The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is now accepting applications from public agencies for shuttle bus and regional ridesharing programs. The District is offering $4 million for these programs. The deadline is September 1. More information here.
That’s all fine and good, but what does all this mean to the rest of us?
What is BAAQMD?
Pronounced“BACH-mid”, is the country’s first air quality management district, and it was formed back in 1955. Major cities all over the country were forming districts to coordinate their regional transportation and housing, but even back then, California’s leadership recognized the health impacts of our transportation system, and created this agency to protect the Bay Area’s natural environment (not to mention its residents’ lungs).
BAAQMD’s first two regulations banned open burning at dumps and wrecking yards, and established controls on dust, liquid droplets, and combustion gases from certain industrial sources.
Who is BAAQMD?
The Air District is governed by a 22-member Board of Directors, which is composed of locally elected officials from each of the nine Bay Area counties. The number of board members from each county is proportionate to its population.
The nine Bay Area counties are: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southwestern Solano, and southern Sonoma counties.
Where does this $4 million come from?
This money comes from the Transportation Fund for Clean Air. TFCA is funded by a $4 surcharge on motor vehicles registered in the Bay Area, which generates approximately $22 million per year. This money funds programs designed to get cars off the road.
What else is BAAQMD doing?
If you’re a regular on 511CC, you’ve probably heard about Spare the Air Days. BAAQMD issues daily air quality reports here.
They also funded the following projects in Contra Costa County during the last two years:
- Fuel for Tri Delta Transit
- Bike racks
- Vanpool, carpool and transit incentive programs
- Bay Trail gap closures
- Bike lanes on Montalvin Manor/Tara Hills
- The Guaranteed ride home program
- 17 schools buses in Lafayette
- Transit in the I-80 corridor