About Vital Signs

About Vital Signs

The San Francisco Bay Area has established an innovative monitoring initiative to track trends related to transportation, land and people, the economy and the environment. Measurements in these areas are our region’s Vital Signs – helping us understand where we are succeeding and where we are falling short. Led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), this effort relies upon extensive collaboration with the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. This data-driven website compiles dozens of indicators; each is presented with interactive visualizations that allow you to explore historical trends, examine differences between cities and counties, and even compare the Bay Area with other peer metropolitan areas. Let’s track our region’s Vital Signs! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Vital Signs helps Bay Area residents explore our region’s performance using a series of indicators. Indicators in four key areas of regional vitality – transportation, land and people, the economy and the environment – allow us to examine historical trends, similarities and differences within our region and our competitiveness with other major metropolitan areas.

A Vital Signs indicator is simply a quantifiable measure of regional progress on a specific topic, such as average commute time or median home price. Many indicators originate from regional, state and national performance measures, including those developed as part of the region’s long-range transportation and housing blueprint known as Plan Bay Area.

In order to identify and understand the trends affecting Bay Area residents, workers and businesses, we first need to gather data on the conditions shaping our region. For the first time, Vital Signs compiles data on these topics into one easily accessible website, available to the public in addition to agency staff and policymakers. Vital Signs makes it easier for Bay Area residents to understand and track progress on key regional issues.

Use the homepage or site menu to view the range of topics available and navigate to the indicator you are most interested in. Each indicator’s page presents at least one interactive visualization that you can customize to explore in more depth. These customized graphs and maps can be easily shared via social media or downloaded as images. If you would prefer to access the source data used to create the visualizations, visit the Data Center to download the dataset or access the API. Be sure to share whatever you find interesting with us at @MTCBATA on Twitter or on facebook.com/MTCBATA.

The data for each Vital Signs measure comes from a variety of national, state and regional data sources. These data have been collected, processed and combined so that they can be easily visualized and downloaded. If you would like to learn more about sources used for each measure, refer to the Sources section at the bottom of each indicator page. Processed data is available for download in the Data Center, accessible from the site menu.

The Vital Signs initiative is led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and relies on extensive collaboration with the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

If you have questions about Vital Signs, please contact us at vitalsigns.info@mtc.ca.gov.