SAN FRANCISCO—The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) approved a mandate on Wednesday, September 23, which requires employees of large companies to work from home at least 3 days per week. The action is part of Plan Bay Area 2050, a long-range plan which focuses on improvement in transportation, housing, the economy, and the environment. According to MTC’s website, “The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments are expected to adopt Plan Bay Area 2050 in summer 2021.”

The mandate, which passed 11 to 1 with 6 absences, aims to reduce carbon emissions by eliminating the output of employees’ transportation fuels. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told NBC News, “There is an opportunity to do things that could not have been done in the past,” referencing experiences from COVID’s stay-at-home working environment which prompted the plan’s initial proposition. 

The same plan includes a proposal to require large companies to designate 60 percent of their employees as exclusively remote workers which, according to members of the Commission, would only be enforceable by an act of legislature. 

Information from MTC’s additional initiative in partnership with the Association of Bay Area Government, called Horizon, will inform Plan Bay Area 50. Horizon focuses more intently on the research of new technologies, particularly autonomous vehicles, rising sea levels due to climate change, earthquakes, economic extremes, and political volatility. 

MTC released the Final Plan Bay Area 2040 on March 26, a product of California Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008, requiring the state’s 18 metropolitan areas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks.