Voter Opinion Survey

San Francisco Voters Support Increased Transportation Funding for Critical Investments

7 in 10 voters see need for transportation improvements

Monday, December, 18, 2017

San Francisco voters strongly desire local transportation improvements and a majority support new or expanded funding measures to pay for the work, according to a public opinion survey commissioned by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

More than 7 in 10 likely San Francisco voters said there was a “great need” or “some need” for transportation improvements. The survey also gauged voter support for additional revenue sources to help pay for these improvements. These revenue sources were drawn from recent discussions by the 60-member Transportation Task Force 2045. These include:

  • Increasing gross receipts tax on commercial rents up to 2.5 percent.
  • Establishing a two percent tax on revenues from service intermediary companies that contract with independent workers for services like ride-hailing and food delivery.
  • Increasing the city’s sales tax by one-half cent, bringing the total to 9 percent.
  • Increasing the vehicle license fee in San Francisco by 1.35 percent, bringing fee to 2 percent of the vehicle's value.

Revenue support

First, respondents were asked which of the four revenue measures they would support. In that round, they indicated strongest support for sales tax (59 percent) and business taxes on commercial rents (58 percent). A majority also supported a tax on service intermediary companies (54 percent) and vehicle license fee (53 percent).

Second, after the respondents were given more detailed descriptions, respondents drew sharper distinctions among the potential measures. Support for taxes on commercial rent increased to 65 percent and support for a tax on service intermediary companies that contract with independent workers like ride-hailing and food delivery increased to 59 percent. Support for a vehicle license fee decreased to 49 percent, while support for a one-half cent increase in the sales tax similarly decreased to 37 percent.

Expenditure support

More than two-thirds of respondents said it was “extremely important” or “very important” that new funding go toward street repaving and Muni maintenance (75 percent) and expanding BART, Caltrain and Muni service to reduce congestion (70 percent). Other expenditures found strong support, including pedestrian and bicyclist safety improvements (63 percent), and providing paratransit for disabled users (62 percent).


The survey was conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates. It involved 1,013 interviews via telephone, cell phone and online between Dec. 1-7, 2017. Interviews were conducted in English, Spanish and Chinese. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Some percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding.

Highlights from the survey results will be presented at the San Francisco Transportation Task Force meeting scheduled for Monday, December 18 (see Full results will be available by request in January.

Further materials

Use this link to download more details about the survey.

Contact us

For more information, contact Eric Young, Senior Communications Officer for the San Francisco County Transportation Authority 
Email or phone 415.522.4816