TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF SB 595 (BEALL) –
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group represents nearly 375 employers throughout the Bay Area, who collectively provide jobs to well over 500,000 Californians.
As we found in our Annual “Silicon Valley Competitiveness Project” for each of the past three years, one of the three biggest challenges to the on-going success of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area’s innovation economy is traffic congestion and crippling commutes. *** Our average Silicon Valley daily commute now exceeds 1 hour and 10 minutes. It’s bad for the quality of life of our workers and their families and the economic engine that helps fuel our State’s success.
It is through that lens that we support Senate Bill 595 by Chairman Beall. As our CEO Carl Guardino recently stated, “Like many Bay Area residents, I hate taxes and fees, but I hate traffic even more.” The Leadership Group has directly led six countywide transportation sales tax measures in the past 30 years. While these six successful campaigns have all been important and necessary, our countywide measures cannot capture those corridors that cross county lines. Only a regional measure like SB 595 can provide traffic relief in those corridors.
Every other year, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission releases “Vital Signs,” which details the 20 worst commute corridors in the 9-County Bay Area. Regional Measure 3 would allow us to target some of these top priority regional commute corridors with the specific improvements needed to materially impact congestion.
On behalf of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, we respectfully ask for your YES vote today for SB 595, to allow our voters with the choice to improve our regional commutes. Thank you.
*** The other two top challenges are housing affordability and K-12 education.