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Economist Calls For A Bay Area 'Mega-Region'

KCBS_740 SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – An influential economic think tank believes planning for Bay Area economic growth needs to be expanded from the current 9-county DMA to a 'mega-region' stretching from Sacramento to the Central Valley to Monterey.

Jeff Bellisario is the author of the report from the the Bay Area Council Economic Institute proposing the change.

"People are moving between the counties for work," he said. "They are migrating throughout the region. We are seeing businesses expand from the Bay Area to Sacramento to the northern San Joaquin Valley."

In all, the new mega-region would encompass the metropolitan centers of 21 counties.

RELATED: Read The Mega-Region Report

The report also emphasizes the important of the construction of a high-speed rail line in the region to improve the transportation options within the far reaches of the mega-region.

President and CEO of the Bay Area Council Jim Wunderman says Tesla Motors is a prime example of how businesses now function in the mega-region.

"We have a Tesla plant that's located in Fremont but it's connected to a parts plant in Lathrop and to a (Tesla) gigafactory that's not even in the state but is in Sparks, Nevada," he told KCBS. "All that connects to the Port of Oakland for shipping to China."

"So thinking of this as one region in the Bay Area apart from the other places doesn't make sense in today's economy anymore."

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