Marin Squeaking By Another Transit Fee Hike

Golden Gate
So in the Chron today, some relief that the Golden Gate Bridge Congestion tax is off the books. Quoth the Chron: “..congestion-based tolls would hit North Bay commuters hardest. They called it “a Marin commuter tax.” OK, but Marin has never been a team player- let’s remember that Marin didn’t want a BART extension back in ’61 (well, I don’t remember it personally…). From official BART history, as stated on their site:

With the District-wide tax base thus weakened by the withdrawal of San Mateo County, Marin County was forced to withdraw in early 1962 because its marginal tax base could not adequately absorb its share of BART’s projected cost. Another important factor in Marin’s withdrawal was an engineering controversy over the feasibility of carrying trains across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Kind of hard to believe Marin couldn’t afford BART. Ongoing, in subsequent votes they still nixed public transit: “Since then, Marin voters have rejected rail measures in 1990, 1998 and then 2006.” (from Marin Independent Journal)

Anyone from Marin? Care to respond?

p.s. Tipped off from N-Judah Chronicles the other night on the history of Marin’s lack of fair play in the Bay Area transit game. Congrats on Best of the Bay!

5 Comments so far

  1. talksfrealestate on August 12th, 2008 @ 4:14 pm

    I am not from Marin. I live in San Francisco, and work here, so I am not affected by the toll unless I go to visit family in the North Bay. I do have to say, however, that the lack of a BART type system from here to Marin and Sonoma County is ridiculous. There are so many people who commute here from Marin. With the cost of gas as excessive as it is, not to mention the pollution from all of those cars, the tolls, etc., this should have been constructed a long time ago. The voters who vote it down are really doing themselves and everyone else a disservice.

  2. slappyfrog on August 12th, 2008 @ 6:30 pm

    "Kind of hard to believe Marin couldn’t afford BART."

    Big difference between couldn’t and wouldn’t. Regardless of what they claim about engineering concerns blah blah, I can’t imagine the Marin of 1961 being any different than the Marin I lived in which was populated by NIMBYs and short-sighted fools.

    The biggest "reason" (and I use that term loosely) to reject transit initiatives in both Sonoma and Marin counties was that it somehow contributes to growth. There is an absolute willful delusion transit is somehow key even though people move there anyway.

    Growth and urban boundaries are what stops sprawl and the people I knew up there refuse to understand that.

  3. njudah on August 12th, 2008 @ 8:20 pm

    thanks to the folks in marin not only did bart not go to the north bay, it never went down Geary St. Why do you have a shitty janky 38 bus line that was a ‘temporary’ measure until the ‘new’ rail service took over from the old streetcar?

    Because SF is owed a line there, but never insists on it. and because BART never went to Marin, the impetus was reduced.

    so sad that in 1958 the Mayor killed the B geary line for something that never showed up. And now the 38 is the most busy line west of the mississippi, served by…janky buses straight outta the third world.


  4. kareanderson on August 13th, 2008 @ 8:29 am

    the cost was especially high for that marin/S.F. link – due to the depth of the Bay

  5. girl86 on August 14th, 2008 @ 10:10 am

    Four words: Washington Metro Yellow Line. In D.C. the Blue Metro Line goes under the Potomac, while the Yellow provides a gorgeous view of the Potomac while going over it. Now, I know that people don’t want to mar the loveliness of the GG by sticking a BART track next to it, but it is an option.

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