August 1, 2012

Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities. 

So much has happened in the past month.

The Governor signed the bill releasing initial funding for high speed rail.

There was the final, unanimous YES vote to bring true Bus Rapid Transit to the Bay Area.
 
And over $48 million was awarded to improve bike/ped safety around 139 California schools, including 21 in the Bay Area.

All great news! Now read on for all the news:

  • Bus Rapid Transit vote signals a shift for the entire Bay Area
  • High speed rail passes, but hurdles remain
  • The good, bad, and ugly of the new federal transportation bill
  • Bay Area should prioritize environment and equity in transportation and land use
  • Be sure California puts federal funds towards bike/ped projects
  • Millions awarded to make it safer for kids on foot and bike
  • Get your tickets now for ‘15 Years of TransForming the Bay Area & California’ on September 27
  • TransForm is hiring a Senior Accountant – spread the word!
  • Meet TransForm’s new staff in Sacramento
  • Bike festival in Jack London Square August 18
  • Walking, biking and placemaking conference in Long Beach September 10 - 13
  • Take public transportation to nature and win prizes
  • Join the “Rail~Volution” at national conference in L.A. this October

Bus Rapid Transit vote signals a shift for the entire Bay Area

When the Oakland City Council unanimously approved plans to bring true Bus Rapid Transit service to life with bus-only, center lanes to International Boulevard last month it was a huge moment! This project will showcase what’s possible across the region: fast, reliable, frequent buses and a better experience for riders all at an incredible value.

We really are about to witness a revolution in public transportation between the Bus Rapid Transit projects in the works in the East Bay, Santa Clara County, and San Francisco – all set to start service within 5 years. Learn more about the East Bay Bus Rapid Transit victory.

High speed rail passes, but hurdles remain

TransForm believes that high speed rail, if done right, can play an important role in California’s future. TransForm’s timely report and advocacy helped build support for the California legislature to appropriate $2.7 billion of voter-approved Prop. 1A bond funds last month to start building the first segment of the rail system (plus upgrade existing commuter rail systems, like Caltrain, Metrolink, ACE, and Amtrak), which the Governor then signed into law.

But the final story of high speed rail in California – not just whether it is fully built and achieves projected ridership, but whether it fulfills its potential to shape future growth and transform transportation in California – is still to be written. Read TransForm’s analysis of what’s ahead for high speed rail and how it can be a success.

The good, bad, and ugly of the new federal transportation bill

Everything happened so quickly with the rushed passage of a new federal transportation bill last month. At the time, we knew that some of the things we fought hard for that had been in the Senate’s draft of the bill were cut in a final flurry of negotiations. We also knew transit funding was safe and the bill didn’t entirely eliminate dedicated walking and biking funding, as some in the House wanted. 

But now that the dust has settled, we’ve done a deeper analysis of the bill. Here’s what’s right and wrong with MAP-21 and what we’ll push to change when it expires in just 27 months.

Bay Area should prioritize environment and equity in transportation and land use

As part of the mega planning process happening in the Bay Area that will bring together transportation, housing, and land use under one Sustainable Communities Strategy (aka “Plan Bay Area”), we, along with allies, have been pushing hard for a plan that maximizes environment and equity benefits. 

Read more on what we want the region to do, including boosting affordable housing in key areas and studying new ways to fund public transportation.

Be sure California puts federal funds towards bike/ped projects

Despite overwhelming support for spending transportation dollars on bicycling and walking, the new federal transportation bill (MAP 21) reduced overall bike/ped funding and eliminated dedicated funding for Safe Routes to School at the federal level. Well, we’re not taking this lying down. 

Please join us and the Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership in making sure California puts its flexible federal dollars towards Safe Routes to School, Bike/Ped Infrastructure and Recreation Trails. A webinar and strategy discussion will be held on Thursday, August 16 from 4 - 5 p.m.; register now.

Millions awarded to make it safer for kids on foot and bike

We are thrilled: over $48 million was awarded by Caltrans to improve bike/ped safety around 139 California schools, with more than $7 million going to 21 schools in the Bay Area. 

Nearly $3 million will be spent at 8 Alameda County public schools to install nearby sidewalks, traffic signals, and traffic calming tools like bulb-outs. The funding is a huge win for kids and the result of ton of work by schools, parents, city staff, the Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools program TransForm leads, ACTC, and most importantly: kids! For example, teens at Logan High School in Union City are why there are now funds to build sidewalks along a main road to school. Read the complete list of funded projects in California.

Get your tickets now for ‘15 Years of TransForming the Bay Area & California’ on September 27

TransForm is having a birthday party, and yes, there will be cake. But this party is about more than that. It’s a night for you to be inspired, see our vision for the next 15 years, celebrate our growing movement, and show your commitment to transforming the Bay Area and California. Tickets are just $15 in advance and include birthday cake, beer, wine, and appetizers. This event in downtown San Francisco is likely to sell out, so get your tickets now!

TransForm is hiring a Senior Accountant – spread the word!

Want to work at a fun, fast-paced, flexible organization with an incredible mission? We’re looking for a Senior Accountant with: excellent accounting skills; deep experience in managing both government and foundation contracts; and a facility for creating simple, powerful spreadsheets to be used as analytical tools. Read and share the post now.

Meet TransForm’s new staff in Sacramento

TransForm opened an office in Sacramento three years ago to build a strong movement to win the state policies and investments we need for better transportation choices in California. Today, our daily presence in the Capitol and growing network of partners are why we’re an increasingly powerful voice for our issues. Now we have a fantastic new Sacramento team: meet Joshua Stark, our state campaign director, and Jena Price, our state policy advocate.

Bike festival in Jack London Square August 18

Pedalfest is a free, family-friendly celebration of bikes, cycling, food, and fun – plus it benefits our good friends at the East Bay Bike Coalition. Pedalfest is a blast and will take place on Saturday, August 18 from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. at Jack London Square. Learn more.

Walking, biking and placemaking conference in Long Beach September 10 - 13

Wait until you see the impressive lineup of speakers at the upcoming Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference. Plus, topics range from bike sharing and complete streets to parklets and transportation planning. Learn more.

Take public transportation to nature and win prizes

We’re lucky to have a public transportation system that connects with so many great parks and trails. So take advantage – plus win prizes – by taking the Transit & Trails Challenge by September 30. Just use the Transit & Trails site to first plan and then post a trip that uses public transportation, your feet, or your bike. Your trip will inspire others to ditch their car and explore new places, too. Learn more.

Join the “Rail~Volution” at national conference in L.A. this October

Rail~Volution is the place for people who want to bring livable communities with transit to life across the country. The conference brings together some of the best minds on livability in the world with 75 workshops, networking events, charrettes and toolbox sessions. TransForm’s own Ann Cheng and Joél Ramos will present this year, so learn more and register now!