What is Measure C and the Fresno County Transportation Authority (FCTA)?
In 1986, Fresno County voters passed Measure “C,” a half-cent sales tax aimed at improving the overall quality of Fresno County’s transportation system, including the County and all 15 cities within the County. In its first 20 years, Measure C delivered more than $1 billion of improvements to state highways and county roadways, and has helped the building of additional lanes and freeway improvements throughout the County. As a result of the successful original measure, Fresno County voters chose to extend Measure C for an additional 20 years. The Measure C Extension (2007-2027) not only funds improvements of local roadways by repairing potholes and paving streets and sidewalks, but also funds ride-share incentive programs and environmental enhancement programs such as replacing the oldest school buses in the state that will lessen the impact of emissions in the Central Valley.
The Fresno County Transportation Authority (FCTA) is the entity created by legislation to administer the Measure C Program(s) and ensure the revenue is received and distributed appropriately. The FCTA prides itself on having one of the smallest administrative offices of all the nineteen Self-Help Counties with only three employees.
How did the Original Measure C benefit Fresno County residents?
The Original Measure C made and kept its promise to build a complete freeway system (Routes 41 South, 168, 180 East and 180 West) and also to leverage State and Federal funds to deliver a $1.6 billion program. The completed plan for the system allows for future expansion needs. It accomplished the following:
Provided more than 14,000 jobs
Added over $1 Billion to our economy
Built 1,200 miles of street/highway improvements
Added bike lanes
Supported transit, rideshare & vanpools
Expanded Fresno & Clovis transit
Built 12 miles of Route 168
Built 17 miles of Route 41
Built or improved 57 miles of Route 180
Built 23 miles of Academy Avenue
Extended over 13 miles of Manning Avenue
Significant improvements along Routes 33, 43, 145, 198 & 201
Before the Original Measure C Program’s expiration a Measure C Steering Committee, representing community and civic organizations, government agencies and local business, and other special interests, was formed and charged with developing a new Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan that represented the collective needs and desires of all Fresno County residents. Toward that end, input was secured through two scientific surveys of Fresno County residents regarding projects and plans they wanted to see in the Measure C Extension Plan. The survey also identified core values of our community, which drove many of the decisions pertaining to how monies were allocated in the Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan for the next two decades. The core values identified in the scientific surveys include the following:
Maintain a vibrant economy locally and regionally
Do whatever possible to maintain good air quality
Maintain local control of Measure C funding
Leverage matching funds from federal and state sources
Include a Citizen Oversight Committee to monitor expenditures
Clearly, it was acknowledged from the outset, and reinforced throughout the public input efforts that the Measure C Extension needed to do more than just build roads. In other words, the Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan became a community plan…developed around the collective core values of those who reside in all sections of the County. Those who reside in the more urban areas have different needs than those who reside in the more rural sections of the County. The Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan was designed to address the collective needs and desires of virtually every subset of the County-at-large, which were identified through scientific research. Hence it reaches out to the entire community to provide benefits to all.
How were projects chosen for funding in the 2006 Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan?
Through a scientific survey, the Steering Committee secured input from Fresno County residents and voters on projects and programs they wanted to see included in the Extension Plan. The Committee members then set out to form a plan based on the wishes of the residents and voters.
In relation to the scientific survey that was taken, what did the survey show?
The follow-up survey identified core values of our community. The top three core values were:
Maintaining a strong economy
Improving air quality
Enhancing public safety
Then the survey identified types of projects that the electorate wanted to see funded. The top ten spending priorities were:
Repairing potholes and maintaining streets
Improvements to State Route 99
Reducing Air Pollution
Purchasing low-emission buses
Seat belts on school buses
Improving para-transit services
Relieving gridlock at on-off ramps to freeways
Repairing and Improving rural roads
Improving Local Bus Service
How much money will be raised from the 20-year Extension Plan?
Prior to the approval of the Measure C Extension Program revenue estimates were set at a $1.7 billion Extension Expenditure Plan but with the downturn of the economy those estimates have been revised to $1.3 billion. The generated funding amount could double to $3.4 billion by leveraging state and federal funds, based on the history of our Original Measure C but there are no guarantees.
What does the 2006 Measure C Extension Plan include?
The pie chart provides an overview of the proposed Measure C extension plan funding expenditures approved by the Steering Committee. (INCLUDE THE EXTENSION PIE CHART)
$593.6 million-Local Transportation Program (Street Maintenance, ADA Compliance, Flexible Funding, Pedestrian Facilities and Trails, Bicycle Facilities)
$520.8 million – Regional Transportation Program (Streets and Highways, Airports)
$412 million – Public Transit (Fresno Area Express, Clovis Transit, Fresno County Rural Transit; Public Transportation Infrastructure and Transit Consolidation Study, ADA/Senior/Paratransit Services, Farmworker/Car Vanpools, New Technology Reserve)
$102.5 million – Alternative Transportation (Rail Consolidation)
$59.8 million – Environmental Enhancement (School Bus Replacement, Transit Oriented Infrastructure)
$25.6 million – Administration/Planning
What percentage of Proposed Measure C Extension funds goes to the urban and rural communities?
The rural area of the county will receive 32.5% of the Measure C Extension funds, while the urban area receives 67.5%. The funding split across all modes is consistent with the population split between the urban and rural areas.
How much will my City get from the Local Transportation Funds?
20-Year Total Allocation
What is my City planning to do with the funds?
Each City and the County of Fresno have the flexibility to prioritize their own needs and decide how they will spend the local portion of their Measure C Extension dollars. You can contact your City or County local public works department for more detail.
How will implementing the plan help improve Fresno County’s air quality?
The proposed Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan contains funds in several categories that could be beneficial for air quality:
Enhanced public transit services throughout the County.
Replacement of the oldest, diesel school buses and replace them with cleaner burning buses that have seat belts.
Seed money for rail consolidation and/or grade separations which would reduce automobile idling and emissions as cars wait for trains to pass
Additional vanpools that strive to increase shared rides, increasing the number of occupants per vehicle. This reduces congestion and the number of vehicle trips made.
“Transit-oriented development” which could work to encourage transit use, reducing driving
New pedestrian trails and bikeways around the County. These types of projects have typically been funded with Congestion Mitigation Air Quality and Air District funds on a smaller scale. Measure C Extension could now fully fund some projects, as well as be used to leverage funds from other programs, allowing us to come closer to completing the system plans we have in place.
What is the benefit of retrofitting school buses?
Approximately 900 school buses from around the Valley need to be replaced. This program would retire the oldest school buses that emit toxic fumes and emissions first, replacing them with cleaner fueled, safer buses for our school age children that are equipped with seat belts
What is the PTIS/Transit Consolidation?
The Public Transportation Infrastructure Study (PTIS) is a comprehensive transit planning effort intended to identify a set of viable public transit projects within the County and also identify how Fresno County residents can take advantage of new technologies and advances in public transit and land use planning.
The consolidation study will also study whether it is viable to consolidate all or some functions of the three existing public transit agencies within the County [Fresno Area Express (FAX), Clovis Transit, and the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA)].
What types of projects will the New Technology Reserve fund?
This is a funding program for new public transit technologies such as Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) or similar systems. It would be available to help implement these types of systems if they are a desired outcome of the Public Transportation Infrastructure Study. If, during the biennial Expenditure Plan update, a detailed evaluation of the feasibility and likelihood of implementing such a system after ten years is not eminent, or if construction is not eminent within 15 years after the Measure passes, the funds would revert back to the update process to be reallocated where the greatest need then exists.
Why is there a need for vanpool subsidies?
Vanpools help commuters travel to and from their destinations safely, help reduce automobile emissions and trips, and provide a cost-effective alternative to the single occupant vehicle. They also help relieve congestion and the infrastructure demands for parking.
Does Fresno County currently have any examples of successful vanpool programs?
Yes, several vanpools have been operating throughout the county. The City of Fresno has a vanpool program available to commuters who work in the downtown Fresno area. Kings Area Rural Transit hosts a vast fleet of vanpools for farm workers and other commuters, and vanpool leasing companies in the area provide vehicles to other private/public commute groups for their daily commute use.
If the Rail Consolidation portion of Measure C Extension funds aren’t enough to consolidate the rail lines what will those funds be spent on?
The goal of the Rail Consolidation funds in the Expenditure Plan is to provide local matching dollars for the consolidation of rail lines through Fresno. However, if construction is not eminent in 15 years, the money will be used for railroad grade separation projects instead.
What is Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Infrastructure Development?
This program will fund planning and incentives to cities for making land use changes that increase demand for transit. It could fund the costs of identifying transit sites and corridors for investment, environmental and design studies related to TOD implementation, incentives to developers to build compact designs with higher densities, mixed uses and open space. It also could be used to off-set capital costs for TOD infrastructure and as leverage for TOD related land acquisition costs.
How were the Tier 1 & 2 Regional Transportation projects chosen?
The Tier 1 and 2 projects were chosen considering the need to reduce congestion and the need to improve safety. Balancing projects throughout our Fresno County community was also considered, so that all residents would receive benefits.
Will Tier 2 Projects really be funded?
