Vehicle fee increase workshops planned
The Alameda County Congestion Management Agency is planning to place a $10 increase in the Vehicle Registration Fee for Alameda County residents on the November ballot, and is soliciting input from residents in a series of public workshops that start today.
The fee increase is expected to raise $11 million, which would be used for transportation infrastructure and service improvements throughout Alameda County — including the City of Alameda.
Four workshops will be held to gather input on the needs of individual communities. A presentation on the issue to the Alameda City Council is planned for May 4.
Because the proposal is for a special purpose fee (as opposed to a tax), the money could only be used on projects that create a measurable transportation improvement benefit. Those could include fixes from pothole filling to a more efficient express commuter bus service.
Dennis Fay, executive director of the congestion management agency, said the agency’s board is committed to ensuring communities receive a direct return of benefits in proportion to their contribution but that some projects will naturally come closer to this goal than others. A bus service enhancement, for example, would likely serve several communities. An expenditure plan will be crafted as a result of the agency’s outreach efforts.
In an e-mail released to cities, the board lists the following general goals for the proposed fee measure:
• Help fund roadway repairs and maintenance that make roads safer for vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians.
• Provide investments that will help to create a smarter, more efficient transportation system.
• Establish a reliable source of funding to help fund critical local transportation programs.
The fee proposal was authorized by the passage last year of SB 83, authored by Senator Loni Hancock, D-Oakland. It will need a simple majority to pass.
Workshop dates and locations are below. All four workshops will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
March 18, Bay Fair Center Mall, 15555 East 14th Street, San Leandro
March 31, Fremont Library 2450 Stevenson Boulevard, Fremont
April 8, Dublin Community Library Room 200 Civic Plaza, Dublin
April 15, City of Oakland Hearing Room 3, One Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland