February 2, 2010

Your monthly pass to more wonderful, walkable communities.

There are nonstop headlines these days about the brutal cuts to public transportation happening across the state. 

But don’t despair – so much is happening to stop these cuts.   

Read on for more, plus learn about a new initiative to protect public transportation in the state budget at our first-ever TransForum on February 16

And now back to our regularly scheduled news: 

  • The Oakland Airport Connector battle continues
  • Learn, discuss, and network at the February 16 TransForum
  • Tell Senator Boxer: “I LOVE TRANSIT!”
  • We’ve got 3 jobs: spread the word!
  • Bring better bus service to the East Bay
  • Get the scoop on TransForm’s issues in real-time
  • New development gets GreenTRIP-certified thanks to less parking and transit discounts
  • What 5 words come to mind when you think of TransForm?
  • Speak Spanish or Vietnamese?  Help survey San Jose businesses about bus service
  • Speakers and events across the Bay Area

The Oakland Airport Connector battle continues

The Federal Transit Administration put $70 million in stimulus money for the Oakland Airport Connector boondoggle on hold because BART didn't do adequate analysis of this half-billion dollar taxpayer boondoggle.

Last week, TransForm activists and allies arrived in full force at the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission asking that the $70 million be put towards saving jobs and transit service across the region instead.   With your help, Commissioners did not go with staff’s recommendation.  They voted for a special meeting to analyze the issue on February 17, the last possible day to reallocate the funds to save transit. 

Read about the rally.

Thank FTA and ask them to require that BART involves the public in planning to ensure the Oakland Airport Connector meets civil rights obligations. 

Learn, discuss, and network at the February 16 TransForum

Illegal raids on state public transportation funding are the biggest reason we’re suffering brutal service cuts and fare hikes right now.  Now, a proposed statewide ballot initiative would seek permanent protection of these funds.  But given California’s budget mess, is “locking up” these funds the best approach?   

Two of the groups leading the initiative will present: Josh Shaw, Executive Director of the California Transit Association and Amy O'Gorman, Director of Regional Public Affairs from the League of California Cities.  Note: TransForm has yet to take a position on the proposed initiative.   

The TransForum is on Tuesday, February 16 from 6:00 – 7:30pm in Oakland and will include time for networking. TransForums are free for TransForm members and $5 for non-members.  Register by February 12.   

Tell Senator Boxer: “I LOVE TRANSIT!”

Investing in public transportation is one of the best ways to save jobs and create new jobs – fast.  A recent report showed that in the 2009 stimulus act, a dollar spent on transit funding created twice as many jobs as a dollar spent on new highway construction.  Right now, the Senate is drafting a jobs bill that can give some love to our ailing transit systems and the California economy, but we must act fast. 

Send Senator Boxer a valentine now to let her know you love transit and want her to invest in it as part of the jobs bill. 

We’ve got 3 jobs: spread the word!

TransForm is a great place to work.  That’s why we hope you will either apply for one of our new job opportunities or share them with your contacts.  Available positions include: Chief Operating Officer, Land Use Program Director, and Development and Events Manager.  Check out the postings. 

Bring better bus service to the East Bay

Key decisions are being made in February about bringing Bus Rapid Transit to Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro.  Bus Rapid Transit, with its dedicated lanes, state-of-the-art buses, and frequent service is an affordable way to make bus service much faster and more reliable.

 If you live or work in any of these cities, we need you to speak out in strong support of Bus Rapid Transit.  Come out in support on February 10 in Berkeley; February 3 or 17 in Oakland; or send a quick email if you’re in San Leandro.   

Get the scoop on TransForm’s issues in real-time

Last week, we Tweeted live from the hearing on the Oakland Airport Connector.  We also Tweet breaking news stories about our issues and share other inside info and perks.  Sign up for our Twitter feed now.

New development gets GreenTRIP-certified thanks to less parking and discounts on transit

TransForm just awarded its second GreenTRIP certification to a new development in South Hayward.  That's because the development will build affordable homes for families and seniors just steps away from BART.  It will also keep the number of new parking spaces as low as possible and offer incentives for new tenants to drive less – including a 90% discount on transit passes to residents.  Residents are expected to drive about 70% less than the regional average!

Learn about the development and how GreenTRIP certification works.    

What 5 words come to mind when you think of TransForm?

Are you a fan of our advocacy for world-class public transportation and walkable communities in the Bay Area and California?  Just take a minute to reply to this email with five words you associate with TransForm for use in our upcoming annual report.  Email me your words and we’ll draw one name from submissions to mail a special gift!

Speak Spanish or Vietnamese?  Help survey San Jose businesses about bus service

TransForm needs your help in reaching out to merchants along the future Alum Rock Bus Rapid Transit corridor in San Jose.  Read about this volunteer opportunity.

Speakers and events across the Bay Area 

February 10 & 11 conference on clean energy and healthy communities

Join clean energy advocates, public officials and entrepreneurs in Oakland for two days of strategy discussions on clean power and healthy communities. Register by February 5.   

San Francisco Bike Coalition’s February 12 event brings together romance and bikes 

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition plays cupid for another round of Love on Wheels, the dating game exclusively for bicyclists.  Watch cyclists pair up, win raffle prizes, or be a contestant!  

February 12 talk highlights chances to create “breakthrough communities” 

The fight against climate change presents new opportunities to create healthy, socially just, and sustainable multi-racial communities throughout the state.  Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel will discuss the book Breakthrough Communities and current opportunities for equity and justice in housing and land use.  Event starts at 11am on February 12 at the Santa Clara Central Library, 2635 Homestead Road. 

Planning expert talks about suburban cities and SB 375 on February 16

William Fulton, the author of “A Guide to California Planning,” will discuss how suburban cities are accommodating infill development and how this relates to California’s new climate and smart growth legislation at 4:00pm on February 16 in Palo Alto.

Listen to tales from Willie Weir and support Walk Oakland Bike Oakland on February 19

Call him a tightwad or an initiator of kindness, Willie Weir knows how to get the most bang for his buck when it comes to traveling the world on his bicycle.  Hear stories from his latest book Travels With Willie as a benefit for Walk Oakland Bike Oakland.  Get the details. 

Don Shoup talks about the high cost of free parking on February 24

If you haven’t ever heard the renowned UCLA Urban Planning professor Don Shoup talk about parking policy… you’re missing out.  Come to San Jose City Hall on February 24 at 6:30pm and learn why cities need to change. 

Save MUNI Summit on March 6

Join citizens and community groups who care about the future of San Francisco’s public transportation service at a four-hour summit dedicated to crafting solutions to the anticipated massive budget shortfalls, service cuts, and fare hikes.  Registration opens at 8:15am on March 6 for the 9:00am – 1:00pm summit at The Women’s Building.  Learn more and RSVP.