The Bay Area Council’s initiative to improve Bay Area commutes got an endorsement—in a manner of speaking—from Wednesday’s (Aug. 26) release of new data showing that the Bay Area has the second worst commutes in the United States. According to the report from the Texas Transportation Institute and the transportation data company INRIX, in 2014 the average Bay Area highway commute in the peak direction took 57 percent longer than it would without congestion, with congestion costing Bay Area residents $5.5 billion in wasted time and fuel. Highway 101 is the heart of the commute beast, so the Council, guided by an employer task force, is driving a three-part multi-modal solution: create a high-occupancy lane on 101 in San Mateo County that provides congestion free travel for carpoolers and buses; electrify Caltrain for higher speeds, frequency, and capacity; and add new ferry service in the mid-Peninsula area. Our aim is a commute corridor that works as well, and that is as innovative and customer-responsive, as the companies along Highway 101. To participate in the Bay Area Council’s transportation advocacy, contact Senior Vice President Michael Cunningham.

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