Draft Plan Bay Area 2050+ Blueprint includes 840,000 more affordable homes, guaranteed monthly income

Graphics source: MTC & ABAG

“Demonstrates continued progress toward key plan goals” of housing, transportation, economy and environment in the nine counties including “a gradual shift away from the use of single-occupancy cars and trucks.”

Includes over $1.2 trillion to maintain existing transportation system, build and buy affordable housing, “Provide an income-based monthly payment to all Bay Area households” and to “Adapt to Sea Level Rise.”

Also working on parallel Transit 2050+ plan

Public input opportunities

By MTC & ABAG staff

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)’s and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)’s newly released Plan Bay Area 2050+ Draft Blueprint analysis outlines how the nine-county region can advance an affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and vibrant Bay Area for all residents by the year 2050. 

The Blueprint is essentially a draft version of the plan. It is a foundational framework for a future vision of the Bay Area that includes: 

  • Forecasts and Assumptions about the Bay Area’s future (population, jobs, financial needs and revenues, sea level rise, etc.);
  • Strategies for public investment and policy reform; and
  • Geographies where future housing and/or job growth can be focused under the plan’s Strategies.

The Blueprint is then analyzed through computer-generated models and simulations to measure how successful the strategies are in achieving shared goals for the future, such as housing affordability, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and much more.

As the first draft of the Bay Area’s next long-range plan, the Draft Blueprint demonstrates significant progress toward reaching key goals for housing affordability, post-pandemic economic recovery and environmental health and sustainability. This includes the addition of 840,000 affordable homes, with a total of nearly 1 million permanently affordable homes regionwide by 2050; a 17 percent increase in the number of lower-income households living within a half-mile of transit service; and a gradual shift away from the use of single-occupancy cars and trucks. MTC and ABAG planning staff stress that the expected progress would only come about if all the strategies to be detailed in Plan Bay Area 2050+ are implemented.

Source: MTC & ABAG

The full range of performance and equity outcomes from the Plan Bay Area 2050+ Draft Blueprint analysis may be found in the Draft Blueprint Compendium, which also demonstrates how the Bay Area can accommodate some 1.3 million additional jobs and nearly 1 million new households by the year 2050.

The Compendium shows the following proposed budget highlights for three of the Plan’s categories:

Transportation Strategies

$382 billion for T1 – Operate and Maintain the Existing System. Commit to operate and maintain the Bay Area’s roads and transit infrastructure while transitioning to zero-emission transit vehicles.

Housing Strategies

$250 billion for H2 – Preserve Existing Affordable Housing. Acquire homes currently affordable to low- and middle-income residents for preservation as permanently deed-restricted affordable housing, including opportunities for resident ownership.

$302 billion for H4 – Build Adequate Affordable Housing to Ensure Homes for All. Construct enough deed-restricted affordable homes to fill the existing gap in housing for the unhoused community and to meet the needs of low-income households.

Economic Strategies

$205 billion for EC1 – Implement a Statewide Guaranteed Income. Provide an income-based monthly payment to all Bay Area households to improve family stability, promote economic mobility and increase consumer spending.

Environment Strategies

$94 billion for EN1 – Adapt to Sea Level Rise. Adapt shoreline communities, infrastructure and ecosystems affected by sea level rise.

These outcomes were first presented at the May meeting of MTC’s Policy Advisory Council, and then at the June 14 joint meeting of the MTC Planning Committee and the ABAG Administrative Committee.  

The Draft Blueprint also identifies challenges that will have to be addressed as part of the Final Blueprint process over the coming months. More work is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as to identify transportation investment priorities for the plan’s fiscally constrained transportation project list. The Draft Blueprint does not include significant transportation expansion or enhancement investments, as these will be identified through Transit 2050+ and the Final Blueprint process. 

hoto source: MTC. Credit: Joey Kotfica

What’s Next?

In light of the pandemic’s lasting impact to public transportation, MTC is collaborating with the region’s transit operators on Transit 2050+ , a parallel planning effort to re-envision the future of public transit in the nine-county Bay Area. Two key updates in this process will be released in July: the Draft Project Performance Assessment and the Transit 2050+ Draft Network. It will be a comprehensive overhaul of the six transit-related strategies included in Plan Bay Area 2050.

The Draft Project Performance Assessment will analyze the costs and benefits of major capacity-increasing projects being considered for inclusion in Plan Bay Area 2050+, the vast majority of which are transit projects. These investments, including those adopted in Plan Bay Area 2050, now face a significantly reduced projected revenue stream. This is due largely to slow post-pandemic transit ridership recovery and other economic changes.

The Transit 2050+ Draft Network will identify strategies and investments (capital and operating) envisioned through 2035 and over the long term through 2050. Development of the Draft Network has been guided in part by public engagement conducted in summer 2023, when nearly 3,000 Bay Area residents provided input on the future of Bay Area transit. The Draft Network also is being informed by an existing needs and gaps assessment conducted in partnership with local transit agencies, the Draft Project Performance Assessment, local priorities and improvements to transit network connectivity and customer experience.

Source: MTC & ABAG

Summer 2024 Public Engagement

Beginning in August, MTC staff will conduct a second round of public engagement for Plan Bay Area 2050+, the content of which will focus on:

  • Sharing both the Draft Blueprint outcomes and the Transit 2050+ Draft Network
  • Gathering feedback to inform the development of the Final Blueprint and address identified Draft Blueprint challenges
  • Identifying early priorities for implementing Plan Bay Area 2050+

There will be a variety of in-person and virtual opportunities for the public to participate. Stay up-to-date on upcoming engagement activities in your community by subscribing to the Plan Bay Area 2050+ mailing list. There also will be dedicated engagement opportunities for technical partners and stakeholders, which will be publicized on the Plan Bay Area website’s Partner Engagement page.

Following an analysis of public input, the Commission and the ABAG Executive Board are expected to consider approval of the Final Blueprint in late 2024.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

the attachments to this post:

Plan Bay Area 2050 logo graphic & Elements

MTC aerial photo

Plan Bay Area 2050+ timeline

Draft PBA2050 Blueprint Compendium cover

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