Bay Area Partnership
The Bay Area Partnership
A Living Laboratory of Cooperation and Innovation
You will rarely read or hear about it in the news, and you won't find it listed in the telephone directory. But The Bay Area Partnership is working quietly and effectively behind the scenes to improve mobility, air quality and travel safety for the nearly 7 million people of the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.
Who Sits on The Bay Area Partnership?
The Bay Area Partnership Board is a confederation of the top staff of various transportation agencies in the region (MTC, public transit operators, county congestion management agencies, city and county public works departments, ports, Caltrans, U.S. Department of Transportation) as well as environmental protection agencies. The Partnership works by consensus to improve the overall efficiency and operation of the Bay Area's transportation network, including developing strategies for financing transportation improvements.
Why Was The Bay Area Partnership Formed?
The Bay Area's numerous natural barriers and rich mix of urban, suburban and rural settings and subeconomies have given birth to a multiplicity of transportation system owners, operators and regulators. This institutional framework ensures that widely varying local needs are met, but also requires that the players work with each other to coordinate services where their systems intersect or overlap. In this complex environment, integration depends on connections that are as much financial, institutional and informational as they are physical - hence the need for a strategic alliance on the scale of The Bay Area Partnership that can focus on the larger picture of how the individual components fit together.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the region's transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency, has long put system integration at the top of its agenda. Such efforts were given a new impetus with the 1991 passage of a major piece of federal legislation, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, or ISTEA. As the name implies, the act calls for more emphasis on integrating travel modes, also signaling a new appreciation for measures to improve operational efficiency and increase the capacity of existing facilities. With many of the most cost-effective strategies involving multiple jurisdictions or multiple modes, partnerships are the key to realizing the intent and full potential of ISTEA. The region naturally looked to MTC for leadership in meeting these mandates, and in January of 1992, just weeks after ISTEA was signed into law, MTC convened The Bay Area Partnership.
How Does The Bay Area Partnership Work?
The Bay Area Partnership is nothing more and nothing less than a forum for communication, much of it face-to-face. The dialogue occurs at many levels: at regular meetings of the committee of the whole and a smaller steering committee; and at numerous subcommittee and task force meetings that occur in between. In keeping with the panel's egalitarian nature, the chairmanship and location of the meetings of the full board are passed from agency to agency.
Partnership Success Stories
For more information, contact MTC's Public Information office:
Metropolitan Transportation Commission • 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, California 94607
This page was last modified Tuesday May 19, 2009
© 2013 MTC