Livable City's Priority Revenue Sources to Address MTA’s Budget Deficit
*Indicates revenue proposals that could be implemented without ballot approval
Higher Parking Charges That Capture the Full Social Costs of Vehicle Trips
- Improve enforcement of existing parking tax (current tax generates $54M/yr., so a 10% evasion rate means $5.4M/yr. in lost revenue; Source DPT & Livable City).*
- Increase commercial parking tax (increase to 35% would raise $22M/yr. total and $9M/yr. for Muni; Source: DPT & Livable City).
- Institute a “Parking Development Impact Fee” to assess a fee for each parking space in new development based on the total amount of externalized costs caused by the vehicle trips that each parking space generates over its design life (e.g. road maintenance, transit-delaying car congestion, air/water/noise pollution, and public health costs; amount of fee determined by nexus study, as with Transit Development Impact Fee).*
- Increase public parking prices to market rates and index to inflation, and raise existing $7.6M cap on meter revenue to Muni so all new revenue goes to Muni (2003 fee/fine increase generated $12M/yr. and $1.4M for Muni; depending on amount of increase, raising meter rates generates $2-4M/yr. and garage rates generates $0.5-1.5M/yr.; Source: DPT).*
- Rationalize public parking policy and practices*:
- Eliminate free/discounted public parking and charge market rates for parking for City employees (including MTA employees) in all City-owned or -leased facilities.
- Expand revenue hours and/or days of the 23,000 currently metered spaces where demand warrants (why does the City give away free parking in the public right-of-way at times when people are willing to pay market rates to private parking operators?).
- Expand paid parking to some of the 300,000 currently unmetered spaces where demand warrants (the average meter generates $580/yr., so pricing just 10% of these free spaces would generate $17.4M/yr.; Source DPT & Livable City).
- Rationalize parking permit system*:
- Increase permit fees to current cost of service (COS; current fee of $27/yr. generates $3M/yr. revenue but likely understates current COS; if actual COS is 2 times current fee, a $52/yr. generates $3M/yr. that currently subsidized by other city funds; Source: DPT & Livable City).
- Implement “Parking Benefits Districts” to sell curb parking spaces at market rates and earmark some revenue to pay for improved neighborhood amenities/services that residents and business owners want.
- Implement “Block Your Own Driveway Parking Permits" to legalize current illegal practice of residents parking on street blocking their driveway; in Hermosa Beach, provides more parking, eases enforcement, creates revenue.
Higher Parking Fines and Better Enforcement of Violations That Degrade Quality of Life
- Improve and expand enforcement of fines for parking violations.*
- Increase fines for violations (2003 fee/fine increase generated $12M/yr. with $1.4M for Muni; depending on amount of increase and degree of enforcement, fine increase could generate $2-10M/yr.; Source MTA).
- Expand hours of enforcement to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (enforcement on nights and weekends is extremely lax, e.g. on Sundays there are only 6 PCO officers on duty citywide, meaning violations such as sidewalk parking go unenforced all day).
- Revisit enforcement priorities/practices to prioritize those violations that degrade transportation system performance, traveler safety, and neighborhood quality of life (e.g. parking in bus zones, bike lanes, and on sidewalks); become less driveway focused and complaint-driven; and make PCOs self-funded through fine revenue).
Higher User Fees/Taxes So Drivers Pay Their Fair Share for Impacts on Public Streets
- Assess a local/ regional gas tax to pay for street maintenance and transit capital projects (state law allows counties to enact gas taxes in $0.01 increments and for MTC to enact up to a $0.10 regional gas tax; $0.01 local tax would generate $2-5M/yr. and amortize an $80M bond to pay for transit; would cost drivers avg. 10K miles/yr. at 20 mpg only $5/yr.; Source: CA Revenue & Taxation Code and Sierra Club).
- Locally reinstate historical Vehicle License Fee rates (raising VLF from 0.67% to previous 2% would generate $64M/yr.; Source: SF Examiner, 3/29/04).
- Institute a local “Vehicle Registration Surcharge” to capture externalized costs of vehicle travel such as road maintenance, transit-delaying car congestion, air/water/noise pollution, and public health costs (San Mateo Co. $4/yr. surcharge generates $2.5M per year; nexus study to determine amount of fee, but a $25/yr. surcharge on SF’s 450,000 registered vehicles would generate $11M/yr.; fee could be graduated to capture higher social costs of larger, heavier, more polluting, and less fuel efficient vehicles; Source: C/CAG, DMV, Livable City).*
- Impose a "Curb Cut Development Impact Fee" for all curb cuts on public streets to capture externalized costs and mitigate negative impacts (e.g. allowing public sidewalks to be used by private vehicles to access garages degrades performance, safety, and service quality of pedestrian rights-of-way and results in removal of public parking spaces in order to create private parking spaces; nexus study to determine amount of impact fee).*
Expediting Transit Improvements That Achieve Operational Efficiencies and Cost Savings*
- Achieve and account for infrastructure/operational improvements to transit service (BRT, TPS, TransLink, NextBus, etc.) that reduce delays from congestion, too many stops, and long dwell times. (Ex: $214K/yr. saved if every #14 bus reduces run time 5 min.; Source: Muni & Livable City) This would allow MTA to either:
- Do more with less: Provide the same level of service with fewer buses and reassign the surplus buses to provide better service on other lines, or
- Maintain existing service with fewer resources: Provide the same level of service with fewer buses and book the operational savings to avoid service cuts.