Fix It First | Fund + Invest | Our Work

Fix It First

Most of our transportation dollars go to taking care of the streets, highways and transit systems we already have.

A well-maintained and well-operated transportation system is crucial to the success of the growth envisioned by Plan Bay Area. MTC calls this approach “Fix It First.”

Road maintenance
Credit
George Draper

While we have pursued this approach for more than a decade, federal and state leaders have begun singing the same tune.

Tonight, I propose a “Fix-it-First” program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country.” — President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, Feb. 2013

It’s difficult to make the case to folks that we should build new things when we’re struggling to fix the things we do have.” — California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly, Dec. 2013.

MTC works with local cities and counties to help them get the most bang for the buck from their pavement maintenance budgets. Visit our digital library and use keyword phrase “Street Talk” to read past issues of the Street Talk newsletter that cover pavement maintenance and management issues.

Plan Bay Area dedicates 87 percent of all available funds to keeping our current network in working order.  This reflects a bigger commitment to maintenance and management than any other major California metro area.

Here’s a look at the investment percentages other regions devote to the preservation and operation of their existing transportation systems:

  • Sacramento - 69%
  • Los Angeles - 56%
  • San Diego - 52%

Visit our interactive website, Vital Signs, for current data on the condition of our highways and streets. 

The Bay Area has some of the oldest transit systems in the West.  Muni and Caltrain are both more than 100 years old, and most of the region’s other major agencies are well into middle age.

Check out these birthdates:

  • Caltrain - 1864
  • Muni California Street Cable Car - 1878
  • AC Transit - 1960
  • Golden Gate Transit & Ferry - 1970
  • BART - 1972
  • VTA - 1973
  • SamTrans - 1976