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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

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 categories and projects and Community Bridges Lift Line, and longer-term Strategic Implementation Plan.

RTC Advisory Committees provided input on possible updates to the 5-year plans at their October meetings. The 5-year plans have been updated to reflect the latest cost and schedule estimates for previously approved projects and programs. No new projects are proposed this year.

Projects to receive Measure D funds over the next five years (FY 23/24-27/28) include:

5-Year Plans

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 (approved at the 11/2/23 RTC board meeting) show how the RTC anticipates distributing voter-approved Measure D revenues over the next 5 years.

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

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.

Local agencies that receive direct formula allocations of Measure D revenues update their 5-Year Plans showing how they plan to spend their shares of Measure D funds in the Spring. Check out meeting agendas (typically May or June) for Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Watsonville, County of Santa Cruz, and METRO to provide input.


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