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Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Overview

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.

Affiliation: 
Adaptation work: 

Climate Change and Extreme Weather Adaptation Options for Transportation Assets in the Bay Area Pilot Project

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), the California Department of Transportation, District 4 (Caltrans) and San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) have partnered on a collaborative sub- regional pilot project to assess adaptation options for a subset of key transportation assets vulnerable to sea level rise (SLR) in Alameda County. This study builds on the Adapting to Rising Tides: Transportation Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Pilot Project2 which was completed in 2011 and identified representative critical transportation assets vulnerable to sea level rise (SLR). Both projects were funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The first study developed detailed risk profiles for approximately 30 transportation assets including road, rail and transit. Having identified the risks, and in order to move from assessment to action, three focus areas within Alameda County containing ‘core’ transportation assets and ‘adjacent’ community assets were selected for further study to ensure a thorough understanding of their vulnerabilities. Once that enhanced vulnerability had been assessed, a set of detailed, representative adaptation strategies have been developed as potential solutions to protect key bridge, highway, transit and community assets from future inundation.

Project Goals 

The detailed project goals were to develop:

  • A refined understanding of vulnerability and risk for the core transportation assets in three focus areas within the Alameda County sub-region
  • A refined understanding of SLR and storm event exposure in the three focus areas by analyzing the extent, depth, and pathways of inundation caused by overtopping of specific shoreline segments
  • High-level climate adaptation options on three scales: (1) the core transportation assets alone, (2) the core transportation assets with key adjacent assets, and (3) each focus area as a whole
  • Five refined representative adaptation options with specific and detailed actions including identification of timing, responsible parties, and methods for implementation
  • A suite of criteria used first to select representative adaptation strategies from the long list and then second to evaluate the high-level climate adaptation strategies selected for further development.