The Kickoff Speech

TRANSDEF’s President, David Schonbrunn, spoke on January 24th to the Bay Area Toll Authority, the name that MTC goes by for its bridge business. Here’s what he said:

TRANSDEF will be campaigning against this measure, once you vote to put it on the ballot. Having watched MTC commit decades of policy mistakes, I can say for certain this is not an agency the public should give more money and power.


MTC is an entirely unaccountable agency. None of its Commissioners ever suffers consequences for their votes here. We will turn RM3 into a referendum on the job MTC has been doing. TRANSDEF will make sure the voters hear about the insane amounts of toll money that were wasted on the Bay Bridge.


Regional transit ridership is now lower than 1982, both in absolute and per capita numbers, despite spending billions of dollars on transit. Had MTC been an effective manager, this wouldn’t have been allowed to happen. This is a scandalous policy failure.


MTC has never been willing to look back to evaluate how it has benefited the public. That’s because MTC is all about political deals, not about outcomes. That’s how the Oakland Airport Connector got funded, despite massive opposition.


Under MTC’s so-called leadership, the Bay Area has suffered ever worsening congestion. That’s because your strategy of facilitating solo driving hasn’t worked. It can’t possibly work, because you can’t produce enough long-term peak period capacity for solo drivers.


You are now seeking to double down on this failed strategy, using the new toll revenues. I wrote the ballot arguments that helped sink the CCTA sales tax. We will do it again.

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