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July 27 MTC Meeting: Another Step Forward for the 6 Wins Network

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 07/29/2011 - 12:01pm

On Wednesday, July 27, the 6 Wins Network participated in the sixth Metropolitan Transportation Commission/Association of Bay Area Governments meeting in the past two months. It has been an action-packed period of not only attending meetings, but also strategizing, recruiting other allies, calling and emailing elected officials, drafting letters, and meeting with staff.

It has also been an extremely productive period. I am proud to say that because of the Network’s efforts, Bay Area community housing and transportation plans (or “scenarios”) that were once destined to be rubber-stamped and developed behind closed doors have now been changed for the better. In addition, we have laid the groundwork for the process going forward to be more transparent and open to the public.

What Happened Last Week?

You may have already read about last week’s victory at the July 21st ABAG Executive Board meeting, when the Board unanimously passed our proposalto include the housing/land use component of the Equity, Environment and Jobs Scenario. That means we were able to add an option that would plan for more affordable housing in all of the region’s job-rich, transit-connected cities.

What Happened This Week?

On Tuesday, July 26, there was more good news. We heard from MTC staff that they were going to recommend: a) approval of the ABAG Board’s action; and b) substantial changes to their proposed transportation scenario. For staff’s recommended changes, see PDF attached.

On Wednesday, we went to the MTC Commissioners’ meeting to ensure they approved staff’s recommendations above, but we asked them to make an additional commitment. Instead of merely saying they would “increase transit service” in certain places, we asked MTC to commit to an increase of 10-20% service above 2005 (not 2010) levels. And we asked those increases to go to low-income communities and communities of color that use transit the most. (Using 2005 as the baseline year rather than 2010 is important because transit service has been severely cut in the last five years alone.)

In its final vote, MTC did approve the staff’s recommendation to change the transportation scenario— a change that would increase local transit service in the areas that have more housing growth. However, they did not take the additional step that we asked for, a commitment to increasing transit service 10-20% above 2005 levels.

We feel heartened nonetheless. Because the MTC staff agreed to go public with more details in August, we now have the opportunity to help shape the specifics of their proposal next month. That will be our next chance to seek increased transit service and improvements on the routes and areas that need it most.

What’s Next?

More hard work lies ahead. Until the final Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy are adopted in April 2013, we will stay involved. We intend to keep bringing community voices to the table and ensuring that public money is spent equitably so that ALL Bay Area residents benefit.  We have 6 Big Wins to accomplish ahead!

    * Community Power
    * Local Transit Service
    * Healthy & Safe Communities
    * Economic Opportunity
    * Affordable Housing
    * Investment Without Displacement