In the event that additional revenue sources become available (e.g. state or federal leveraged funds) to fully complete all of the Tier 1 projects, then it is acknowledged that the Fresno County Transportation Authority, in consultation with the Fresno COG, will have the flexibility to fund other urban and rural street and road projects contained in the Tier 2 list of regional transportation projects from Measure C dollars. Tier 2 projects are also high priority projects in Fresno County and other non-Measure C revenues will be directed to these projects as funds become available.
What about the sprawl that will happen as a result of all these new freeway projects in the Measure C Extension?
This Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan purposely balanced countywide mobility issues. While there are street/road/highway projects to ease congestion issues and to provide better connections in our county, this is not the old Measure where 75% of the money went to a highway program. There are programs which will encourage mobility by other means than the automobile, which will also aid in our congestion issues.
The Measure C Extension Plan includes $500.3 million (29.2%) for:
Public Transit: $268.7 million to Fresno Area Express and Clovis Transit and $68.4 million to Fresno County Rural Transit for improved transit services.
ADA/Seniors/Paratransit: $13.7 million for improves services to those in needs of specialized transit services.
Transit Oriented Developments: $19.9 million to encourage higher density, mixed use developments in new or revitalized areas that encourage transit usage. Transit Infrastructure and Transit Consolidation Study:$5.1 million to develop a transit blueprint for the Fresno region, identifying transit options and key travel corridors, and an evaluation towards consolidation all or some of the functions of the three existing public transit agencies.
Pedestrian Facilities, Trails, and Bicycle Facilities: $68.3 million to improve the walkability of our region and to provide options in how we move around in our urban and rural communities.
Van Pools and Farmworker Van Pools: $19.9 million to subsidize the formation of commuter van pools and the formation of farmworker van pools. The farmworker van pools are separated out because of legal regulations governing them, and because these van pools are likely to frequently change their workplace within the County.
New Technology Reserve: $36.3 million for implementation of new public transit technologies, such as Personal Rapid Transit or similar systems, that may emerge as a result of the Transit Infrastructure Study.The funds revert where needed if a system does not emerge within 15 years.
What is the Regional Transportation Mitigation Fee (RTMF)?
The Regional Transportation Mitigation Fee (RTMF) is a new regional fee program that will also cover the 20-year period of Measure C. The intent of the fee is to provide additional funding to implement Tier 1 and Tier 2 Regional Transportation Program projects. Such projects will also be needed to address future growth and development impacts; therefore, it is appropriate to require that at least 20% of the funding needed to implement the projects should be paid for by new development within the County.
Who is on the Citizen Oversight Committee?
The Citizen Oversight Committee shall be composed of 13 members. Of those 13 members six would represent the public at-large, and seven must each be representatives drawn from a diverse mix of interested community organizations. The members are expected to provide a balance of viewpoints, without conflict of interest. The Mayor’s Selection Committee will appoint the members, selecting from candidates who have expressed interest by filing an application form.
What is the role of the Citizen Oversight Committee?
|The committee will inform the public and ensure that the Measure C funding program revenues and expenditures are spent as promised to the public.|
Why is Measure C needed? Isn’t there enough money already?
Fresno County has the largest county maintained road system in California at 3,600 miles and 547 bridges. The County’s system is worth an estimated $1.5 billion. The road system serves as the major transportation system or primary farm-to-market network for our $4 billion agriculture industry.
Overall, there are 7,281 miles of maintained public roads in all of Fresno County (cities, county, state, federal). Our local roads (cities, county) represent 84% of the total.
From 2006-2025 Fresno County’s population is expected to grow at a rate of 44%, to 1.33 million people. During that same period of time the vehicle miles traveled by our population will increase 101%
Fresno County’s projected transportation funding needs (project costs) over the next 20 years totals $7.39 billion. We can realistically expect to receive $3.27 billion from funding sources currently in place to cover our funding needs. That leaves us with a shortfall of $4.12 billion. (All dollars are base dollars, not inflated dollars.)The Measure C Extension Program estimated $1.3 billion in revenue will help reduce that shortfall.
What does leveraging funds mean?
“Leveraging” is the ability to generate additional funding for public transportation and public transit projects in Fresno County, to bring in additional and larger amounts of funding. Most state and federal grants require a local “match” before they can be issued. Thus, leveraging is one of the few ways that state and federal tax dollars paid by local residents and property owners, that would otherwise leave Fresno County, can be brought back into the County to address the collective needs and desires of Fresno County residents. Both scientific surveys showed leveraging as being a core value to Fresno County voters. It is a central concept that underlies the Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan.
What role did leveraging play in the Original Measure C funding?
