The federal government, state Legislature and Bay Area voters have assigned MTC a wide-ranging portfolio of duties. For starters, MTC is the metropolitan planning organization for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area — a federal designation that comes with a list of responsibilities. And MTC is also the regional transportation planning agency for the Bay Area — a state designation.
MTC has interpreted these mandates broadly, launching a number of initiatives to deliver a smooth-functioning, well-maintained transportation system. At the same time, concerns about climate change and the environment underlie everything we do.
One of MTC's core roles is to adopt a long-range plan to guide transportation and housing for the next 25 years. Developed with extensive public input, the plan is updated every four years. MTC also works to secure the funds to make this regional vision a reality, by lobbying for grants in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., helping to shape national and statewide transportation funding programs, and bringing regional funding measures before voters.
Here are some of our other roles:
- We work to integrate the region's vast web of rail, bus and ferry lines into a seamless network that's easy to understand and ride.
- We seek out new technologies to improve the capacity and efficiency of the public transit and highway network.
- We strive to make streets friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists, and not just to cars — a concept known as "complete streets."
- We work to make communities lively, livable and viable, and to support the urban core.
- We encourage transit-oriented development, with housing, jobs and retail clustered around bus, rail and ferry hubs.
- We adopt policies to preserve the region's agriculture and open spaces.
- We step in to fill gaps in services and facilities, such as by building out the regional Express Lane network.
- We prioritize requests for scarce regional, state and federal funds.
- We act as the region's transportation banker, distributing funds to public transit agencies, as well as to county congestion management agencies, and cities and counties for local investment priorities.
- We work to restore, maintain and replace the region's aging transportation infrastructure and transit vehicles.
- We ensure the health and smooth operation of the region's seven state-owned toll bridges, in our role as the Bay Area Toll Authority.
- We operate a suite of services to help travelers get around, including the 511 traveler information system, FasTrak® electronic toll collection, Clipper® transit fare card and the Freeway Service Patrol's fleet of roving tow trucks.
- We invest in strategic expansions of the transportation network to serve a growing population.
- We forecast future travel with a sophisticated model, and map conditions and trends with the latest in GIS tools — sharing our data free of charge with cities, counties and researchers.
- We take the pulse of the region's transportation system, housing, jobs, environment and economy through the Vital Signs project.
We launch new projects and programs every year in response to new mandates, advances in technology and changing conditions.