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


Active Transportation Projects

Active Transportation projects like the Bay Wheels bikeshare system and the San Francisco Bay Trail reduce the number of cars on the road.

Bay Crossings Studies

In recent years, MTC has released several studies that look at crossing the Bay, and how the region needs to plan for more residents and visitors in the future.

Climate Initiatives Program

MTC’s Climate Initiatives Program provides grant money for programs and operating costs for active transportation projects. It also provides car sharing grants.

Priority Development Areas

MTC provides assistance to cities and counties so they can develop housing near public transit connections, reducing the need to drive.


Bay Bridge Forward

MTC is investing $40 million on near-term solutions to congestion on the Bay Area’s most congested freeway corridor.

Express Lanes

Easing traffic congestion on Bay Area freeways with a lane especially for carpools, buses, motorcycles and solo motorists who choose to pay tolls.

Incident Management

Responding quickly to collisions and other roadway incidents keeps traffic flowing and to limits potentially dangerous conditions.


Investing in Transit for the Future

Every year, MTC invests hundreds of millions of dollars in transit planning and expansion, making it possible for many Bay Area residents to get around without a car. Projects include:

• High-speed rail planning

• Funding for BART extensions

• Funding for Caltrain electrification and modernization

Housing Solutions

The Bay Area is expected to be home to an additional 1.4 million households by the year 2050. It is important that transportation and housing planning work together — as part of a regional growth framework — to make the best use of available resources.


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 will collect revenue that will 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.

One Bay Area Grants: This program taps federal funds to support focused growth of communities planned with good public transportation access.

Caltrans Studies

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

  • Transportation Concept Reports
  • Corridor System Management Plans
  • Comprehensive Corridor Plans
  • Corridor Plans
  • Transportation Corridor Concept Reports

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: