GreenTRIP in the News

For media inquiries please contact Ann Cheng at 510-740-3150 x 316, ann@transformca.org

Articles below are excerpts from the original, to view the entire article click the header or the "Read the full article," link following each article summary.

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Community Investments, June 2013

New Paths to Housing and Transportation Affordability

Stuart Cohen and Ann Cheng

Across the country there is now an intensive focus on developing walkable, transit-oriented communities. But daunting roadblocks, including outdated codes vastly overestimating car ownership in walkable communities and requiring expensive traffic mitigations, prevent full realization of the tremendous benefits of transit-oriented development (TOD). Money that could be used to build more affordable homes is instead spent on structured parking, at a development cost of up to $100,000 per space. In California, concerns 
about parking and local traffic congestion are the number one reason that communities reject infill affordable housing projects, and demand development restrictions that maintain modest densities.
 
Read the full article.

San Jose Mercury News, April 2013

Reducing traffic: Cities can promote use of transit and cut down on costly parking spaces

Stuart Cohen, Executive Director

Like more than 15 million other Californians, Mario Virgen commutes to work. In fact, as a self-employed janitor, Virgen is on the move all day, crisscrossing San Jose between his various jobs.

In the past, all that commuting took a major bite out of his budget. Most Californians spend $1 out of every $5 they earn on transportation. But unlike most Californians, Virgen now has a big advantage. Since August, when he moved to the Fourth Street Apartments in downtown San Jose, his commute costs are paid for by his building manager as part of an innovative program known as GreenTRIP.

"I'm saving over $800 a year," Virgen says. "That's more than a full month's rent."

The benefits Virgen is seeing can be the tip of the iceberg. As more people seek to live in walkable communities with public transit access, we can rethink how we design our cities.

Read the full article.

APA California Northern News, November 2011

How “Less is More” in solving the parking dilemma

This is not a one-size-fits-all program. Innovations in transportation amenities, tailored to the community, can help justify lower parking requirements. Those in turn will lower development costs, reduce traffic, and help the environment — read “healthier, more affordable communities.”

 
Read the full article.

San Francisco Business Times, December 3, 2010

GreenTRIP projects take road not driven

GreenTRIP is beginning to gain traction among housing developers. It started out with the five-project pilot and just ended its first application period on Nov. 15.

Program director Ann Cheng said she expects the program to certify at least 10 projects in the next year. GreenTRIP is sponsored by TransForm, a Bay Area group that advocates public transportation and walkable communities.

The program gives developers points for adding features such as providing discounted transit passes, car sharing on premises and proximity to public transportation and bike lanes. Developers are also encouraged to separate the cost of parking from the cost per unit and to limit parking spaces.

The idea is to encourage residents to drive as little as possible and make it easy to not drive. Another goal is to help developers design their projects and secure entitlements.

Read the full article.

GreenTRIP rates projects by their transit links

Most green certification programs such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star rankings look at a building’s systems and materials while GreenTRIP focuses just on transportation.

“We provide a one-page scorecard that shows whether the developer is doing much more to ensure transportation for the life of a project,” said Ann Cheng, director of the program based in Oakland.

GreenTRIP is sponsored by TransForm, a Bay Area group that advocates public transportation and walkable communities.

Read the full article.

Silicon Valley Business Journal, October 21, 2010

Public help from nonprofit

TransForm, a nonprofit organization in Oakland working to expand public transportation and walkable communities, is offering help to developers who want to build multihousing projects in inner cities.

"Neighbors’ biggest fears are about traffic, which is legitimate, but we’re trying to show what will actually happen rather than their worst-case scenario," [Program Director Ann] Cheng said.

Read the full article.

Planetizen, May 20, 2010

GreenTRIP Sustainable Transport Building Certification Program

The GreenTRIP (Traffic Reduction + Innovative Parking) program provides a good model for consideration of transport and parking management in building location and operation. This program certifies new residential and mixed use developments that incorporate traffic and parking reduction strategies, with standards tailored to specific land use types. It was developed by TransForm (formerly the Transportation and Land Use Coalition), a San Francisco Bay Area smart growth advocacy group, with funding from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, The Rockefeller Foundation and The Silicon Community Foundation.

GREEN SPOTLIGHT: GreenTrip certifies more projects!

As a follow-up to the article we posted on the GreenTrip certification of the Ohlone project in San Jose, GreenTrip just listed a few more certified projects.

Read the full article.

Encouraging developers to take a “GreenTRIP”

Smart Growth America coalition member TransForm has developed a certification program called GreenTRIP to encourage building the kinds of places we need to reduce our carbon emissions.

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Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, December 30, 2009

Higher density but less traffic

The Ohlone, an 800-unit housing development proposed for 8.25 acres along West San Carlos and Sunol streets in San Jose, is the first Bay Area project to be officially certified for reducing traffic.

Ann Cheng, senior planner at TransForm, said her organization, formerly the Transportation and Land Use Coalition, seeks to recognize developers who build projects that accomplish these goals.

The environmental movement in construction has convinced developers of the importance of earning certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. TransForm, based in Oakland, wants to do the same thing with cars.

“How people get to and from their new homes is just as important as what those homes are made of,” Cheng said.

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Bay Area Advocates Unveil New VMT Reduction Incentive for Developers

"By really focusing on this element--how much traffic [developments] generate--we think this tool is a huge complement to existing LEED and will serve an important function that LEED doesn't get to," said Stuart Cohen, TransForm's Executive Director. "The best thing is the reaction from cities and developers: they are hungry for this."

Read the full article.

Certified Green: New Planning Resource Available to Developers

TransForm (formerly known as TALC, the Transportation and Land Use Coalition), has recently developed a program to integrate a host of otherwise independent green concerns, notably transportation and housing. The program — GreenTRIP — offers a type of smart growth certification for new residential and mixed-use developments.
 
Read the full article.