Created by the state Legislature in 1970 (California Government Code § 66500 et seq.), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is the transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Over the years, the agency's scope has grown, and it is now three agencies in one, functioning as MTC as well as the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) and the Service Authority for Freeways and Expressways (SAFE).
The Commission’s work is guided by a policy board whose membership has risen from 19 to 21 as a result of state legislation passed in 2012 (taking effect in January 2013), with 18 of the commissioners designated as voting members. Sixteen of the voting commissioners are appointed by local elected officials in each county. The two most populous counties, Alameda and Santa Clara, each have three representatives on the Commission: the county board of supervisors selects one member; the mayors of the cities within the county collectively appoint another; and the mayors of the biggest cities in these two counties — Oakland in Alameda County and San Jose in Santa Clara County — each appoint a representative.