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Proliferation of Transportation Management Associations in the Bay Area 


JUNE 2023

A few times while driving home after a long shift at the hotel, Oscar found himself deeply exhausted and pulled his car over to try and wake up. Faced with a long commute driving every day from his home in San Jose to work in Palo Alto, he wondered if there was a better way to commute. Then when he heard that the Palo Alto Transportation Management Association (PATMA) offered free Caltrain passes to service sector workers, he signed up. Now he’s an advocate for mass transit.

“Taking the train is a safer way to commute. I work long hours. Instead of driving home in traffic when I’m tired, I get to relax on the train.” – Oscar Gonzalez, Supervisor, Reception, The Westin 

PATMA supports essential workers like Oscar who, for the past three years, have had to be physically present to do their job. These are the workers in shops, restaurants, and accommodations who could not work from home and kept society going throughout the pandemic.  

PATMA provides free transit passes, short-distance after-hours Lyft rides, refurbished bicycles, and Bike Love $5/day rewards for bicycling to essential workers making less than $70,000/year. The information and incentives PATMA help reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips, traffic congestion, and demand for parking in Palo Alto.  

The Palo Alto TMA is just one example of a transportation management association non-profit run by transportation demand management consulting firm ALTRANS TMA Inc. Recently, ALTRANS TMA Inc. started managing the Emeryville TMA (TMA) and the San Leandro TMO (SLTMO) as well. Each of these TMAs has a different focus for their application of strategies and policies to reduce demand for single-occupancy vehicles.  

The ETMA provides the Emery Go-Round last-mile shuttle service. The Emery Go-Round is a fare-free public shuttle that connects employees, residents and visitors of Emeryville from the MacArthur BART Station to various locations throughout the City of Emeryville. It provides 15 shuttles, operating on 2 different routes with a frequency of 15 minutes to help connect passengers with BART in order to help reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips and congestion within the City. 

The SLTMO provides the San Leandro LINKS last-mile shuttle service. The San Leandro LINKS shuttle connects riders between the Downtown San Leandro BART Station to popular retail centers such as Marina Square, Costco, Kaiser Permanente, industrial employers, and residential areas. 

TMA’s work to reduce travel demand for single-occupancy vehicles, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the quality of life for commuters/workers.  

We expect the number of TMAs to increase in the future – whether initiated by cities, developers or large employers. Many cities require housing developers to join existing TMAs or develop a new TMA as part of their Conditions of Approval/Entitlement Plans.  

ALTRANS celebrates the progress of 11 different TMAs in the Bay Area – Alameda, Berkeley Gateway, Emeryville, Mission Bay, Moffett Park Business Group, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Leandro, San Mateo Rail Corridor, TMASF, and West Alameda. Each has a distinct structure, funding, and set of TDM offerings.   

If you are interested in starting a TMA in your city or have a need for an entity to direct or manage your existing TMA, please contact us at to learn more about the structure and management options that may be the best fit for your TMA needs.