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Transit Sustainability Project

Update: MTC Approves Transit Sustainability Project Recommendations

May 23, 2012
On May 23, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved the Transit Sustainability Project recommendations, including performance measures and targets; the Transit Performance Initiative, an investment and incentive strategy to improve public transit; and additional customer-focused service, institutional, and paratransit recommendations.

Update: Public Invited to Comment on Transit Sustainability Project (TSP) Findings and Recommendations

April 13, 2012
On April 11, the TSP Select Committee referred the Transit Sustainability Project recommendations to the full Commission for approval on May 23, 2012, following a period of public review. See the TSP recommendation here (PDF) and submit comments by emailing MTC at

MTC Releases Transit Sustainability Project Recommendations

April 5, 2012
An MTC Select Committee will review findings and recommendations from the Transit Sustainability Project (TSP) on April 11, in advance of consideration by the full Commission on April 25, 2012. The TSP was launched in early 2010 to help chart a future that provides Bay Area residents with an efficient, convenient and reliable transit system. Since then, the project has analyzed the major challenges facing transit and sought to identify a path toward an affordable, efficient and well-funded transit system that more people will use.

A technical analysis, together with significant advisory consultation and outreach, resulted in key financial, service and institutional findings (PDF) that inform the recommendations under consideration. The recommendations include establishing and enforcing performance measures and targets; launching a transit performance initiative with an incentive approach to improving transit service; and implementing a variety of service, institutional and paratransit recommendations. For details about the recommendations, see the committee memo (PDF).

TSP Background

Transportation 2035, the most recently adopted Regional Transportation Plan, identified regionwide transit capital and operating budget shortfalls of $17 billion and $8 billion, respectively, over the next twenty-five years. Combined with recent service cuts and funding challenges, these shortfalls suggest a serious structural deficit. To add to the challenge, service and passenger trips have not kept pace with increases in operating costs, even after accounting for inflation.

To address these challenges, the project focused on three goals:

  • Improve financial condition: Contain costs and cover a greater percentage of operating and capital costs with a growing share of passenger fare revenues; secure more reliable streams of public funding.
  • Improve service for the customer: Upgrade the system so that it functions as an accessible, user-friendly and coordinated network for transit riders, regardless of mode, location or jurisdiction.
  • Attract new riders to the system: Accommodate new riders in an era of emission reduction goals, and support ridership growth through companion land use and pricing policies.

Additional background info

Project Process

The TSP has been informed by significant consultation with the Project Steering Committee (PSC) and three Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) focused on financial, service and paratransit analyses. The PSC comprises twenty-one members and has met approximately every other month over the course of the project in order to provide executive-level input from the transportation agency, government, labor, business, environmental and equity perspectives. Specific work elements have also been informed by focused technical advisory committees, adhoc committees, and focus groups. In addition, staff has presented project updates and recommendations to the MTC Policy Advisory Council, as well as multiple public events and forums sponsored by interested parties.

Technical analysis focused on three key areas: financial, service and institutional. Additionally, due to the unique service delivery model in the Bay Area, paratransit service was analyzed independently.

MTC staff contact: Kenneth Folan,, 510.817.5804