BART Bond: Measure RR

Measure RR: BART Safety, Reliability and Traffic Relief is a multi-county Bond Measure on the 2016 ballot for voters residing in the BART District (Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties). As a proposed property tax Measure RR requires a 66.66% cumulative approval from the BART District. The goal of this Bond Measure is to fund the BART System Renewal Program Plan. The Official Resolution from the BART Board was approved unanimously and adopted June 9th. The official text (Alameda County) :

To keep BART safe; prevent accidents/breakdowns/delays; relieve overcrowding; reduce traffic congestion/pollution; improve earthquake safety and access for seniors/disabled by replacing and upgrading 90 miles of severely worn tracks; tunnels damaged by water intrusion; 44-year-old train control systems; and other deteriorating infrastructure, shall the Bay Area Rapid Transit District issue $3.5 billion of bonds for acquisition or improvement of real property subject to independent oversight and annual audits?

Legally what Measure RR would do:

  • Authorize up to $3.5 Billion dollars in bonds for capital expenditures only for use by BART in the pursuit of projects outlined in the text above.
    • Capital expenditures – money spent by a business or organization on acquiring or maintaining fixed assets, such as land, buildings, and equipment.
    • Debt service for these bonds would continue until 2065 and will have paid back estimated total $6.83 billion, including $3.33 Billion in interest over 48 years.
  • Create a property tax on taxable properties throughout the BART District (Alameda County, Contra Costa County, San Francisco City/County). Based on assessed value according to the required Tax Rate Statement | Tax Analysis, the tax will be:
    Year Estimated impact
    2017-2018 $2.02 per $100,000
    2035-2036 $17.49 per $100,000
    Average $8.98 per $100,000

    Example Estimated Taxes

    House assessed at: $900,000 $1,200,000 $1,500,000
    2017-2018 Estimated per year tax $18.18 $24.24 $30.30
    2035-2036 Estimated per year tax $157.41 $209.88 $262.35
    Estimated Average per year $80.82 $107.76 $134.70
  •  Require that BART create an Independent Bond Citizen’s Oversight Committee for the purposes of reporting to the Board and public their findings regarding use of the funds.
  • Dedicate (not binding) the fare revenue to capital renovation projects of revenue generated from inflation-based fare increases for the years 2014-2022 (est. $325 million)

Please feel free to read the official resolution in full.

How BART would spend the bond money:

Further explanation of how the money is expected to be used can be found in the System Renewal Program Planor watch the BART Board Meeting 2016-05-26 (jump to hour 5, minute 4) But this is the basic breakdown:

Renew Track 625M 18%
Renew Power Infrastructure 1,225M 35%
Repair Tunnels and Structures 570M 16%
Repair Mechanical Infrastructure 135M 4%
Replace train control and other major
system infrastructure to increase peak period capacity
400M 12%
Renew Stations 210M 6%
Station Access 135M 4%
Design/Engineer future projects 210M 6%

What the BART Bond would not do:

  • Prevent BART from from making future adjustments to its otherwise operating or capital budget
  • Affect BART employees’ pay or benefits positively or negatively.
  • Increase BART union workers’ retirement benefits.
  • See the future – circumstances arise, economies change, and catastrophes happen and BART needs to be able to respond to those changes
  • Prevent BART union strikes.
  • Require a change in BART administration, staff, or Board of Directors.
  • Levy a tax on San Mateo or Santa Clara Counties.
  • Pay for a new Transbay Tube (6% of total bond will into design/investigation of relieving crowding, increasing system redundancy, and reducing traffic congestion).

 What BART has already done: