Improving traffic flow and strengthening alternative modes has become a key goal for state and local governments. The work of Innovative Mobility Research (IMR) can help to inform policymakers on critical policy decisions related to smart growth and innovative mobility strategies. Local governments are important partners for projects located within specific jurisdictions. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and its Division of Research and Innovation is a key collaborator in developing innovative concepts and in providing funding for design and evaluation of innovative technologies and services. IMR is routed in a strong partnership with government, which is critical to the success of innovative mobility strategies and related public decisionmaking.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for planning, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining California's State Highway System. While continuing to play the role as the owner and operator of the State Highway System, Caltrans is also involved in inter-city passenger rail service, mass transit and aeronautics. Caltrans is a leader in promoting the use of alternative modes of transportation. In addition, Caltrans deals with complex issues such as land use, goods movement, environmental standards and the formation of partnerships between private industry, local, State and Federal agencies. Caltrans has over 22,000 employees with an annual operating budget of over nine billion dollars. Headquartered in Sacramento, Caltrans has 12 district offices situated across the State in Eureka, Redding, Marysville, Oakland, San Luis Obispo, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Bishop, Stockton, San Diego and Irvine. Caltrans' mission is to improve mobility across California.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District) was originally conceived in the 1940s, as population was projected to grow in the Bay Area. In 1957, a five-county rapid transit district was formed with the mandate of building and operating a high-speed rapid rail network, linking major commercial centers with suburban sub-centers. BART construction was completed in 1972, after decades of planning and eight years of construction. BART currently includes 39 stations connected by 95 miles of track, the Transbay Tube, and 42,230 parking spaces.
Caltrain is the primary alternative commute mode between San Francisco and San Jose. It began operating passenger trains between these northern California cities in 1980. Currently, Caltrain offers weekday rail service to Gilroy. The Peninsula Commuter shuttles connect Caltrain passengers to employer work sites, and the Marguerite Shuttle transports people to Stanford University, the Stanford University hospital, and the Stanford shopping center. Both shuttle systems are free and pick up and drop off at many peninsula and South Bay Caltrain stations.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is the transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Created by the state Legislature in 1970 (California Government Code § 66500 et seq.), MTC functions as both the regional transportation planning agency -- a state designation -- and for federal purposes, as the region's metropolitan planning organization (MPO). As such, it is responsible for the Regional Transportation Plan, a comprehensive blueprint for the development of mass transit, highway, airport, seaport, railroad, bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The Commission also screens requests from local agencies for state and federal grants for transportation projects to determine their compatibility with the plan.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. It serves as transportation planner and coordinator, designer, builder and operator for one of the country’s largest, most populous counties. More than 9.6 million people – nearly one-third of California’s residents – live, work, and play within its 1,433-square-mile service area.