Assembly Passes AB 57 to Balance Membership on Metropolitan Transportation Commission

May 26, 2011

Beall's bill sdds one seat each for Santa Clara and Alameda Counties

Assembly Bill 57, legislation introduced by Assemblymember Jim Beall to create a balanced and equitable representation on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, was approved today on a 71-5 vote in the Assembly. The bill now moves to the Senate.

AB 57 updates the number of MTC members from 19 to 21, adding one more representative each for Santa Clara and Alameda to give them a total of three delegates each, equaling the number of San Francisco-based voting representatives.

“My bill addresses San Jose’s and Silicon Valley’s under representation on the MTC,’’ Beall said. “It’s time to make a change so we can get our fair share of representation on this important commission.

“About 40 years ago, the Legislature created the MTC and its voting membership remains based on a 1970 snapshot of a San Francisco-dominated Bay Area. Today, the Bay Area’s population and employment clusters have shifted. Santa Clara County has become the technological center of the world.

“This dynamic economic growth has driven a population boom, resulting in nearly 1 million new residents in the county and making San Jose the third biggest city in California.

“But, the MTC’s voting membership does not reflect this dramatic transformation in the Bay Area’s demography. Communities that have grown both in jobs and population do not have proportional representation at MTC."

Under AB 57, the mayors of Oakland and San Jose will each appoint a new commissioner.to reflect the growth in population and jobs, and increased traffic in the counties of Santa Clara and Alameda.

The commission, comprised of members appointed by locally elected officials, acts as the regional transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the Bay Area. Not only does it set the Bay Area’s transportation priorities, but it screens local projects for their compatibility with its regional plan, and serves as the region’s conduit for federal and state transportation funding.

Contact: Rodney Foo @ (408) 282-8920