Plan Bay Area: A Regional Collaboration
Within the Bay Area, state law gives joint responsibility for Plan Bay Area to the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).
In 1961 elected officials from the Bay Area’s cities, towns, and counties formed the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to address common issues from a regional perspective. As the council of governments for the Bay Area’s nine counties and 101 cities and towns, ABAG leads through advocacy, collaboration, planning, research and housing. It addresses regional economic, social, and environmental challenges through programs such as FOCUS, a development and conservation strategy that promotes more compact land use patterns, and the San Francisco Bay Trail Project.
Created by the state Legislature in 1970, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is the Bay Area’s transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency. It regularly updates the Regional Transportation Plan, a comprehensive blueprint for the development of mass transit, highway, airport, seaport, railroad, bicycle and pedestrian facilities. MTC also manages a variety of operational programs such as FasTrak, Clipper, and the 511 Traveler Information System.
ABAG and MTC work with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). To reduce air pollution (smog, particulate matter and airborne toxins), the Air District considers how to address the air quality impacts of transportation and other sources associated with land development. BCDC is preparing for rising sea levels and storm surges affecting areas on and near the Bay shoreline. Future sea levels will have implications for the location of development and transportation infrastructure.
The Joint Policy Committee (JPC) meets regularly to coordinate the regional planning efforts of these four agencies.