MTC eNews: We're Moving, Bike Share Expands and more

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IN THIS ISSUE | MTC Is Moving | Bike Share Expansion Plan | Housing Policy Forum | Clipper® Expands in Sonoma | New I-580 Express Lanes | S.F.'s Central Subway | New Program Helps Drivers Save | Carpooling Grows | Secrets of the Bay Trail | In Brief | On the Calendar
Article 1
Crews put the finishing touches on the atrium’s woodwork at the Bay Area Metro Center. Photo by Mark Jones
MTC is counting down the days to Monday, May 23, 2016 – the agency’s first day at the new regional government center at 375 Beale in San Francisco. Both staff and the public have been anticipating the move to San Francisco since the building was acquired in 2013. After retrofitting the eight-story structure designed as a military armored vehicle assembly plant during World War II, MTC finally received the Certificate of Occupancy. Read More
Article 2
Bay Area Bike Share is expanding in San Francisco and San Jose, and for the first time, coming to the East Bay. Photo by Bay Area Bike Share
The process of growing the Bay Area’s bike share network tenfold from 700 bikes to 7,000 is moving forward at a steady clip. MTC and Motivate – the contractor for Bay Area Bike Share – in March unveiled plans for expanding the existing system in San Francisco and San Jose, and in April released plans for placing bike share stations in the East Bay cities of Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland for the first time. The expansion plans factor in online crowdsourcing via a “suggest-a-station” opportunity on Bay Area Bike Share’s website that produced 5,000 responses, as well as input received during nine public workshops and several dozen stakeholder meetings. Motivate has committed to siting at least 20 percent of stations in disadvantaged communities, and the first phase of new locations is already ahead of pace to meet this target. The public can view maps with proposed station locations and comment on the bike share site. Read More
Article 3
Participants brainstormed solutions to alleviate the housing crisis during small group break-out sessions. Photo by Kingmond Young
Some 300 people recently gathered in Oakland to discuss the region’s housing affordability crisis. The forum was titled “Calling the Bay Area Home: Tackling the Affordable Housing and Displacement Challenge,” and was sponsored by MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments. Attendees heard from diverse voices: developers, housing experts, local public officials and residents at risk of displacement. Several speakers pointed to the need for measures beyond increasing housing production, including strengthening tenant rights and improving the jobs-housing link. Read More
Article 4
Riders on Petaluma Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus and Sonoma County Transit can now pay for fares and transfer between buses with ease using Clipper®. Photo by Noah Berger
Clipper® recently welcomed three new North Bay transit agencies — Sonoma County Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus and Petaluma Transit — to a growing network of bus, rail and ferry systems that accept the all-in-one transit fare payment card. Sonoma County transit riders can board transit with Clipper® cards loaded with cash value or a 31-day pass good for unlimited travel for a specific transit agency. Riders can get a card and add passes online at, at their local transit agency ticket office, at any Sonoma County Walgreens store, Raley’s stores in Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa, and at other selected retailers. Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) will also accept Clipper when it starts operation this fall. Read More
Article 5
Drivers stuck in traffic can now slip into the next-generation Express Lanes on I-580. Photo by Noah Berger
Commuters traveling along the Interstate 580 corridor through the Tri-Valley – one of the most congested highways in the region – now have the option to avoid gridlock. The Interstate 580 express lanes – two in the eastbound direction and one in the westbound direction – are now available to carpoolers free of charge as well as to solo drivers who are willing to pay a toll to bypass congestion. These “next generation” Express Lanes allow drivers to enter and exit at almost any point instead of waiting for dedicated entry and exit zones. Carpool drivers can travel toll-free by using the new FasTrak® Flex toll tag and setting it for two, three or more passengers. Solo drivers can use either the new FasTrak® Flex toll tag or the standard model to pay the tolls, which vary with the level of traffic and are indicated on overhead gantries throughout the corridor. The I-580 express lanes add 25 miles to the planned 550-mile Bay Area regional network of express lanes. Read More
Article 6
A worker stands in front of the Tunnel Portal, where future light rail vehicles will descend underground towards Chinatown. Photo by Noah Berger
