The Bay Area Transportation Working Group (BATWG) is an all volunteer organization established in 2012 to keep up with and respond to important Bay Area transportation issues and events. Our primary objective is to find ways of easing regional traffic congestion by improving the reliability and appeal of Bay Area passenger rail and bus systems. BATWG is dedicated to working with like-minded groups to bring about these needed changes.

A Corrupted MTC Board Selection Process

January 10, 2019

Bay Area transportation is in a royal mess, due in large part to the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s failed policies.

With the upcoming appointment of a new MTC executive director there is now an opportunity to improve things. As things stand MTC is little more than an echo chamber for powerful interests. It is not receptive to new ideas and its endless series of “public outreach” meetings are geared more to selling than listening.  Perhaps this is in part because every four years the MTC Board members are selected through a weak and secretive process that is again in progress at this time. Click here to continue reading.

Who Should be Sponsoring DTX?

December 11, 2018

Caltrain1In recent years San Francisco City Hall has taken a lot of heat from BATWG and other groups for its lack of commitment to bringing the Caltrain trains downtown and into the new Salesforce Transit Center. While past and present municipal officials have often been effusive in their praise of the extension project (DTX), no one actually does much. The City of San Francisco’s financial contribution to the new Transit Center and DTX extension stands at less 2% of the project cost, compared to its 37% allocation to the Third Street/Central Subway project.  In any event, for whatever reason the government of San Francisco has been unable to advance DTX. Click here to continue reading.

An Open Letter to SFMTA Director

October 11, 2018

Dear Ed…

Thanks for attending and joining in at the September 29th Transportation Forum. Your participation was clearly appreciated. The outline below was what BATWG had expected to present at the Forum. The proposals reflect some of what’s needed to strengthen the SFMTA and improve the City’s response to its overall transportation problem. We hope they are of use:

A. The SFMTA Board

Granting the MTA immunity from day-to-day political influence (through SF Prop E adopted in 1999 and SF Prop A adopted in 2007) was probably a good idea.  However 4-year terms for appointed local officials is too long. The elected Mayor and Supervisors should be able to intercede when necessary every two years. The terms of the MTA’s appointive Board members should be reduced from 4 years to 2. Being an MTA Board member is a difficult and demanding job. All seven members of the MTA Board must therefore be strong and committed individuals. Click here to read more.