Designing Travel Solutions
At the Local Level
MTC is taking a grass-roots approach to identifying barriers
to mobility and working to overcome them. With its Community-Based
Transportation Planning Program, MTC has created a collaborative
planning process that involves residents in low-income Bay
Area communities, community- and faith-based organizations
that serve them, transit operators, county congestion management
agencies (CMAs), and MTC.
Launched in 2002, the Community-Based
Transportation Planning Program evolved out of two reports
completed in 2001 — the Lifeline
Transportation Network Report and the 2001 Regional
Transportation Plan Environmental Justice Report.
The Lifeline Report identified basic travel needs in low-income
Bay Area communities and recommended community-based transportation
planning as a way for communities to set priorities and evaluate
options for filling transportation gaps. Likewise, the Environmental
Justice Report identified the need for MTC to support local
planning efforts in low-income communities throughout the region.
Local Participation Is Key
The outcome of each MTC-sponsored planning process is a Community-Based
Transportation Plan that includes locally identified transportation
need, as well as solutions to address them. Each plan reflects
the objectives of the program, which are to:
- emphasize community participation in prioritizing transportation
needs and identifying potential solutions;
- foster collaboration between local residents, community-based
organizations, transit operators, CMAs and MTC;
- build community capacity by involving community-based organizations
in the planning process.
Program Guidelines Lay the Groundwork
The guidelines for the Community-Based Transportation Planning
Program serve as a blueprint for implementation. They specify
that CMAs serve as the lead agency in each collaborative planning
process, and that results of the Lifeline Report serve as the
starting point for analyzing transportation gaps in each community.
Each completed Community-Based Transportation Plan contains:
- demographic analysis of the area;
- documented community outreach strategies with results;
- a listing of community-prioritized transportation gaps
- a listing of strategies or solutions to address identified
- a listing of potential funding sources for solution implementation;
- identified stakeholders committed to implementing the plan.
Project findings are forwarded to applicable local or county-level
policy boards, as well as to MTC, for consideration in planning,
funding and implementation discussions. A full copy of the Community-Based
Transportation Planning Program guidelines can be downloaded here.
Pilot Program Success
The Community-Based Transportation Planning Program began
with pilot projects in five communities; plans were completed
in 2004 in these areas:
- South Hayward/Ashland/Cherryland (Alameda County)
- Richmond/N. Richmond/Old Town San Pablo (Contra Costa County)
- The city of Napa and surrounding communities (Napa County)
- East Palo Alto (San Mateo County)
- Dixon (Solano County)
As a result of the pilot program, several transportation strategies
identified through the community planning process successfully
competed for MTC’s Low-Income Flexible Transportation
(LIFT) funding in late 2004.
Growing the Commitment
Following the successful completion of the pilot program in
2004, in 2005 MTC authorized planning to proceed in the remaining
communities identified in the Community-Based Transportation
Planning Program guidelines. A total of 25 low-income communities
were identified in Phase One of the program; plans completed
so far are listed in the box on this page.
Also in 2005, MTC
expanded its financial commitment to improving mobility for
the region’s low-income residents by launching
the Lifeline Transportation Program,
which significantly increased the amount of regional funding
for which projects identified in Community Based Transportation
Plans are eligible to compete. About half of the 39 projects
funded through the FY05-FY08 cycle of the Lifeline Transportation
Program were projects derived directly from completed Community
Based Transportation Plans.
Phase Two Launches
In 2008, MTC approved Phase
Two funding to complete an additional
18 plans for the remainder of the region’s 43 identified
low-income communities of concern. Plans will be added to the
list on this page as they are completed and adopted by their
respective county agencies.
For more information about MTC’s Community-Based Transportation Planning Program, please contact Drennen Shelton, program manager, at (510) 817-5909 or firstname.lastname@example.org.