County transportation commission announces Measure B sunset

Photo of the 51B bus
Ben Mefford/Staff
Measure B, a half-cent transportation sales tax, is set to end Thursday, but funding from 2014's Measure BB will continue to support transportation and infrastructure projects.

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Update 3/30/21: This story has been updated to include additional information about the Measure B sunset. 

After nearly four decades of bolstering public transportation and improving local infrastructure, the Alameda County Transportation Commission, or Alameda CTC, announced March 25 that Measure B is will end Thursday.

Measure B is a half-cent transportation sales tax that has funded various transportation and infrastructure projects in Alameda County, according to a CTC press release. Alameda County has specifically been able to leverage more than $1.4 billion of local funds to create more than $4.1 billion worth of transportation projects and programs, the press release adds.

“The 2000 Measure B was a limited duration sales tax and was set to expire based on the sunset date included in the original Transportation Expenditure Plan and approved by the voters,” said Maisha Everhart, Alameda CTC director of governmental affairs and communications, in an email. “No new action was taken to end the measure.”

The measure was approved in both 1986 and was later renewed in 2000, garnering widespread approval and 81.5% of the vote. The date of the sunset, March 31, was included in the 2000 ballot measure that proposed Measure B as a 20-year measure, Everhart added.

Measure B was created to expand mass transit, repair aging infrastructure, improve local streets and roads and increase pedestrian and bicycle safety. It was also intended to expand transportation services for seniors and people with disabilities, especially as the county’s population is aging exponentially.

“We wanted to get people out of their cars, so expanding mass transit was a key priority,” Everhart said in the email.

Projects that were funded through Measure B include the Ashby BART Station/Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, East Bay Bus Rapid Transit, the Safe Routes to Schools program and the South Bayfront Bike/Pedestrian Bridge in Emeryville.

“Alameda CTC’s watchful stewardship of voter-approved 2000 Measure B public funds resulted in the successful delivery of the projects and programs promised to the voters in the 2000 Measure B,” Everhart said in the email. “We will continue to advance projects and programs throughout Alameda County to fulfil the promises in Measure BB and in our role as the county transportation agency administering various federal, state, regional and local funding sources for transportation projects and programs.”

Everhart said in the email that Measure BB, approved by Alameda County voters in 2014, is an “extension and augmentation” of Measure B and will be in effect until 2045. Everhart added that various transportation and infrastructure projects, including AC Transit, will continue to be funded by Measure BB.

“We’re so proud of the projects that Measure B has funded,” said Alameda CTC executive director Tess Lengyel in the press release. “We couldn’t have delivered these improvements in safety, equity, sustainability, resiliency and multimodal transportation without the voters’ support.”

Contact Karen Vo and Mallika Seshadri at [email protected].