Since the Original Measure C was authorized by Fresno County voters in 1986, over $700 million was generated and invested in enhancements to the local public transportation and public transit infrastructure and services. Another $700 million was generated through matching funds with state and federal sources. Thus, to date, the yield from the Original Measure C Program has been doubled over the 20-year life of the funding stream.
Which entities, other than the Fresno County Transportation Authority (FCTA) , are involved with the Measure C program and what are their roles?
The Fresno County Council of Governments (Fresno COG) is responsible for maintaining a continuing, coordinated, and cooperative planning process. Fresno COG prepares a plan for expenditures of the sales tax revenues. The FCTA is responsible for implementing the plan.
We partner with Caltrans on the freeway projects. Because of the lack of State and Federal funding, there would not have been all the freeway activity if it were not for Measure C funding.
Can the Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan Ever Been Amended?
Yes. In compliance with schedules mandated in federal and state law, Fresno COG regularly prepares a new long-range transportation plan that updates and renews a list of candidate projects for all transportation modes (streets, highways, public transportation, bikeways, aviation, etc.). If funds are available for any projects beyond those now listed in this Expenditure Plan or Appendices, they will be drawn from that list. a-All updates of the Expenditure Plan will be subject to public review and public hearings. While these candidate projects may change and priorities for funding may occur, there are more than enough project needs within the County to be addressed using all types of funding, including Measure “C”. It will be vital during development of each Expenditure Plan Update to consider financing all transportation modes in order to ensure a balanced and efficient transportation system. All of the projects and programs included in this Expenditure Plan are considered essential to meet the transportation needs of Fresno County.
The following steps will be taken by Fresno COG to prepare and adopt this and future biennial updates of the Measure “C” Extension Expenditure Plan:
· Fresno COG staff working with member agencies and affected stakeholders develops the Draft Expenditure Plan, and will
update it every two years
· The Fresno COG Policy Board receives the Draft Expenditure Plan and its updates and schedules public hearings to review
· The Fresno COG Policy Board adopts the Expenditure Plan
· The Expenditure Plan is transmitted to the Authority
In addition to Fresno COG’s approval, the Authority must also approve the Expenditure Plan. Specific steps involved in this
· The Authority reviews the Expenditure Plan as submitted by the Fresno COG Policy Board
· The Authority approves the Expenditure Plan
Legislation does allow the Authority to make its own amendments to the Plan, but they must follow a set procedure:
If the Authority proposes amendments to the Plan:
Ø The Authority shall take all appropriate actions to give highest priority to the projects in the initial Expenditure Plan, and if any amendments delay or delete any project in the initial plan, the Authority shall hold a public hearing and adopt a resolution initiating the amendments
Ø The Authority shall notify Fresno COG, the Board of Supervisors, and the city council of each city in the county and provide them with a copy of the proposed amendments
Ø The amendment is then approved by the Board of Supervisors and then approved by a majority of the cities constituting a
majority of the population residing in the incorporated areas of the County
Ø The proposed amendments shall become effective immediately upon completion of the approval process
Has there ever been an Amendment to the Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan?
Yes. In October 2010 the Fresno County Transportation Authority Board approved Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan Amendment No. 1 submitted by Fresno COG to set aside $25 million dollars of the Alternative Transportation Program account to a newly created Measure “C” Extension High-Speed Rail Facilities Program. The funds available from this program will be used to provide capital for a variety of uses associated with development of the High‐Speed Rail Heavy Maintenance Facility including but not limited to:
• Land acquisition
• On/Off site infrastructure (sewer, water, public utilities, etc.)
• Transportation infrastructure (street and intersection improvements, interchange improvements, grade separations, etc.)
• Planning, design, development and related facilities
• Directly related facilities
Upon confirmation from the California High‐Speed Rail Authority that Fresno County has been chosen as the location for their High‐Speed Rail Heavy Maintenance Facility, the commitment of $25 million of the Measure C Alternative Transportation Program would be transferred to the new Measure C High‐Speed Rail Facilities Program account. The Fresno COG and FCTA will oversee expenditures from the Measure C High‐Speed Rail Facilities Program to ensure funds are spent within Fresno County for any of the allowable expenses relative to the Heavy Maintenance Facility. A detailed scope of projects will be identified on a case by case basis.
No Alternative Transportation funding that is scheduled to be transferred to the High‐Speed Rail
Facilities Program account, is to be “utilized” for any Heavy Maintenance Facility related use prior to Fresno County receiving the award of the High‐Speed Rail Heavy Maintenance Facility. Should the Fresno Region not be chosen by the California High‐Speed Rail Authority for the location of the High‐Speed Rail Heavy Maintenance Facility, Amendment No. 1 will be made null and void, and the High‐Speed Rail Facilities funds will remain in the Alternative Transportation Funding Program.