Supervisor Ken Yeager's Year End Report was just released and one of his goals that caught our eye here at SVBC was goal #2: Ensure Santa Clara County Gets Its Fair Share of Regional Funding.
As Ken states:
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is one of several regional bodies on which I represent Santa Clara County. The agency is responsible for long-term transit and transportation planning for the nine county Bay Area region. It is also responsible for distributing state and federal transportation dollars to cities and counties in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, Santa Clara County has not been receiving its fair share.
While much of the money MTC distributes is based on pre-set formulas, a significant portion is decided by those serving on the Commission. Based on population, Santa Clara County has one-quarter of the Bay Area’s population. However, we don’t receive that much from the pool of discretionary funding. In fact, we have been shortchanged by as much as $87 million over the past five years.
A big part of the problem has to do with the makeup of the Commission. When MTC was created by the State Legislature in 1970, the distribution of seats was based partially on population. That allocation has not changed in 40 years—years where Santa Clara County has grown leaps and bounds ahead of other counties both in terms of jobs and population. Upon the urging of local leaders and myself, MTC agreed in June to form a committee that will present a solution to the full Commission in January. I am optimistic that State legislation to remedy the disparity in representation on the Commission will be introduced in the coming year.
By improving representation on this important regional body, it should be easier to get much needed projects accomplished in our County. For instance, this year we made significant strides on a project to improve the interchange at I-280, I-880 and Stevens Creek Boulevard.