San Francisco Transbay Terminal Advisory Vote, Proposition G (June 2010)
Proposition G asked voters what they thought about the idea of making the Transbay Terminal the northern terminus of California’s High Speed Rail.
Supervisor Chris Daly was a leading supporter of a "yes" vote on the advisory question. The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce also supported the concept.
Fundamentally, what was at issue was:
- Whether the Caltrain station at Fourth and King, or the Transbay Terminal at Mission and First, will be the terminus of the California High Speed Rail System that will be built as the result of Californians approving Proposition 1A in 2008.
- Whether state funds from Proposition 1A will pay for the costs of moving from the Caltrain Station to the Transbay Terminal.
- Whether Quentin Kopp, San Francisco's delegate to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, will advocate for the Transbay Terminal. After the November 2008 election, Kopp said he did not think the state's high-speed rail money should be spent moving the Caltrain station. Instead, Kopp thought that San Franciscans should bear the approximate $2 billion cost to move the train station from Caltrain to the Transbay Terminal.
According to a San Franciscan political pundit, the gist of Proposition G was to send a message to Kopp: "Dear Quentin Kopp, the San Francisco stop on the high-speed rail line is going to be that Transbay Terminal spot on Mission and First streets that we’ve had our heart set on for years. Seriously, stop mucking this up."
- In 1999, San Francisco voters by a margin of 70% voted to make it a city policy to extend the Caltrain station from Fourth and King streets up to the Transbay Terminal location on Mission and First streets.
- In 2003, voters approved a 1/2 cent sales tax that would be in effect for 30 years to pay for transportation improvements, including moving Caltrain to the Transbay Terminal.
- In 2008, 80% of San Francisco voters were in favor of the statewide proposition, Proposition 1A, which called for the sale of bonds to fund "the construction of a high-speed train system that connects the San Francisco Transbay Terminal to Los Angeles Union Station."
The San Francisco Chronicle's editorial board urged a "yes" vote on Proposition G: "Underscoring [the decision of high-speed rail authorities to use the Transbay Terminal for the northern terminus of the high-speed rail line] with a strong public endorsement should clear up any mystery about where the train line should run.
- Legal text of Proposition G
- Official ballot proposition list for San Francisco's June 8, 2010 election
- Transbay Transit Center Official Site
- June 8, 2010 election results, San Francisco
- Beyond Chron, "June Ballot Measures Reflect City’s Political Fault Lines", March 24, 2010
- San Francisco Examiner, "City Fights for Transbay Terminal", April 22, 2010
- San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco's ballot measures", May 16, 2010