Bay Area should focus on environment, equity, and jobs in its new regional plan, Plan Bay Area
Clarrissa Cabansagan Headshot

As the deadline for comments on the draft Plan Bay Area approaches, it’s becoming clearer and clearer just how much we need to incorporate solutions from the Equity, Environment and Jobs (EEJ) Alternative to bring our region the choices and affordability we need for a prosperous future.

MTC’s own studies identify the EEJ Alternative (Alternative 5) as the “environmentally superior alternative,” but then downplay the differences as marginal. Our friends at Public Advocates crunched some numbers to illustrate the differences between the two scenarios, and what they’ve found is quite illuminating.

Compared to the draft Plan Bay Area, the EEJ Alternative would:

  • Reduce daily auto travel by 3.5 million miles per day.
    3.5 million miles is more than seven round trips to the moon. Or if that’s too far away for you, consider this: it would take one mega-commuter over 91 years of commuting between Stockton and San Francisco to drive that distance.
  • Take 83,500 cars off the road each day.
    The peak commute traffic on the Bay Bridge – both directions, morning and afternoon – is nearly 70,000 vehicles. Can you imagine if everyone who drives the Bay Bridge during rush hour were able to take public transportation instead?

  • Add 165,000 new daily public transportation riders.
    That’s almost the whole population of Santa Rosa. If all those people were riding one transit system, it would be the 4th largest public transportation provider in the Bay Area, right after AC Transit with approximately 200,000 daily boardings.

And those are just the three figures we thought were most compelling. You can read the full analysis on Public Advocates’ blog here.

These differences aren’t marginal – they’re like night and day for the future of the Bay Area. We deserve a plan that prioritizes more choices and greater affordability. And with so many great policies already proposed in the EEJ Alternative, we need to speak up to make sure these solutions don’t get left in the dark.

Let’s tell MTC to shoot for the moon and adopt the very best plan for our future.

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TransForum is the blog of TransForm, California's leading transportation advocate. For more about our work, including ways you can take action and contribute, visit TransFormCA.org.