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Regional and County Programs

Glossary of Terms and Acronyms - Transportation can be confusing. Here is a list of some of the acronyms and terms you will hear in Bay Area transportation planning.

BATWG Overview - The Bay Area needs a long term approach that includes sensible projects to reduce congestion. Click here to learn why the billions of transportation dollars have not worked.

MTC - The Metropolitan Transportation Commission was established in 1971 by the California Legislature as the Bay Region's Transportation Planning Agency. Today the agency is known primarily for its large staff (almost 200 professionals), ability to control the distribution of State and Federal funds, and many interlocking committees. Much of MTC's energy and resources go into what it calls "Outreach". Outreach, the way MTC sees it, consists of countless meetings dominated by long and complicated Power Point presentations, complete with dozens of tables, charts and graphs. The recipients of this "outreach", including MTC's own committees and even its Board of Directors are often overwhelmed by the Staff's massive infusions of data, and are consequently often ill-prepared to make the all important decisions they are constantly called upon to make.

MTC's HOT Lane program - “HOT lanes” are established to give motorists who are willing and able to pay surcharges the opportunity to bypass congested stretches of freeway. MTC’s $6 billion HOT lane program would incorporate over 300 new lane miles of freeway, thereby encouraging more Bay Area freeway driving and ultimately more Bay Area traffic congestion.

Regional Bus System - MTC has been in existence since 1971. And ever since 1971 there's been talk of establishing a network of regional buses to connect destinations that are impossible to reach by BART or even by local bus unless one can devote many hours a day to bus riding. Lots of talk but no action. It's now 2014; forty three years later. An yet today there are still large parts of the Region that only a fool or someone desperately poor would attempt to reach without an automobile.

Land Use and Transportation - Low density suburban areas cannot be well served by public transit. Clustering people in relatively small areas theoretically makes it easier for them to travel by train, bus or bicycle. Unfortunately this seldom works out in practice. In the Bay Area most of the proposed PDA's will be only lightly served by public transit, meaning that most of the trips will continue to be by automobile. There is much more that could be said about the weaknesses of PDA's. However, our focus here is on transportation. Perhaps the biggest problem with the current focus on PDA's is that it diverts attention from the most effective way of solving the Region's transportation problems, which is making certain that the alternatives to automotive travel work well. Which in the Bay Area they don't.

History of Boondoggles and Missed Opportunities

10 Steps to Better Bay Area Transportation - BATWG doesn't just point out what is wrong; we point out what could be right.

The Caltrain Downtown Extension - When Caltrain is extended into San Francisco's new Transbay Transit Center (TTC) it will be in the heart of the San Francisco Financial District, adjacent to 10,000 units of new transit-oriented housing and linked conveniently to the Market Street subways and over 40 bus lines. Learn why this is important.