SANDAG – Overview

What is SANDAG?
Transportation dollars in San Diego flow through our regional transportation agency, the San Diego Association of Government (SANDAG), making it a mighty powerful entity when it comes to our ability to cut pollution from cars and trucks, create a world-class transit system, and improve our quality of life and economic competitiveness.

Sadly, SANDAG has repeatedly underfunded and deprioritized public transit, bicycling, and walking—making it incredibly difficult for cities around the region to meet their climate goals and create the kind of transit systems they want and need.


Shortcomings of SANDAG’s Regional Plan
SANDAG’s current 35-year Regional Transportation Plan increases transit ridership by a mere 4% countywide while keeping transit times double those of driving trips.

SANDAG’s plan will also be a major hurdle for many cities reaching their climate goals. For example, The City of San Diego’s draft Climate Action Plan aims to empower 50% of residents in urban areas to commute by transit, walking, and bicycling by 2035, whereas SANDAG’s draft regional plan—as revealed in our report using SANDAG’s own data—would put the City on a path to achieve only 15% of commutes on alternative transit in the same area.  Put another way, the City’s goals are over three-times greater than SANDAG’s.

Learn more about SANDAG’s 2015 Regional Plan by watching the storm of media coverage on our report, and read CAC’s letter (Oct 2015) urging SANDAG to vote down their plan to make it better.

Delay is not an option.
State law mandates cities must meet its first climate benchmark in 2020 and San Diego’s Climate Action Plan commits to doing that by getting 1 in every 5 people (21%) to commute not in a car. That’s five percentage points more than SANDAG would get us to 15 years later!

Quality of Life Coalition
It will take heroic efforts and the tireless struggle of all of us to reach our climate goals, but it is what is needed to protect the health and quality of life of kids today.

That’s why we’re working with the Quality of Life Coalition—comprised of community, environmental, health, and labor organizations— to make transit investment, social equity, climate stability, and good jobs a top priority.  

As SANDAG conducts its 2019 update to the RTP, CAC and the Quality of Life Coalition are fighting to ensure that the updated plan is consistent with local CAPs, reduces air pollution in environmental justice communities, and increases biking, walking, and transit across the region. We’ve also been working to make sure that Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other key decision-makers on the SANDAG Board are vocal in insisting on the same. And our advocacy is working! Check out the letter from Mayor Faulconer’s Office to SANDAG in April 2018 calling for a GHG-reducing RTP.

Download the Quality of Life Coalition’s Vision and Goals flyer here.