension On-Track: New State Funds

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August 16  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money.

These famous words by a former member of Congress underscore the importance of the funding needed for transportation improvements throughout our region.

This was driven home to me again last week in San Diego, when my colleagues and I who serve on the California Transportation Commission approved an additional $40 million in state funds to build our BART extension to Silicon Valley. Over the past five years, we have allocated nearly $760 million in state funds for this vital link between Fremont and San Jose. The final allocation of $39 million is scheduled for delivery in August 2014.

Equally important, construction is under way, with the BART extension running nearly $100 million under budget and 18 months ahead of schedule. Kudos to the VTA for its stewardship of our tax dollars. Indeed, our BART extension is on-track.

The important partnership between local voters who have taxed themselves and state and federal funds, is making the dream of BART to Silicon Valley a reality.

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