Getting around the Bay Area, and San Francisco specifically, is getting more difficult and more expensive. Our population and economy are growing, and our transportation system is aging and strained. The housing crisis is forcing people to commute from further and further away, exacerbating traffic and placing undue burden on working families. Meanwhile, new technology — from carshare, Uber & Lyft, scooters, and autonomous vehicles — is improving options but often lacks adequate regulation.
San Francisco needs a mayor who understands the connection between land use and transportation, who fights for Transit First, who knows the frustration and joys of riding Muni because she’s done it all her life, who rides a bike and has struggled to pay a parking ticket, who’s frustrated by our congestion, and who embraces well-regulated new technology. We need a mayor with a plan to make transportation work for everyone, a mayor with a track record of fighting for improvements and for the resources we need. I am that Mayor.
My Record on Transportation
Improving transportation in the City has been one of my highest priorities on the Board of Supervisors, and it will be one of my highest priorities as mayor. Here are some of my achievements so far.
Increasing Transportation Funding
- Helped place the $500 million transportation bond on the ballot in 2014, which is repaving streets and repairing infrastructure, boosting Muni service, and enhancing bicycle and pedestrian safety — without raising taxes.
- Was the deciding vote to place 2014’s Proposition B on the ballot, which requires the City to increase transportation funding as our population grows. This measure is now providing over $25 million per year for Muni improvements, as well as pedestrian, bike, and Vision Zero safety upgrades.
- Co-authored legislation creating the new citywide Transportation Sustainability Fee (TSF) which, for the first time, requires residential developers to pay for the impacts their projects have on our transportation system. The TSF is generating almost $20 million in new funding every year for Muni, bike, and pedestrian improvements.
- Worked with Mayor Lee to invest $48.1 million in SFMTA’s budget for: one of the biggest Muni service increases in decades, new buses and trains, pedestrian and bike safety improvements, and new drivers, mechanics, and cleaning crews.
Improving Muni Service
- Carried the legislation enabling Muni to buy hundreds of cleaner, more reliable buses, and replace and expand their entire fleet of trains (50 Hybrid Buses, 260 Trains, 61 Hybrid Buses, 60 Trolley Buses, 98 Hybrid Buses, 33 Trolley Buses). The 260 new trains, our largest fleet improvement in a generation, will serve the Central Subway, replace our aging current trains, and add 85 more to improve service. They are lighter, quieter, more spacious, built locally, and will run over ten times longer before needing repair.
- Helped implement the Muni Forward program, with a massive 10% increase in Muni service citywide, as well as lower wait times and shorter commutes for 140,000 Muni riders.
- Launched multiple improvements to the most-crowded Muni line in the City, the N Judah, including adding trains and creating a new shuttle line to serve the most crowded areas during commute hours.
- Helped launch the 5 Fulton Rapid which increased bus service by 33% during the morning commute, shortened travel times for the 5’s 20,000 riders, reduced collisions, and even encouraged thousands of new riders to take the 5.
- Helped fund the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects on Van Ness and Geary, which will cut travel times by up to 32% on some of the City’s busiest bus lines, repave two of our busiest thoroughfares, and include infrastructure repairs, greening, and pedestrian safety improvements.
- Collaborated with Muni, BART staff, and BART Director Nick Josefowitz to finally bring cellular phone service to all Muni trains and tunnels, improving safety and convenience without costing Muni or its riders a dime.
- Strongly opposed the failed 2016 ballot measure to politicize Muni’s budget, Proposition L.
- Cosponsored the legislation to develop a Subway Master Plan so the City begins planning for new subway lines.
- Partnered with Supervisor Scott Wiener in 2013 to urge Muni to modify its train seating to create more room for passengers. When Muni refused, we called a public hearing, and eventually Muni implemented our proposal. Passengers overwhelmingly supported the new design, and now Muni is incorporating it in all the new trains!
Safer Streets for All Users
- Sponsored the original Vision Zero legislation in 2014 calling for a plan to eliminate traffic fatalities in the next ten years, and I have been a strong Vision Zero supporter ever since.
- Helped secure $9 million to improve bicyclist, pedestrian, and driver safety along the Octavia corridor. Ushered a series of safety improvements with the community and SFMTA and dramatically improved what was the most dangerous intersection in the city.
- Led the effort to secure federal funding for the Masonic Boulevard project, to improve safety for everyone who travels and lives on what was one of the most dangerous streets in the city.
- Stood up for the thousands of motorists who use Kezar Drive (connecting Lincoln and Oak/Fell), getting it repaved when it was falling apart and the City had failed to act.
More Biking & Sustainable Mode Share
- Got the Oak and Fell bike lanes completed ahead of schedule in 2013, an achievement that prompted StreetsblogSF to say I had “emerged as a bicycling champion.”
- Cosponsored the legislation creating the City’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program, requiring developers to include sustainable transit features like bike parking, Muni passes, carpool programs, and transit signs. The only way to avoid complete gridlock is to transition more to sustainable modes as our city grows.
