Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 2020-0061   
Type: Consent Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 1/21/2020 In control: County Administrator
On agenda: 10/6/2020 Final action:
Title: Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) SHIFT Grant Program
Department or Agency Name(s): County Administrator
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. MTC Partnership Agreement
Date Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
No records to display.

To: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

Department or Agency Name(s): County Administrator

Staff Name and Phone Number: Katherine DiPasqua, 565-3779

Vote Requirement: Majority

Supervisorial District(s): All




Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) SHIFT Grant Program



Recommended Action:

Recommended action

Ratify Partnership Agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) for the MTC SHIFT program, which provides 75% grant funding to implement an online Commute Management Platform to help reduce vehicles on the road and improve air quality.



Executive Summary:

On March 19, 2019 the Board of Supervisors approved the creation of a Clean Commute Pilot Program to provide County employees additional commuter benefit options and to promote the use of alternate forms of transportation.  The County implemented a pre-tax commuter benefit program that allows employees to set aside pre-tax income to purchase Clipper products, including the discounted SMART Eco-Pass.  In July 2020, the County was awarded a grant through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to develop and maintain an online commute management platform for three years to further promote alternative modes of transportation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  This online tool will help support the Climate Action and Resiliency Strategic Plan Pillar, which was reviewed by the Board on August 11, 2020, by helping the County move towards carbon neutrality by 2030. 




In Sonoma County, nearly 75 percent of residents drive alone to work. Municipalities are in key position to develop and demonstrate commute programs that other employers can replicate.  On March 19, 2019, the Board of Supervisors approved the creation of a Clean Commute Pilot Program which expanded upon the commuter benefits provided to employees.  The program allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars, using a commuter benefit third-party administrator called My Commuter Check, to pay for Clipper products.  This includes Clipper eCash, which can be used on any transit system not currently free for employees, and SMART Eco-Passes, which are deeply discounted monthly passes.


In February 2020, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) launched a new program to reduce vehicles on the road and improve air quality and greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging alternative modes of travel among Bay Area commuters.  The MTC SHIFT program will provide funding to the County to launch a commute management platform for three years.  The online platform will help staff manage parking demand, provide incentives to encourage non-drive alone modes, and collect and analyze County employee commute program participation. 


The commute management platform will allow the County to expand its Clean Commute program by matching employees who are interested in carpooling, offering trip tracking tools, providing incentives to encourage the use of alternate forms of transportation (transit, carpools, bikes, etc.), and will help staff collect data.  The platform will also have a robust reporting functionality, so that we can provide information on participation levels and greenhouse gas emission reductions to the Board.  The system will be available both online and on a mobile app, making it easy for employees to use.   


Staff acknowledge that COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we work and commute.   Prior to COVID, we had an average of 37 employees regularly using the Clean Commute transit options to get to work each day.  Since March 2020, that number has dropped, but there are still between 4 and 6 employees using the program for their transportation needs.  The commute management platform will be able to adapt to our changing commute habits over the next three years.  For example, working from home is an effective Clean Commute mode for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the region.  The commute management platform includes a work from home option in the trip diary, and when employees log those days, the system can track greenhouse gas impacts, provide incentives, and allow employees to engage with one another. 


The County will need to enter into a contract with RideAmigos, one of MTC’s prequalified vendors, to develop and host the commute management platform.  The grant pays 75% of the implementation and subscription costs with RideAmigos for three years, with the County providing a local match of 25%. 




Prior Board Actions:

March 19, 2019 - Clean Commute Pilot Program


Fiscal Summary


FY 20-21 Adopted

FY21-22 Projected

FY 22-23 Projected

Budgeted Expenses




Additional Appropriation Requested




Total Expenditures




Funding Sources




General Fund/WA GF












Use of Fund Balance








Total Sources





Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

The total contract cost with RideAmigos for three years is $115,000 - MTC will reimburse the County for 75% of the contract costs, or $86,250, and the County will pay the remaining 25%, or $28,750.  Staff anticipate that there are sufficient expenditure appropriations in the FY 2020-21 Clean Commute budget to cover the MTC SHIFT expenditures.  In the event a budget adjustment is necessary to account for the new grant revenue, it will be included in a future quarterly Consolidated Budget Adjustment (CBA) item.


Staffing Impacts

Position Title (Payroll Classification)

Monthly Salary Range (A-I Step)

Additions (Number)

Deletions (Number)















Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):




Attachment 1 - MTC Partnership Agreement



Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board: