San Francisco, CA Livable Communities

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San Francisco, CA, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Enacted in 1996


Transportation for Livable Communities (TLC) is a competitive grant-awarding program to encourage community-based land use and transportation decisions. It is administered by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which is responsible for transportation planning throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Interested in positively affecting land use in the Bay Area, MTC determined that grant funding would be helpful in promoting community-based transportation projects. The TLC initiative establishes two sets of funds: planning and capital. The planning funds, which have been distributed since 1997, come from MTC’s Transportation Development Act (TDA) allocation. These funds are distributed to community-based planning efforts that improve connections to regional transportation, and may be used for technical assistance from selected urban design, architecture, and transportation planning firms. Funded planning projects have included design for transit-oriented developments, land use studies, and conceptual design for improved pedestrian/bicycle mobility and access to transit. The capital funds, which MTC began distributing in 1999, come from the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21), a federal transportation funding source. Capital funds are allocated according to a project’s quality and inclusiveness of public involvement, overall impact, connection of transportation to land use, and promotion of internal community mobility. Funded capital projects have included bicycle paths, streetscape improvements, accessibility improvements, and transit-oriented developments.


  • In 1999, 12 projects were approved for planning funds and 15 projects for capital funds.
  • Several projects that received planning grants in previous years have moved on to receive capital funds, demonstrating the program’s success in helping to make planned projects happen

Vital Statistics:

  • $475,000 in grants supporting planning for community-oriented transportation projects have been awarded since 1997.
  • $9 million in grants supporting capital improvement were awarded in the 1998-1999 fiscal year, the first year of the capital program.

Contact Info:

Karen Frick, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, (510) 464-7704, FAX: (510) 464-7848, Email:

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