Currently, transit delays and unreliability can make riding the bus a nonstarter for those who have other options for getting around. Growing segregation of the transit system is inequitable, unsustainable, and inefficient. Giving transit vehicles priority on Bay Area roads can deliver the speed and reliability improvements needed to get more people on buses and out of cars. SPUR offers 16 recommendations for aligning the interests of transit agencies and local jurisdictions to greenlight these improvements.
The California legislature is considering a temporary toll increase on seven bridges in the Bay Area to avoid severe transit service cuts. The proposed increase has understandably sparked concern about equity. SPUR's deep dive found that most bridge drivers have higher incomes than most transit riders. Because protections can be implemented for people with low incomes who must drive, there’s no reason to let transit collapse. That outcome that would be the least equitable of all.
Revenue Allocations from Soda Taxes in Oakland and San Francisco Continue to Diverge from Advisory Committees’ RecommendationsNews /
Each year SPUR analyzes how Oakland and San Francisco allocate the revenues from their respective soda taxes, which are intended to be spent on improving the health of populations disproportionately impacted by soda consumption and diet-related disease. Five years in, much of the soda tax revenues are consistently funneled to uses that depart from advisory committees’ recommendations.
California will soon provide financial assistance for seismic retrofitting to owners of some multifamily apartment buildings as part of the Multifamily Seismic Retrofit Program, the state’s first program to protect low- to moderate-income renters in vulnerable buildings. Additional funding will be needed to effectively address seismic risk, protect public safety, preserve housing, and support community resilience in the aftermath of severe earthquakes.
Detroit’s downtown renaissance offers lessons for struggling Bay Area’s cities: the health of cities is intrinsically tied to the prosperity of the state, and the revitalization of downtowns is critical to the recovery of neighborhoods. Thanks to community advocacy, Detroit’s city leaders and philanthropic organizations are now funding new initiatives to ensure that future revitalization efforts promote affordable housing and homeownership, workforce development, and entrepreneurship.