Measure Impact: City of Ontario

April 7, 2022
Measure Impact is our latest blog series that highlights current and past projects that have received funding by Measure I – the half-cent sales tax collected throughout San Bernardino County for transportation improvements. San Bernardino County voters first approved the measure in 1989 and in 2004 overwhelmingly approved the extension through 2040.

As one of the fastest-growing cities in one of the fastest-growing population centers in the U.S., Ontario sees access and mobility as a key to its future. With the help of Measure I, the city is securing that future with a variety of major street projects and freeway interchange improvements that will benefit not just Ontario, but the region as a whole.

More than $55 million in Measure I funds have been invested in partnership with the city for completed projects such as a 1.5-mile-long railroad grade separation on North Milliken Avenue between Guasti Road and Airport Drive. That project, finished in 2013, helped alleviate major recurring traffic jams along a critical north-south corridor serving Ontario Mills Mall, Ontario International Airport (ONT) and major distribution and fulfillment centers throughout the region.

Two other Ontario-based grade separations – on North Vineyard and South Milliken – as well as the westbound Euclid Avenue offramp at state Highway 60 were paid for, in part, through Measure I. In addition, the SBCTA Board recently adopted a 10-Year Delivery Plan that includes further Measure I investment that directly impacts Ontario, including the West Valley Connector bus rapid transit system, I-10 and Highway 60 corridor and interchange improvements, and more grade separations and roadway improvements.

The half-cent sales tax collected throughout San Bernardino County was initially approved by voters in 1989 and extended in 2004, providing critical funding for transportation improvements across a county that has grown by a half-million people since 2000. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) projects San Bernardino County’s population to jump another 27% by 2045, to more than 2.8 million, fueled largely by migration out of Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Ontario itself is projected to grow from about 185,000 today to more than 300,000 by mid-century – and that’s only part of the story. The city is home to 12,000 businesses, 124,000 jobs, an airport (ONT) that has been ranked as the nation’s fastest-growing aviation gateway four years running, and a mall (Ontario Mills) that attracts more visitors per year than Disneyland.

“As a city and county, we have emerged not only as a major population center, but an economic driver and employment hub for the entire Southern California region. Voter support of Measure I has allowed us to invest in the transportation infrastructure that’s critical to sustaining this kind of growth, while preserving a quality of life we all cherish,” said Alan D. Wapner, Mayor pro Tem of Ontario and a past president of SBCTA.

For more on Measure I, please click here.

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