North Bay residents need to pay a fair share of the costs of seismically upgrading Doyle Drive since they compose the majority of Golden Gate Bridge commuters, the head of a San Francisco transportation agency said Tuesday.
Despite accounting for only 16 percent of automobiles on the state-owned road, the city and county of San Francisco has secured $640 million in local, state and federal sources for the restoration of Doyle Drive, said Jose Luis Moscovich, executive director of the San Francisco Transportation Authority.
Meanwhile, Marin, Napa, and Sonoma counties, whose ridership accounts for approximately 60 to 70 percent of Doyle Drive vehicles, have raised no funding, Moscovich said.
“The idea in our view is that zero percent is unacceptable,” Moscovich said. “When Bay Area counties work together, things run much smoother. When we’re not working together, things are difficult.”
Transit authority members are butting heads with North Bay transportation officials over a proposed $2 toll for southbound traffic on Doyle Drive, a fare Moscovich says would level funding sources, since Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties are the origin of the majority of drivers on the span. Moscovich said the toll revenue would provide the final piece of funding necessary to complete the $1.06 billion restoration of Doyle Drive.
The plan for a Doyle Drive toll was a key component of a proposal that resulted in the Bay Area receiving a $158.7 million federal congestion-pricing grant in August. Over $58 million of that funding will directly go to the Doyle Drive project, but only if state legislation regarding the toll is successfully passed by March 31, a prospect that is uncertain with some North Bay politicians opposing the move.
“This is a regional issue, but ridership from Marin and Sonoma counties will be much more adversely affected,” said state Sen. Carole Migden, whose district covers San Francisco and Marin counties. “I think we should find a solution where costs are borne equally by all parties involved.”
San Francisco Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who is the vice-chair of the transportation authority, said he didn’t know where North Bay officials would find funding for the project.
“I think they’re hoping for this rainbow to come from the state, but all the blood has been sucked from that bone,” McGoldrick said.