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Measure D Overview

Measure D is a comprehensive and inclusive package of transportation improvements passed in November 2016 by over 2/3 of Santa Cruz County voters (83,816). This ½-cent sales tax guarantees every city and the county a steady, direct source of local funding for local streets and road maintenance, bicycle and pedestrian projects (especially near schools), safety projects, and transit and paratransit service, as well as numerous essential transportation projects and programs throughout the county as outlined in the Expenditure Plan for Measure D.

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) has completed Measure D pre-implementation tasks including administration, fiscal, oversight and engagement activities. In addition, the RTC has worked with Measure D recipient agencies to develop five-year programs of projects, annual report requirements and other required agreements.

The ½-cent, 30-year sales tax measure includes transportation projects that support:

  • 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 major roadways
  • Investing in projects that reduce the pollution that causes global warming

Recent Activities

  • The RTC released the draft 2020 Measure D Strategic Implementation Plan for public comment. This draft plan will serve as the guiding policy and programming document for the implementation of Regional Measure D projects. Comments can be submitted to, or mailed to 1523 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 95060 .
    • A public hearing will be held at the January 16, 2020 RTC meeting at the City of Santa Cruz Council Chambers. Comments must be received by 12 p.m. on Jan. 15th to be considered by the board at the public hearing.
    • It is expected that the plan will be adopted at the Feb. 6, 2020 RTC meeting at the City of Watsonville Council Chambers. Final comments must be received by 12 p.m. on Feb. 5th to be considered by the board.
  • The RTC adopted the updated 5-year program of projects for the regional and RTC oversight projects at its June 6, 2019 meeting. The approved plans are available here:

  • For 5-year plans for funds allocated directly to cities, the County of Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz METRO, please see their council/board agenda packets. After they are approved, they will be posted at:

  • The Measure D Taxpayer Oversight Committee reviewed the independent fiscal audits and expenditure reports from recipient agencies and has prepared the committee’s FY17/18 Annual Report finding that expenditures in FY17/18 were compliant with the voter-approved Ordinance.
  • Check out the latest Measure D Update (Spring 2019) on some of the projects that the Measure D sales tax is funding.

5-Year Plans

Measure D 5-Year Plans for Regional Projects –
The RTC considered public input and adopted the updated Measure D 5-year plans showing how the RTC anticipates using voter-approved Measure D revenues over the next 5 years for regional projects. The updated plans are available here:

What are the 5-Year Plans? Based on the voter-approved Measure D Expenditure Plan, which identifies general categories of projects to receive certain percentages of funds over a 30-year time frame, all agencies designated to receive Measure D funds including the Regional Transportation Commission annually develop, update and adopt five-year project-delivery plan for investing these new transportation revenues. More information about revenues, approved project lists and agency websites is available via the links below:

Regional Projects (overseen by the Regional Transportation Commission) – Click the links below to view the current 5-year plans (approved in 2018).

Direct Recipient Projects (overseen by the cities, county, Metropolitan Transit District and Community Bridges – Lift Line) – Click the links below to view 5-year plans.


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

RTC Contact

Guy Preston
Executive Director
(831) 460-3200