Congestion Management Process

To improve quality of life and protect the environment, MTC develops programs and plans that can reduce congestion and air pollution from vehicular traffic.

Peter Beeler

Traffic congestion is frustrating for drivers and it impacts the air quality for everyone.

To reduce traffic congestion, MTC supports projects that:

  • Improve freeway efficiency
  • Offer alternatives to driving alone
  • Promote development of walkable, transit-friendly communities

The Bay Area’s long-range regional plan, Plan Bay Area, uses data to anticipate future road congestion, and has strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks.

This data is shared with local county transportation agencies so they can make changes in their communities.

How MTC Fights Congestion

Below are just some of the projects and programs underway to help reduce congestion in the Bay Area, by improving freeway efficiency, offering alternatives to driving alone, and promoting walkable, transit-friendly communities:

Forward Commute Initiatives

A series of projects to improve commuting and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A bridge, bicycle path and express bus images combined together.
Adaptive Ramp Metering

MTC is installing metering lights on roughly 300 freeway on-ramps around the Bay Area.

Next Generation Bay Area Freeways Study

Explores how pricing and other strategies could transform the Bay Area’s freeway network.

Aerial over Interstate 580 and a BART station in Alameda county.
Investing in Transit for the Future

Developing innovative, next-generation transit projects.

Bart Train cars
Active Transportation Program

This program taps state and federal funds to support programs that make walking and biking better travel options.

A woman riding a kick scooter
Mobility Hubs

Mobility Hubs offer access to many different ways of getting around.

A public bikeshare dock next to a train/bus stop in San Francisco.
Transit-Oriented Communities Policy

Planning housing and business development near to public transportation.

A BART train goes past multi-family homes near El Cerrito station.
Complete Streets

Complete Streets are designed to meet the needs of all users, whether they walk, bike, drive or use public transit.

Cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles at an intersection.
One Bay Area Grant 3 (OBAG 3)

OBAG 3 guides how MTC distributes federal transportation funding from the Federal Highway Administration.

A residential housing complex with a bike share dock in the foreground.

Traffic Congestion Data

Visit Vital Signs for Congestion Data

Explore data collected on congestion in the Bay Area, and other topics including people, land use, equity and the environment. The Vital Signs website is a collaborative effort between MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments.

Visit Vital Signs.
Funding for Corridor Planning

MTC’s planning projects on key corridors are paid for, in part, by:

Regional Measure 3: MTC collects revenue to be spent on projects to relieve congestion in key corridors, including improvements to the Dumbarton Bridge corridor, the expansion of AC Transit Transbay bus service, and additional miles of express lanes.

Senate Bill 1: This legislation, passed in 2017, invests $54 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and puts more dollars toward transit and safety. MTC partners with county transportation authorities and transit providers to compete for funding created through this bill.

Caltrans Studies

More information on corridor plans is available on the Caltrans District 4 website, including:

  • Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plans
  • Transportation Concept Reports/Corridor Plans

As a regional planning agency, MTC’s work focuses on reducing congestion that affects the freeway network, while county and local partners focus more on reducing congestion on arterials and local roads.

More information on congestion conditions and plans for addressing congestion at the county level are available on each County Transportation Authority’s website: