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Executive Director's Report

Report to the Commission: November 20, 2020

Key Updates on COVID-Related Activities

MTC COVID Response: Bay Area Metro Center (BAMC: standing item)

In my ED report last month, I was able to report that the City and County of San Francisco had moved to the State of California’s least restrictive color-coded County tracking level of a yellow tier and as a result had begun to ease restrictions. 

But, as we all have come to know Covid-19 pandemic is dynamic and ever changing, and this past Monday, the City and County of San Francisco was moved to the more restrictive Red Tier due to the continued increase in COVID-19 cases in San Francisco.  This change means that some recently eased restrictions, such as allowing non-essential offices to open, have been suspended.   

I am continuing to work with MTC staff to monitor changes to the Health Orders and ensure that:

  • adherence to the requirements of the Health Orders and Directives is achieved,
  • 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
  • to ensure that MTC operations continue without interruption or impact to the region we serve.

Towards those goals as allowed under the current Health Order any MTC staff that have essential functions that require them to perform work at the MTC offices will continue to do so, and MTC staff that can perform their work remotely will continue to do so. 

MTC’s public facing meetings and engagements will continue to be held virtually in a manner that allows for public engagement via computer or phone. 

I also want to reiterate that MTC’s efforts to respond to Covid-19 will continue to be done in coordination with the regional partners (Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission). 

COVID-19 Related Operational Statistics (standing item)

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: standing item)

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.

The website can be accessed at:

Riding Together:  Healthy Transit Plan and Dashboard

Reminder that transit operators provided their joint report detailing monthly operator performance on key metrics related to COVID-19 health and safety measures through a publicly accessible dashboard.  These updates will be included as part of the MTC Commission meeting consent calendar.

SB1 LPP/ TCEP Program Recommendations

Good news from Sacramento:

  • On Monday, the California Transportation Commission released staff recommendations for over $2 billion in state funding made available from Senate Bill 1.
  • Based on staff’s recommendations, the Bay Area is slated to receive $407 million in new SB1 money to 11 projects.  See table below for full list of Bay Area recommendations.
  • The amount of money going to Bay Area projects represents 20% of the entire amount available statewide. Nearly every county in the region was awarded funding.
  • The recommendations recognize the Bay Area’s nominations are critical to implementing state and regional goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing an alternative to single-occupant vehicles.
  • MTC will work closely with our county and state counterparts to ensure successful delivery of these projects, which include:
    • Upgrading BART’s train control system;
    • Closing the final freeway gap between Marin and Sonoma on 101;
    • Constructing 18 miles of new express lanes on 80 in Solano; and
    • Constructing a double roundabout on 29 in Napa.
  • The CTC will consider adopting staff recommendations at its meeting on December 2.

Table 1. Bay Area 2020 SB1 Project Recommendations.



Award ($M)

SB1** Program


I-680 Southbound Express Lanes*




Train Control Modernization



Contra Costa

I-680/SR-4 Interchange* (Design)




US-101 Marin-Sonoma Narrows, B7*




SR-29/221 Soscol Junction



San Francisco

Mission/Geneva Safety Improvements



Santa Clara

US-101/De La Cruz/Trimble Interchange Improvements



Santa Clara

US-101/SR-25 Interchange




I-80 Express Lanes*




I-80 Westbound Truck Scales* (Design)




Windsor River/Windsor Rd. Intersection Improvements and Pathway







* Funding Programs:

  • SCC: Solutions for Congested Corridors Program
  • TCEP: Trade Corridor Enhancement Program
  • LPP-C: Local Partnership Competitive Program

Clipper START

The Clipper START discounted transit fare program will launch on an additional six Bay Area transit operators on November 23rd, and plans remain on track for eleven more operators to join Clipper START in January 2021.

MetroTalks Equity Series: Election Debrief

On November 18, MTC and ABAG hosted a virtual session titled “Election Debrief | Rebuilding a Better Bay." Panelists Darnell Grisby, Executive Director at TransForm; Judith Bell, Chief Impact Officer at the San Francisco Foundation; and Alvaro Sanchez, Environmental Equity Director at the Greenlining Institute, were moderated by MTC and ABAG Manager of Government Relations Rebecca Long in a conversation examining the election results, including state propositions, advances and setbacks for equity, and future implications for advancing an inclusive Bay Area.