Fix It First

Most of the Bay Area’s transportation dollars take care of the streets, highways and transit systems we already have. MTC calls this approach “Fix It First.”

Karl Nielsen

Bay Area residents deserve safe and well-maintained streets, highways and transit systems.

“Fix It First” ensures that we take care of the infrastructure we already have — to keep the network strong and support the regional growth anticipated by Plan Bay Area.

MTC works with Bay Area cities, counties and transit agencies to help make the best use of limited funds, including Federal Transit Administration funding for state of good repair projects (also known as Transit Capital Priorities).

Local Street & Road Conditions

By measuring the current condition of pavement, cities and counties know where to invest in repairs and make their budgets go further.

Transit Capital Priorities

This process helps ensure that limited federal transit dollars go to projects that are essential — and have the biggest impact on Bay Area residents.

Mature Transit Systems

The Bay Area has some of the oldest transit systems in the West. Muni and Caltrain both are 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
Policy Trendsetters

While MTC has pursued the “Fix It First” approach for more than a decade, federal and state leaders are now also encouraging this strategy:

“[This] plan will modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads and main streets, not only ‘fixing them first’ but ‘fixing them right,’ with safety, resilience and all users in mind.” — President Joseph Biden, American Jobs Plan, Mar. 2021

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