California’s Bay Area companies and community groups push for $16B transportation investment

A group of 32 Bay Area organizations, from private tech companies to community groups, on Wednesday urged local lawmakers to take big, new strides to invest in transportation throughout the region.

In a letter, signed by Alphabet-owned Waymo, San Francisco-based ridesharing and scooter companies Lyft and Lime alongside a slew of Bay Area bicycle coalitions, asked lawmakers to prioritize $16.32 billion in transportation initiatives in the coming decades. The group also suggested area leaders consider a new region-wide transportation tax measure to get those priory improvements moving.

That ask comes amid chatter around the nine-county Bay Area about potential new funding initiatives for transportation in the coming years, said Emma Shlaes, policy director for the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

“We were just, in general, putting forward our thoughts for the next few decades so we don’t get left behind in the conversations that are going on at the regional level,” she said. “Sometimes the conversation is dominated by transit cars and highways.”