2019 Bay Area Metro Award Winners Overview
The first Bay Area Metro Awards were presented on June 6, 2019, at a ceremony in Oakland recognizing 13 people, projects, organizations and local governments advancing solutions to ease the Bay Area’s housing crisis, improve the transportation system or make the nine-county region more resilient.
Launched jointly by MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) in September 2018 with a call for nominations, the new awards program honors positive impacts on the Bay Area’s mobility, affordability, resilience and community; and recognizes efforts that make the region a better place to live, work and play.
“We honor this year’s winners to say thank you for the work they are doing and we hope that the winners' stories will inspire others to strive for excellence in their daily tasks,” said ABAG President and MTC Commissioner David Rabbitt.
Collaboration stood out as a key theme for the new awards program since many of the winners were based on effective partnerships: From a team of transit agencies’ heroic efforts during the North Bay fires, to scientists working to minimize the impact of an earthquake, to volunteers picking up trash from our beaches, to our region coming together to say yes to funding for our bay and transportation infrastructure. The awards even recognized transit agency management and a labor union working together in a training program.
Winners received a specially designed Bay Area Metro Award at the recognition ceremony. A six-member jury that included members of ABAG’s and MTC’s governing boards, as well as staff and a community representative, met to consider some 80 nominations in early 2019.
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Part 1: Grand Award: North Bay Transit Operators and Sonoma Clean Power for Response and Recovery from the 2017 North Bay Fires
Three public transit operators and a public energy program are being recognized for their work to save lives, protect communities and aid in rebuilding in response to the October 2017 North Bay fires.
Part 2: Legislative Award: State Senator Jim Beall
Thanks to Senate Bill 1, authored in 2017 by state Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), California’s transportation infrastructure is getting the most significant boost in state gas tax funding in decades. Sen. Beall, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, also authored 2017 legislation authorizing MTC to seek voter approval – which it received in June of 2018 – for Regional Measure 3 to increase tolls on the Bay Area’s seven state-owned toll bridges to fund congestion-relief and rehabilitation programs.
Part 7: VTA, ATU Local 265 and Mission College: Joint Workforce Investment
Transit workers at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) are supported in their professional development and workplace well-being by the Joint Workforce Investment apprenticeship program, a partnership between VTA, its Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 265, and Mission College.
Part 9: Securing Regional Measure 3 Funds: Carl Guardino, Gabriel Metcalf and Jim Wunderman
The dedicated efforts of these three local leaders was instrumental in getting Regional Measure 3, the now-approved measure which raised bridge tolls to fund transportation improvements and congestion relief projects, on to the June 2018 ballot.
Part 12: San Leandro Homeless Compact
Long-term housing and services are provided to chronically homeless individuals in San Leandro thanks to a unique collaboration between the City of San Leandro human services and police departments, a local homeless advocacy non-profit Building Futures with Women and Children, and the Rental Housing Association of Southern Alameda County.
Part 13: BART to Antioch
A 10-mile BART extension in east Contra Costa County, dubbed eBART during construction, was renamed the Antioch Line when it opened in May 2018. The hugely popular extension runs from the former Pittsburg/Bay Point terminus along the Highway 4 median to a pair of new stations at Pittsburg Center and Antioch.