Blocked-off streets have been a fact of life in Downtown San Francisco due to the ongoing construction for the Central Subway, a mostly underground route that will link Muni’s T-Third light rail from the Caltrain station at 4th and King to Chinatown. Three underground stations are beginning to take shape below SF’s busy streets, with a fourth, above-ground station also under construction. MTC’s documentation team recently ventured behind the scenes and underground to check out the progress, coming away with some stunning photos. Read More
Article 7
MTC’s Drive Smart Bay Area program has a new smart driving tool to help drivers save money and improve vehicle performance. Photo by Karl Nielsen
Want to improve your vehicle’s gas mileage and save up to $1 per gallon? Introducing Drive Smart Bay Area, a new MTC program that helps motorists save money, improve air quality and increase safety by following a few simple tips to improve driving habits and vehicle performance. MTC has teamed up with San Francisco-based Automatic Labs to create a smart driving tool that connects your car to your smartphone (using the Automatic device) to alert you of wasteful driving habits. Drive Smart Bay Area is the newest addition to MTC’s Climate Initiatives program, aimed at reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Read More
Article 8
MTC’s partnership with Lyft is simplifying carpooling in the Bay Area. Photo by Lyft
Announcing Lyft Carpool, the newest way to get to work by sharing rides with commuters traveling the same distance. Lyft Carpool combines the company’s peer-to-peer ridesharing platform with MTC’s ongoing efforts to promote carpooling in the Bay Area. Interested drivers and riders can enter their commute route on, where Lyft will match you with people going in the same direction. MTC also has a longstanding partnership with Carma, which recently launched a new product in collaboration with City CarShare called Carma Zoom, where people can book seats between specific origins and destinations using City CarShare vehicles. MTC also partners with Scoop, which offers a carpooling app. Carpooling rewards commuters with toll-free access to Bay Area Express Lanes and reduced toll rates on state-owned Bay Area bridges. Read More
Article 9
Plan your weekend adventure with the Bay Trail's brand new website and map cards updated with 15 miles of recently completed trails. Photo by Kingmond Young
Discover 345 miles of walking and biking trails and explore the shoreline with the updated Bay Trail map card set and a new Bay Trail website. Highlighting almost 15 miles of recently completed Bay Trail and retailing for $14.95, the map cards now feature 2.5 miles along the Hamilton Wetlands in Novato, 1.7 miles on Carquinez Scenic Drive outside of Martinez and 1.7 miles of trail on Inner Bair Island in Redwood City. The new, easy-to-navigate Bay Trail website provides another resource for trip planning, with recommended excursions for walking, bicycling, birding, picnicking and dog walking. The Bay Trail Project is administered by the Association of Bay Area Governments with support from MTC and other partners. Read More
Plan Ahead for Weekend BART Shutdowns   Volunteers Needed for California’s Road Charge Pilot
In Brief   In Brief
Photo by BART   Photo by Noah Berger
Gentrification in the Bay Area Survey   Instagram for 511 and Get a Gift
In Brief   In Brief
Photo by UC Berkeley Urban Displacement Project   Photo by MTC Archives
“The unused seats in most drivers’ cars represent the biggest untapped source of transit capacity in the Bay Area. We see the partnerships with carpool apps as a great way to put that capacity to work. We hope they will make people give it a try and see how easy and beneficial carpooling can be.”
MTC Director of Operations Melanie Crotty. Read More
On the Calendar   Bike to Work Day
Thursday, May 12, 2016
In all nine Bay Area counties
With related activities throughout
the month of May.

Photo by Karl Nielsen
The Bay Area’s Bike to Work Day is an annual nine-county celebration of bicycle commuting, drawing some 60,000 riders last year. MTC has sponsored this regional event since 1994 to help promote the bicycle as another option for everyday transportation. Activities are planned throughout the day, as well as during Bike to Work Week (May 9–13) and all month long as part of National Bike Month. Also back again is the popular Team/Company Bike Challenge, in which teams of coworkers and friends, and companies, compete to log the most miles during the month of May. Read More
On the Calendar   Experience Electric
Saturday, May 21 and
Sunday, May 22, 2016
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Marin Home & Garden Expo
Marin Fairgrounds
10 Ave of the Flags
San Rafael
Photo by Karl Nielsen
Join Experience Electric for a chance to test-drive the latest plug-in electric vehicles in a hassle-free environment at the Marin Home and Garden Expo. Test-drives are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A valid driver license is required, and you must be 18 years old to participate. Registration is not required. Read More
MTC: Metropolitan Transportation Commission
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