In updating their $160 billion transportation plan, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Board of Directors approved a “road usage tax” to create more public transportation countywide.
This four-cent-per-mile tax — and two half-cent regional sales taxes measure would charge San Diegans with a set price for every mile they travel locally, slated for 2022 and 2028. As a response to climate change, this sales tax aims to fund more busses and trolleys in San Diego county.
Additional changes to the regional plan include regional bike and pedestrian safety improvements, habitat conservation plans and a “commitment to study free public transit for all by 2030.
San Diego County’s regional transportation Planning agency’s (SANDAG) 30-year plan aims to reduce greenhouse emission targets set by the California Air Resources Board, which may include free public transit within its 200-mile, $43 billion regional network. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a similar state pilot program that relies on GPS tracking or measurements determining miles driven.
The manner in which mileage would be collected and reported under SANDAG's program is unclear.
Officials say this program may help low-income residents whose opportunities are limited by a deficit of transportation options. The program estimates a rise of 13 percent in population in San Diego county by 2050.
A final 2021 Regional Plan and an Environmental Impact Report is expected Nov.30. A vote to adopt the plan by the SANDAG Board and an EIR certification will take place at it’s Dec.10 meeting.
Further information about SANDAG’s regional plan may be found at sdforward.com.