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Measure D


In November 2016, over 2/3 of Santa Cruz County voters approved Measure D – a comprehensive and inclusive package of transportation improvements. The ½-cent, 30-year sales tax provides a steady, direct source of local funding for:

  • Providing safer routes to schools for local students
  • Maintaining mobility and independence for seniors and those with disabilities
  • Investing in bicycle and pedestrian pathways and bridges
  • Repaving roadways, repair potholes, and improve safety on local streets
  • Improving traffic flow on highways and major roadways
  • Investing in projects that reduce the pollution that causes global warming

The state began collecting the new ½-cent sales tax for local transportation improvements in April 2017 and the first disbursements to local agencies started in summer 2017. Funds are distributed monthly to recipient agencies. Updates on revenues are included no less than quarterly in the RTC board agenda packet (typically on the consent agenda).

Recent Activities

The Taxpayer Oversight Committee held two meetings in May 2024 to review the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 expenditures and audits of the RTC and the direct recipient agencies and to prepare their Annual Report.

At its November 2023 meeting the RTC held a public hearing and approved updates to the Measure D 5-Year Program of Projects (5-year plans) for regional projects and Community Bridges Lift Line, and longer-term Strategic Implementation Plan.

Regional Projects

The Measure D Expenditure Plan identifies general categories of projects to receive certain percentages of tax revenues over a 30-year time frame. All agencies designated to receive Measure D funds (including the Regional Transportation Commission) annually develop, update and adopt a 5-year project-delivery plan for investing these transportation revenues.

The Measure D 5-Year Plans for Regional Projects show how the RTC anticipates distributing voter-approved Measure D revenues over the next 5 years.

  • Highway Corridor
  • Coastal Trail
  • Rail Corridor
  • Highway 9 Corridor
  • Highway 17 Wildlife Crossing

The Measure D Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) serves as the guiding policy and programming document for the implementation of Regional Measure D projects. The SIP is expected to be updated at least every 4-5 years.

Direct Funding Recipients

About half (50%) of Measure D funds are allocated by formula to cities, the County of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz METRO, and Community Bridges Lift Line to address transportation needs on local roads and for seniors and people with disabilities.

These agencies update their 5-Year Plans showing how they plan to spend their shares of Measure D funds every Spring. Check out meeting agendas (typically May or June) to provide input.


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