A nighttime view of the Bay including the Bay Bridge and Transamerica building

Photo: Germán Poo-Caamaño, flickr


Plan Bay Area is a 25-year plan that establishes the nine-county Bay Area region’s vision for land use and transportation. It demonstrates how the transportation network and land use development can work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create more complete, livable, and sustainable communities with sufficient affordable housing, more transportation choices, and easier access to vital services and amenities, such as public transit, shopping, schools, parks, recreation, and health care.

The Transportation Authority coordinates San Francisco’s input to Plan Bay Area, including our list of specific transportation projects and programs to be included in the plan’s transportation investment strategy. Inclusion of projects and programs in Plan Bay Area is a prerequisite for receiving state and federal transportation grants, as well as a requirement for securing a project’s federal environmental document approval.

We will be leading the Regionally-Significant Projects submission process for San Francisco from April through June 2019.


In July 2017, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments adopted Plan Bay Area 2040 which set ambitious transportation and land use goals for the region, including:

  • Reduce per-capita greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks by 15%
  • Increase non-auto mode share by 10%
  • Reduce vehicle operating and maintenance costs due to pavement conditions by 100%
  • Reduce per-rider transit delay due to aged infrastructure by 100%
  • Decrease the share of lower-income residents' household income consumed by transportation and housing by 10%

In Plan Bay Area 2040, many San Francisco projects were called out as high performers in meeting those goals, including Caltrain Modernization and Extension to San Francisco’s Salesforce Transit Center, Congestion Pricing on Treasure Island and in Downtown San Francisco, Geary Bus Rapid Transit, and BART Metro.

The Horizon Initiative

In advance of the next Plan Bay Area cycle, The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments are conducting the Horizon initiative, which will explore external forces on how the Bay Area grows—such as new technologies, unexpected natural or manmade disasters, economic booms and busts, and political volatility—that may fundamentally alter the region’s trajectory over the next few decades. The Horizon initiative will engage the public and other stakeholders to identify policy responses and investments that perform well under a variety of possible scenarios. Expected to conclude in summer 2019, Horizon will inform the next Plan Bay Area update, which will be adopted in 2021.


Metropolitan Transportation Commission Horizon Initiative webpage

Schedule for Horizon and Plan Bay Area 2050 (PDF)


Michelle Beaulieu, Senior Transportation Planner

Related programs

The San Francisco Transportation Plan is the citywide, long-range investment and policy blueprint for San Francisco’s multimodal transportation system.

The Subway Vision explores the expansion of San Francisco's subway network.

ConnectSF is a multi-agency collaborative process to build an effective, equitable, and sustainable transportation system for San Francisco’s future.