Will the 2020s deliver California’s Bay Area from traffic hell?

By 2030, Bay Area commuters could be taking autonomous shuttles to work and boarding next-generation BART trains bound for downtown San Jose. We could be zipping up and down the Peninsula on an electrified Caltrain and cruising past rush-hour congestion aboard regional buses on traffic-free express lanes.

Or we could be stuck crawling down increasingly jammed freeways and cramming into slower, less reliable public transit — while watching the wealthy buy their way out of traffic misery with tolls and self-driving vehicles.

The 2020s have just begun, but transportation experts say this decade the Bay Area must unwind the decisions that have led to grinding traffic, long commutes and Balkanized public transportation systems so we can realize that first vision of the future instead of the second.