Program: Lifeline Transportation Funding Program

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What it does: 

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) created the Lifeline Transportation Program in 2006 to address transportation gaps specific to low-income communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Eligible projects include fixed-route transit, transit stop improvements, pedestrian and bicycle access improvements, senior and children’s transportation, community shuttles, auto loan programs, and mobility management activities.


The program supports community-based transportation projects tailored to each community. Overall, the projects address mobility and accessibility needs identified through a Community-Based Transportation Plan and expand the range of transportation choices.

Cost & Financing: 

The 2013 RTP projected that MTC will devote $767 million to the Lifeline Transportation Funding Program over the 28 year life of the RTP, using a combination of the federal Job Access Reverse Commute Program, state Proposition 1B Transit Capital and State Transit Assistance funds.

Initiated in 2006, the program has had 3 funding cycles. Combined, the three cycles have allocated $162 million to 213 projects across the regions. In the first funding cycle, 39 projects totaling $18 million were funded in 2006; in the second an additional 84 projects totaling more than $57 million in 2009; and in the third cycle more than 90 projects totaling $87 million in 2012.


Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Inc. conducted an evaluation of specific projects funded in the first two funded cycles. The study showed the vast majority of projects are meeting the Lifeline Program goals to improve mobility and accessibility for low-income communities through unconventional services. The study shows approximately one third of operations projects improved access or connections or expanded hours or days of service. Between FY 05-06 and FY 09-10, 28 projects provided approximately 3.8 million one-way passenger trips.

Key Contacts: 

Name Organization Phone Number E-mail
Kristen Mazur MTC (510) 817-5789
Jeff Hobson TransForm (510) 740-3150 x 312

Kristen Mazur is the program manager of Lifeline Transportation Funding Program. To encourage collaboration and local engagement, the program is administered at the county level by the county congestion management agencies. MTC’s website lists individual administrators at each of the 9 counties in the Bay Area. Jeff Hobson was one of the main advocates and a member of county and regional working groups pushing MTC to initiate and fund the program.

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Last Updated August 19, 2014 | Written By Mimi Tam