San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 2012
San Francisco MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) has completed a draft of the regional transportation and land use plan (Plan Bay Area 2040). This is the first regional transportation plan (RTP) completed in the Bay Area that is subject to new California regulations that require the RTP to be more tightly interwoven with greenhouse gas reductions (Sustainable Communities Strategy or SCS). This goal was addressed through the integration of smart growth land use policies and a quarter trillion dollars in transportation investment. The RTP/SCS was developed from combinations of five alternative land use scenarios with two transportation investment strategies where each was evaluated for how well the 25-year plan could perform across ten metrics, including economic performance. The land use scenarios were built around 200 priority development area (PDAs) that would enable more effective labor market access and business agglomeration economies while reducing growth of traffic congestion.
In developing the preferred scenario from the five alternatives, MTC and the business community agreed that the evaluation process needed to include measurement of economic performance. MTC and its consultants, Cambridge Systematics, Inc., turned to TREDIS to forecast how job and industry growth can increase regional output (gross regional product or GRP), household income and employment over time if future land use increased job market access via proximity of housing to job centers, improved transit, and more dense clusters of commercial activity. This required a version of TREDIS that had significant sub-county detail. The result was an MTC TREDIS regional employment model that was then used to forecast the spatial and industrial pattern of long-term employment change for alternative scenarios.
The study provided MTC with measures of economic performance for each scenario and a much clearer understanding of how agglomeration of commercial and industrial land use and better access to labor could improve the Bay Area’s economic performance while reducing congestion and greenhouse gases. There is reference to the TREDIS use in the following memo.