The Valley Transportation Authority congratulates the VTA/ATU Joint Workforce Investment program, Mission College, and California State Senator Jim Beall for their recognition with Bay Area Metro Awards.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) announced the awards during ABAG’s General Assembly meeting in Oakland Thursday morning, June 6. More than a dozen honorees were announced for programs and projects that are advancing Bay Area mobility, protecting the environment, addressing housing needs and keeping the region resilient.
The Joint Workforce Investment program is an apprenticeship collaborative effort among VTA, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 265 (ATU) and Mission College in Santa Clara. The 8-year-old program has developed over the years into a national model for other transit agencies to recruit, train and retain talented transportation employees.
The very successful labor-management partnership is a model for other agencies in the state and around the nation facing the same challenges of recruiting and retaining qualified transportation workers and are now looking to VTA for help in starting similar programs at their own agencies. The program at VTA incudes coach operators and mechanics, light rail operators, track workers and overhead line workers, who earn 18 credits at Mission College during their apprenticeship.
Another Bay Area Metro honor went to San Jose-based State Senator Jim Beall (D-15), who’s carried the torch for transportation infrastructure improvement throughout his 30-year public service career. Among his many accomplishments, Beall authored Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) known as the “Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017”, ushering it through a complex process to ensure our state’s highways, roads, and transit systems would get the funds to make critically needed upgrades, improvements and repairs.
SB 595 was another product of Senator Beall’s years of commitment to championing the funding and delivery of transportation improvements. Passed by Bay Area voters in the form of Regional Measure 3 (RM 3), this law authorized the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to pursue an increase in the base bridge toll rate in an amount not to exceed $3 for vehicles crossing the Bay Area’s seven state-owned toll bridges. SB1’s benefits to the San Francisco Bay Area are extraordinary. Local jurisdictions are forecast to receive more than $200 million for road repairs in FY 2018-2019.
Next year, the region will receive $118 million in additional State Transit Assistance (STA) program funding and more than $37 million in new STA State of Good Repair funding.
Congratulations to all the award recipients, and thank you MTC and ABAG!