What happens when a city’s population outgrows its public transit system? In San Francisco, BART planners are suggesting the city pay up — up to $1 billion.
The Bay Area’s growth has already resulted in crowding of temperamental trains. With the population expected to grow to 9.3 million by 2040, according to the San Francisco Examiner, the regional transit agency is asking the city for $1 billion to renew the transit system. BART also identified $4.5 billion in capital investment needs for the coming decades.
The funding would reportedly expand a train repair yard and buy over 300 additional cars for The Fleet of the Future, the quieter and more comfortable cars set to come to BART in 2017. The funds would also boost existing BART stations and seek to modernize the train-control system, which has been in use since the 1970s.
“None of these funding needs take into account a second tube running from the East Bay to San Francisco, which would be a $7 million to $12 million investment,” the Examiner reported.
BART Board Director Nick Josefowitz suggested San Francisco carry a bigger financial burden, as BART currently funds itself 80 percent from capital budget and the rest from sales tax.
If the city turns the agency down, perhaps someone can start a campaign like the Boston crowdfunding effort looking to raise billions for the MBTA. For those keeping track, 22 days in, Bostonians have raised $1,585.
Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.