Regional Measure 3, or RM3, is a comprehensive coalition effort that deserves support from left, right and center voters. This traffic relief plan will reduce auto and truck traffic, relieve crowding on BART with $500 million for new BART cars, help Port of Oakland projects important to businesses and create an inspector general position for BART audits and oversight.
Why are so many progressive leaders joining with business, labor, good government and environmental groups to support Regional Measure 3? Public transit options in the bridge corridors will get about 70 percent of RM3, which is fantastic for transit riders but is also good for auto drivers, who will have fewer people competing for freeway lanes. Transit operating funds are very hard to find, so RM3 commits 16 percent to transit operation programs. RM3 will upgrade the Clipper transit fare system, which will facilitate low-income discounts for riders transferring between different transit operators. Our own AC Transit will get hundreds of millions for projects including rapid bus corridor improvements, new buses, operating funds for Regional Express Bus, Core Capacity Transit Study improvements, expansion of bus facilities and improvements on the San Pablo Avenue corridor.
Low-income and middle-class transit riders will benefit from major transit funding. Because the overwhelming majority of low-income residents ride transit or drive, but not on the bridges, the number of-low income residents who benefit dramatically exceeds the number who will pay the tolls. RM3 is supported by Mayor Jesse Arreguín and most of the Berkeley City Council, all our AC Transit board members, the League of Women Voters, Save the Bay, Bike East Bay and many more. RM3 has performed the incredible feat of providing benefits to all counties, all cities, all transportation modes and all different political perspectives. Please vote “yes” on RM3.
Kriss Worthington is a Berkeley City Council member.