$400 Million Bond Measure Aims To Modernize Light Rail, Improve Street Safety

A look at projects in Ingleside that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency plans to include in a bond measure this year.

K Ingleside light rail vehicles
K Ingleside light rail vehicles on Ocean Avenue. Alex Mullaney/Ingleside Light
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A $400 million general obligation bond measure could be on this year’s June 2022 ballot to help the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency modernize its 20-year-old subway train, improve street safety and upgrade aging infrastructure.

In a bond report on how the SFMTA plans to spend the $400 million, $10 million would be used to help fund the project, while the bond itself could help leverage federal matching dollars to help fund the rest of the project. Officials said upgrading the train control system will allow the SFMTA to run longer trains and improve train spacing in the subway.

The project would also allow expanding the train control system above the surface level, including on the K Ingleside and on the rest of the rail lines, the report said.

Another category the bond measure would fund is for on-street improvements to make it safer for all users of the road. $42 million would go toward redesigning streets on the city’s high-injury network, the 13% of streets that account for more than 75% of severe or fatal traffic injuries.

While projects have not been identified yet, there are potential projects in SFMTA’s 2021 Vision Zero Action Strategy that could be funded through the bond measure, including in corridors in the greater Ingleside neighborhood.

The SFMTA still has about 80 miles in the high-injury network that still have not yet received updated safety improvements, including on Ocean Avenue between San Jose Avenue and Santa Ynez Avenue.

A stretch of San Jose Avenue from Santa Ynez Avenue and on Monterey Boulevard from Edna Street and Plymouth Avenue are also on the high-injury network that have not yet received safety improvements yet.

Additionally, $250 million of the bond measure would go towards upgrading aging Muni facilities, including bus yards that are nearly 100 years old. Funds will also help upgrade facilities in order to support the agency’s move towards a 100% zero-emission fleet.

“A reliable transportation system and safe streets are essential to the long-term health of our city and our residents,” said Mayor London Breed in a statement last month. “The investments from this proposed Bond, along with significant new funding from the federal government, will allow us to modernize our facilities, upgrade our systems, and make Muni work more efficiently for everyone.”

Breed introduced the bond measure last month at the Board of Supervisors, but not before the city’s Capital Planning Committee approved moving forward with the bond measure.

Eight supervisors will need to vote in favor of the bond measure in order for it to appear on the June 2022 ballot. It will require two-thirds of voters to approve the measure.

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