Fix the 60% telework mandate

Metropolitan Transportation Commission

MTC staff assert that they are fixing the concerns that were raised about the 60% telework mandate that was approved on September 23 as part of the PlanBayArea BluePrint. But the problematic words in “Strategy EN7” haven’t been changed in the most recent staff update to the Commission.

Please sign the petition below: The telework mandate strategy must be fixed by December when the strategies are submitted for environmental review.  

Background

On September 23, over the objections of dozens of members of the public at the meeting and over 100 letters, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved an unprecedented strategy to impose a 60% telework mandate on companies with more than 25 employees, with office jobs that can be done from home.

The telework mandate is only a “strategy”, not a policy. To be implemented, legislation would be required in the future, and the time frame starts in 2035 - a long time from now.

Even so, the strategy has a lot of problems:

  • Seems to require people who walk and bike to work to stay home instead

  • Would be catastrophic for walkable, transit-rich cities, vibrant downtowns and public transit

  • Discourages investment in public transit and infill development

  • Would encourage workers to leave the region and work from home in car-dependent places

  • Penalizes people with young children

  • Penalizes early career people, minorities and others who need to build relationships with co-workers

  • Impractical - how could meetings be scheduled if 60% of employees need to be home at any given time

  • Meeting the region’s Greenhouse Gas goals with something infeasible is “cheating” - our climate crisis is real, and we need to address it with feasible strategies

MTC staff have asserted that the problems with the telework mandate strategy are being fixed. They comment that the mandate isn’t intended to apply to people who walk, bicycle or take transit to work.

This fix would make Strategy EN7 equivalent to a 40% car-commute maximum, which is a much more reasonable approach as an average across the region.

The language itself needs to be fixed, making clear that workers and companies can choose the options to reduce driving that work best for them.

To: Metropolitan Transportation Commission
From: Zack Subin

On September 23, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved an unprecedented strategy to meet the region’s transportation GHG targets by imposing a 60% telework mandate on companies with more than 25 employees, for all office jobs that can be done from home.

MTC says that the intent of Strategy EN7 is not to apply to people who walk, bicycle, take transit, or use other sustainable travel modes.

The language of Strategy EN7 must be changed to clarify that it is intended to limit solo driving, not to restrict commuting by transit, walking, and bicycling.