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Executive Director's Report

Report to the Commission: October 28, 2020

MTC COVID Response: Bay Area Metro Center (BAMC)

The challenges around Covid-19 are ever changing and the City and County of San Francisco Health Orders and Directives are updated in response to these changing dynamics. Per the announced updated Order issued on October 20, 2020, MTC will review, respond, and comply with all updates and changes, as necessary. 

To date, MTC staff that can perform their work remotely will continue to do so until COVID-19 is controlled and/or Shelter In Place (SIP) requirements allow them to do so safely and productively.  This practice has been in place since the start of the SIP orders.

For MTC staff that have essential functions that require them to perform work at the MTC offices they can and will continue to do so without limitation while adhering to all health directives.  

MTC staff has worked to ensure that:

  • The building and staff meet all requirements of the Health Orders and Directives,
  • MTC employees are kept as safe and healthy as possible,
  • MTC does what it can to assist with slowing the spread of the virus, and
  • MTC operations continue without interruption or negatively impacting the region we serve. 

COVID-19 Related Operational Statistics

Staff have updated the Operational Statistics page, incorporating COVID-related data on regional VMT and Transit Ridership metrics. Impacts of the COVID pandemic also is evident on Toll Bridge Crossings and Clipper Fare Payment System indicators. Additional metrics will be added to the COVID landing page.

COVID Related Activities (Website Landing)

The MTC website has been updated to capture the various COVID-19 related activities, updates, and statistics that are affecting the region. This landing page will make it easier to access information and reach a collective understanding of the challenges that are occurring throughout our various transit systems.

COVID Related Activities​

Riding Together:  Healthy Transit Plan and Dashboard

Transit operators provided their joint report detailing monthly operator performance on key metrics related to COVID-19 health and safety measures, as reported by agencies through a publicly accessible dashboard.  This month and subsequently, these updates will be included as part of the MTC Commission meeting consent calendar.

Plan Bay Area 2050

I presented an update to the Joint meeting of MTC Planning and ABAG Administration Committees at their regular meeting on October 9, 2020 to delve deeper into the details of the PBA 2050 strategy on telecommuting, which has generated much attention among local stakeholders, business interests and the media.  Commissioners and staff continue outreach on this subject, and at the direction of Planning Chair Spering a fact sheet on the subject was presented, and is attached here for reference.

Also of note, on October 15, 2020 the ABAG Executive Board approved the methodology for the 6th cycle Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), which is built on key PBA2050 growth assumptions.  As housing affordability and availability are foundational issues in our regional plan, ABAG’s decisions around RHNA are critical to our joint agency planning responsibilities.

East Bay Economic Development Alliance

On October 8, I gave a presentation to the East Bay Economic Development Alliance on the work we’re doing regionally to help strengthen the East Bay’s economy including the proposed Plan Bay Area Blueprint strategies on Economic Development, Housing, Transportation and Priority Production Areas. An update on ABAG’s work with RHNA were also briefly reviewed. I encouraged attendees to provide their input and feedback on the upcoming Plan Bay Area Implementation Plan.

Early Earthquake Warning System Installed at the Metro Center

Last month staff completed installation of an early earthquake warning system at the Bay Area Metro Center. The alert system uses data from a network of monitoring stations throughout the state. It will give an advance warning of a few seconds to tens of seconds if there is an earthquake of 4.0 or greater in San Francisco at the location of the Metro Center. It alerts those in the building (agency staff, tenants and visitors) to take cover for safety in the event of a strong earthquake. The system is similar to that used by BART, and a number of other government agencies and service providers statewide.

October Metro Talks: Gender Equity in Transportation

On Thursday, October 3, due to a scheduling conflict my Chief of Staff moderated a discussion on what a safe and equitable transit system, accessible for women and girls, can look like in the Bay Area. Facing greater burdens in the current COVID crisis—and discussing what the transit sector can do to support riders and provide career pathways with elevated economic opportunities, was also a focus of the talk.

A recording of the conversation, exploring how the Bay Area transportation can be more welcoming to women and girls especially those from our communities of color, can be found on our YouTube and Facebook pages.