History

    The Pacific Transportation Association is the largest
    transportation association on the West Coast and remains one of the leading traffic clubs in the country, faithful to the ideals of its founders.

    It was on February 19, 1920 that a group of serious-minded students at the University of California Traffic School formed the nucleus of the Association under the name of University of California Traffic Association. The first officers were M.B. Baker, President; R.C. Bray, Vice President; Rose Hillman, Secretary; and W.C. Patterson, Treasurer. Originally the offices and clubrooms were in the Pacific Building, later moving the Monadnock Building where an office in the charge of Miss Helen Shamp was maintained until January 1, 1939.

    Near the end of 1920, when the original membership of 37 had grown to 200, though was given to a new name for the organization and at a meeting held in November 1920, the name Pacific Traffic Association was agreed on; this meaning literally an organization of traffic professionals of the entire Pacific Coast. M.B. Baker was elected president of the new organization; an honor accorded him for his fine work as President of the University of California Traffic Association.

    The objective of the Pacific Traffic Association was to study transportation problems, to foster cooperation and better understanding between shippers and carriers and to assist in developing and maintaining efficient and economical transportation services so that the community at large could receive the benefits thereof. These principles have been adhered to by the organization ever since.

    Under able leadership and with full cooperation of the members, the Association grew rapidly and by September 1924 boasted a membership of over 500 and was a recognized factor in the Transportation field, not only in San Francisco and Oakland, but generally along the Pacific Coast.

    Originally, the Association met every Tuesday evening, changed to every alternate Tuesday evening and later, for the convenience of the East Bay members, to one meeting each month at Oakland. This arrangement continued in effect until 1926 when the East Bay members formed the Oakland Traffic Club. Many retained their membership in this Association and are members of both organizations. In recent years, the Association has met monthly and mails an official monthly bulletin, Western Transportation.

    In 1935, due to the fact that traffic clubs had been organized in many communities along the Pacific Coast and because the membership of the Association had become localized to a large extent, our name was changed to Pacific Traffic Club of San Francisco.

    Three years later, the Association was formally incorporated under the laws of California. Many traffic clubs throughout the country have copied the Association's educational program laid down by the founders. The Association sponsored traffic courses with members of the Association as instructors and awarded scholarships to qualified applicants.

    On January 1, 1988, our name was changed to the Pacific Transportation Association. The word Transportation better depicts the roster of prominent companies and persons from the Bay Area who utilize ocean, air, rail, and truck transportation.

    The mission of the Association continues to be to promote understanding and cooperation between shippers, carriers, and the communities we serve. We also strive to maintain efficient and economical commercial transportation systems to serve the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

    We also continue to promote a vibrant maritime industry that strives to foster global trade, advance environmental stewardship, and increase prosperity for all.

    The Association continues to grow with new members from within the industry who have an interest and work in the transportation, trade, and logistics sectors.

    Credit for the Association’s success and longevity must go in large measure to the presidents and members who have served the Association since its inception.