Regional planners back away from 60% work-at-home requirement

After several tech companies told their employees to work from home, traffic congestion disappeared on Highway 101, as this photo from March 12 shows. AP photo.

By the Daily Post staff

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission today dropped a proposal to require employees to work from home 60% of the week.

The commission got sharp criticism on the 60% plan from residents, employers and public transit officials for a plethora of reasons.

The work-from-home proposal was set to be included in Plan Bay Area 2050, a long-range plan being developed by MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments, or ABAG.

The work-at-home rule was not part of the group’s draft plan released over the summer, leading to the backlash.

Alternative gives employers more options

The MTC board today approved an alternative plan that requires businesses with 50 or more employees to limit the number of employees driving to work to 40% by 2035. The remaining 60% will need to walk, bike, take public transit or telecommute. The proposal exempts agricultural employers.

The alternative approved today will not become law. That would require approval by the state Legislature.

The 60% work-from-home proposal was approved in September by a 12-1 vote, with Millbrae Councilwoman Gina Papan, who represents San Mateo County’s 23 cities and towns, as the lone dissenter.

Some employees can’t work from home

Papan previously told the Post that she did not think the previous work-from-home proposal was the best MTC could do, and pointed out that there are multiple industries in which workers simply cannot work from home.