- Passed legislation removing obstructions to protected bike lanes and allowing unused parking spaces to be converted to housing or green space.
- Despite what you may have read in a recent election article, I strongly support bike sharing, both docked and dockless. I cosponsored the legislation creating the docked program with Motivate, and I support the SFMTA’s pilot dockless program with JUMP bikes and want to see it expanded.
- Was the first elected official in San Francisco to support the “Idaho Stop” law, allowing bicyclists to safely yield at stop signs when pedestrians and vehicles are not present, and with Supervisor John Avalos, co-wrote the legislation to enact it.
- Earned the sole endorsement of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition in my 2016 re-election. They wrote: “Breed has consistently supported smart, data-driven traffic enforcement and helped to move important bike projects.”
- Strongly supported the 2016 BART bond, providing $3.5 billion for infrastructure renewal and reliability improvements.
- With my colleagues on the Golden Gate Bridge Board, assembled $30 million in regional, state, and federal funds to install the moveable median barrier on the Golden Gate, an historic regional safety improvement.
- Carried the legislation to place Regional Measure 3 on the San Francisco ballot this June, which if passed, will enable $4.5 billion in regional investments for highway and transit improvements, increased BART, Muni, and ferry service, and the extension of Caltrain to Transbay Terminal.
- Public transit and infrastructure projects too often end up over budget and behind schedule. I’ve been a consistent leader for oversight and accountability, saving San Franciscans time and money.
- In 2014 voters approved $500 million in bonds to improve our transportation systems, yet more than two years later in early 2017, the SFMTA had only spent 2% of the money. Our money grew less valuable and our transportation projects more delayed. I immediately called for a hearing to hold the SFMTA accountable and get these critical projects moving.
- The Transbay Transit center project ran way over budget and behind schedule for years, and though one of my colleagues sat on the project’s board, Transbay was not under the direct control of the Board of Supervisors. When Transbay came to the City needing a multimillion dollar bailout, I said: “Absolutely not unless there are leadership changes and new oversight put in place.” We established a cost review panel and brought the project under the City’s control.
- A subcontractor working on Haight Street in my district repeatedly botched gas line work and endangered the community. I helped stop the work and remove the subcontractor, stayed in constant communication with the community, and called a hearing at the Board to determine what went wrong. Then I passed legislation with Supervisor Scott Wiener ensuring that the City’s bidding process evaluates contractors’ record of safe, on-time performance.
My Transportation Agenda
I am committed to making transportation work for everyone: to improving safety for all users, reducing congestion, expanding public transit and bike lanes, cleaning our air, paving our streets, and ensuring we all have a reliable, accessible, and affordable way to get around San Francisco.
- Build Transit-Oriented Housing & Closer Communities
As with so many issues our City faces, with transportation, all roads lead back to housing. San Francisco is projected to grow by 280,000 people in the next two decades, part of the 2.1 million in growth projected for the Bay Area. The only way we can accommodate even half that much growth without terrible congestion is by building homes near transit and shortening people’s commutes. As many people have said, I am the only pro-housing candidate for mayor.
I support Assemblymember David Chiu’s Assembly Bill 2923 to build 20,000 homes near BART stations, with a goal of doing the same for Caltrain stations. I am the only candidate for mayor who has stood up for housing near transit. And I recently wrote the San Francisco Planning Department urging changes to the Central SoMa Plan, which envisions adding 40,000 jobs to the area but only 7,000 homes, exacerbating our transportation problems.
I will fight for affordable housing for teachers, police, fire fighters, and families in all our neighborhoods. I am committed to building 5,000 units of transit-oriented housing each year. I will push for neighborhood schools and the Safe Routes to School program so our children don’t have to commute so far either. These measure aren’t just good transportation policy; they make for closer communities too.
2. Close the Transportation Funding Gap
Last year, Mayor Lee and I convened the Transportation Task Force 2045 to identify the City’s transportation funding needs between now and 2045, the gaps in that funding, and how we may fill them. The Task Force’s report is sobering; we have billions in unfunded needs. I am committed to helping fill them. Building on our 2014 success, I will advance another $500M bond to fund transportation capital needs without raising taxes. And I will actively pursue federal, state, regional, and local funding, such as the current Regional Measure 3. We need this funding to repair our infrastructure, pave streets, expand transit service, and build major new projects like subways and a second Bay tunnel for rail and BART.
3. Improve Transit Service
We need to make public transit more reliable and, frankly, a more attractive option for more people. Muni moves through our city at an average of about 8 MPH, with frequent bunches and gaps, and far-too-frequent delays. I will reduce switchbacks, upgrade “Nextbus” arrival predictions, and improve Muni vehicle and station cleanliness. I will champion Muni’s efforts to get buses and trains separated from traffic and to time signals and locate transit stops so Muni can move faster and more reliably. I will support BART’s work to replace its train control system so we can move more trains, and thus more riders, through the existing BART tube during commute hours. And I will hire more police officers and tackle our homelessness crisis, so waiting at a Muni stop is not a harrowing experience.
I will continue our work to make public transit affordable and accessible for everyone, as transportation is often the third largest household expense. And I will support the California State Transportation Agency’s call for a statewide integrated ticketing platform allowing seamless travel across local and regional boundaries, and leveraging smartphones to streamline ticket purchases and use across transit agencies and modes, while also supporting those without access to bank accounts or smartphones. Travel on local and regional transit should be easier to plan and more affordable, and riders shouldn’t have to navigate multiple different payment systems.
4. Re-envision Rail Travel
I will get the Central Subway extended to Fisherman’s Wharf, and as Scott Wiener says, make sure we are always digging a new subway. I will partner closely with the State and our regional rail partners to advance the California State Rail Plan — with a fully-electrified Caltrain operating in a blended system with the future California High Speed Rail. And we will begin planning for a rail tunnel under the Bay so that Caltrain, the Capitol Corridor, and ACE (Altamont Corridor Express) can operate as part of an integrated, statewide rail network that connects to our regional and local systems, including BART and Muni. We can make seamless and fast regional — even statewide — rail travel a reality for San Franciscans.
5. Build Safe, Complete Streets
Our streets should be inviting and safe so anyone can feel comfortable choosing to ride a bike, walk, or take transit, and so it is clear which space is for which mode of travel. I will accelerate the construction of protected bike lanes throughout San Francisco and expand our bike network. I will fund street repaving to continue improving our street conditions (the Pavement Condition Index), and coordinate repaving with Vision Zero and complete streets improvements. And I will be vigilant with our departments and contractors to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget. I want the Fire Department and the SFMTA to have one dedicated staffer work with stakeholders throughout the complete street design and review processes to prevent delays.
Safe, complete streets save lives, improve driving conditions, and encourage a walkable and cyclist-friendly atmosphere to increase sustainable modes of travel.
6. Regulate & Embrace New Technology
Technology is rapidly changing our transportation systems, and if we craft smart regulations, these changes can be for the better.
Transportation Network Companies (TNC) like Uber and Lyft provide convenient rides, but accessibility for disabled riders remains a problem, and the volume of TNCs is worsening our congestion. On an average weekday, TNCs make up 15% of all trips within the City, travelling about 570,000 miles, and representing over one quarter of the car trips Downtown. I will ensure we study TNCs’ impacts and am open to a TNC business tax and studying a congestion tax. I also believe taxis remain an important element and deserve a level playing field. And we need to provide safe passenger loading zones on commercial corridors to stop double parking, ease congestion, and reduce impacts on cyclists and buses.
Electric scooters can be a fun and clean new transportation option. But they need to be regulated and stay off our sidewalks. Bike share, electric bikes, and other cycling options are exciting and we should continue expanding the bike network they need.
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) have the potential to reshape not only transportation methods but our public spaces. The average privately-owned car is parked unused for 23 hours per day. AVs, which don’t need to be privately owned or which could drive themselves to park elsewhere, could massively reduce our need for parking and create room for more public spaces (like a Piazza) and bike lanes. I will make sure our streets are not laboratories for untested technology and will work with companies so AVs can benefit our city.
Transportation technology companies need to share data and plans with the City, and we need to provide the right regulations to protect public safety, and ensure technology reduces congestion and inequity, rather than increasing them.
7. Create a Clean Fleet
Muni’s electric trolley buses and trains are some of the cleanest vehicles on the road. They’re powered by gravity, with water from Hetch Hetchy spinning generators that power electric motors. We need to build on that success and create the cleanest fleet of vehicles — both public and private — of any city in the country. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, and we can’t meet our climate or transportation goals without facing this head-on.
I will work with Muni to phase out diesel fuel and get ALL of our buses running on 100% clean electricity. I will set an ambitious goal to make EVERY City vehicle zero emission by 2030. If the climate deniers in Washington follow through on their outrageous plans to roll back emissions requirements, I will work with City Attorney Herrera to defend California’s standards and make sure San Francisco does not buy any vehicles from companies that don’t meet our higher emissions standards.
England and France have set goals to stop selling new diesel and gasoline cars by 2040. San Francisco should disincentivize and phase out the registration of new diesel and gas cars even sooner than that. As Supervisor, I led the fight to start our clean energy program, CleanPowerSF. As Mayor, I will do the same for clean vehicles.
8. Reduce Congestion
I will be dedicated to building transit-oriented housing, funding our transportation systems, improving transit service, expanding rail, building complete streets, embracing technology, and cleaning our fleet. If we do all of these things well, we can and will reduce congestion, even in the face of significant population and job growth.
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I have been a transportation leader and advocate my entire public career. I am a lifelong Muni rider, a bicyclist, and a driver who feels the same parking and traffic exasperation that you do. I believe in big ideas and big projects. And as your Mayor, I will work every day to create transportation that works for everyone.
Read more about my record and plans for San Francisco:
Housing: An Affordable City for ALL of Us
Homelessness: A Bold Approach to Homelessness
Public Safety: Making a Safer San Francisco
Education: Making Our Schools Worthy of Their Students