Near-Term Action - Comprehensive ten-year review of the TransNet program

In 1987, San Diego County residents approved the original TransNet program, a half-cent sales tax to fund a variety of transportation projects throughout San Diego County. The program ended in 2008 after 20 years and raised $3.3 billion to upgrade the region’s highways, improve local roads, extend trolley and commuter rail lines, and create bike paths that support walkable communities. The TransNet Extension, approved by voters in 2004, extended the TransNet program to 2048. Through the life of the measures, more than $17 billion (2002$) is expected to be generated and distributed among transit, highway, local road, bikeways and walking paths, smart growth, and habitat preservation, as well as new Rapid transit lines and rail service expansion projects to help improve mobility within the region.

As part of the TransNet Extension, the Ordinance mandates the completion of a ten-year comprehensive review of all projects and programs implemented under the Expenditure Plan “to evaluate the performance of the overall program over the previous ten years and to make revisions to the Expenditure Plan to improve its performance over the subsequent ten years.” The first ten-year review is slated to be conducted in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, with additional reviews planned for FY 2029 and FY 2039. While the Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee (ITOC), a committee established through the Ordinance to provide an enhanced level of accountability for expenditures made under the Expenditure Plan, will provide recommendations for program improvement, the review will be conducted by the SANDAG Board of Directors acting as the San Diego County Regional Transportation Commission in accordance with Ordinance provisions.

Preliminary work in preparation for conducting the ten-year comprehensive review is currently planned to kick off in early 2017. The review will be conducted concurrently with the next Regional Plan update in order to more efficiently accomplish the comprehensive review and better inform the next Regional Plan. In accordance with the TransNet ordinance, the comprehensive ten-year review is anticipated to begin in fall 2017. Options for conducting the review are scheduled to be presented to the Transportation Committee on May 19 and June 16, 2017, and Board of Directors’ consideration at the May 26, 2017 meeting.