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Transnet Tax Overview

Ballot Language

To relieve traffic congestion, improve safety, and match state/federal funds by:

Shall San Diego County voters continue the existing half-cent transportation sales tax (SDCRTC Ordinance 04-01) for forty years, including creating an Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee to conduct yearly audits ensuring voter mandates are met?

Source: SANDAG

Voting Results

(REQ 2/3)
Total Number of Precincts 2235
Precincts Reporting 2235 100.0 %
Total Votes 1018628
YES 682597 67.01%
NO 336031 32.99%

San Diego County Registrar of Voters (page 16 of 18).


I firmly believe that 67% of our county voters supported TransNet because they expect the transportation system they rely on to improve, and fast. More lanes means less time commuting.

State of the County Address 2006
Supervisor Bill Horn


The Transnet Tax was originally approved by San Diego County voters in 1987 to relieve traffic congestion and was scheduled to expire in 2008. TransNet LogoWith expiration approaching, SANDAG (The San Diego Association of Governments) brought the measure to the voters again as a 40-year extension of the same tax, with 1/3 of the proceeds dedicated to freeways, 1/3 dedicated to mass transit, and 1/3 dedicated to local streets and roads.

Weekday Highway Capacity Utilization

Transnet Ineffective

Although SANDAG claims they will continue to address the issue of traffic congestion with this tax, others have noticed that the previous version of Transnet did not deliver on it's promises -- the Level of Service declined from "Class C" when the tax was approved to "Class D" by 2001. Today the freeway conditions have zoomed through "Class E" and are at "Class F" (the worst possible) and will remain that way for the next 40 years according to current plans.

Revised Transnet Tax

Transnet 2 fails to meet the original goal of easing traffic congestion and almost completely avoids the construction of inexpensive, unrestricted freeway lanes in favor of expensive managed lanes, bus-only lanes, and rail transit. Such projects only handle 5% of the total daily trips in San Diego County yet consume 25% of available transportation funds.

According to the Reason Foundation, "San Diego could significantly reduce severe congestion by adding 1,400 new lane-miles by 2030 at an estimated cost of $7.5 billion, in today's dollars. While $7.5 billion may sound like an exceedingly large investment, it is actually just 23.3 percent of the planned transportation spending under the long-range plans of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)."

The reversible lanes in the center of the freeway are almost empty

Authorized Congestion Relief Activities

SANDAG's list of suggested congestion relief activities that can be funded by the TransNet tax are:

  1. New roadways and bridges
  2. Roadway and bridge widening
  3. Roadway widening for bike lanes except Lane removal for bike lanes
  4. Roadway rehabilitation (grinding and overlay, or except Pavement overlay (less than 1 inch) new structural pavement, or new overlay 1-inch thick or greater) except Pot hole repair, chip seal, fog seal, crack seal (except when part of roadway rehabilitation project)
  5. Roadway realignment except Roadway realignment that does not increase roadway capacity
  6. Bridge retrofit or replacement except Bridge replacement for aesthetic purposes
  7. Roadway drainage improvements for the purpose of improving capacity-impeding conditions such as significant and frequent roadway flooding except Minor drainage improvements not part of a congestion relief project
  8. New sidewalk or sidewalk widening
  9. Median installation for safety improvement or leftturn movement except Stand alone landscaping project of an existing median
  10. New traffic signal, passive permissive left turn (PPLT) installation, signal removal for congestion relief reasons, traffic signal upgrades, intersection lighting except Traffic signal replacement, bulb replacement, hardware, software, inductive loop repair
  11. Traffic signal coordination
  12. Traffic signal interconnection
  13. Centrally controlled traffic signal optimization system
  14. Traffic surveillance or detection system (video)
  15. Traffic data collection system for performance monitoring purposes (in pavement detection, radar)
  16. Traffic calming measures
  17. Pedestrian ramps
  18. Pedestrian traffic signal activation
  19. Pedestrian crossings/overcrossings
  20. Buffer area between sidewalk and street
  21. Pedestrian roadway lighting except Light bulb replacement
  22. New bus stops
  23. Bus stop enhancements
  24. Bus-only lanes except Bus-only lanes that do not provide congestion relief
  25. Queue jumper lanes for buses
  26. Traffic signal priority measures for buses
  27. Transit operational costs for shuttle and circulator routes

SANDAG's List of Non-Congestion Relief Projects