January 5, 2011

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

It's a New Year, and thanks to you, we’re ready to lead in making world-class public transportation and walkable communities the norm - not the exception - in the Bay Area and California in 2011.

You were one of the generous souls who gave to our new Advocates' Fund and helped us not only hit our $40,000 goal, but reach $52,864!  You’re why we’ll be a nimble, effective advocate as we take on our big plans for 2011.  Thank you.

Now the rest of the news:

  • Ask Senator Boxer to be our next transportation leader in Congress
  • RSVP now for TransForum with Peter Calthorpe on January 27
  • Victory for public transportation riders nationwide
  • TransForm is hiring!
  • GreenTRIP-certified projects are changing how development happens
  • Get involved in the International Blvd. planning process January 11 and 12
  • Attend the Alameda County transportation forum January 20
  • Come to "Save Our Caltrain" summit on January 29

Ask Senator Boxer to be our next transportation leader in Congress

Today, a new Congress will be seated in Washington.  New leaders in the House of Representatives like John Mica of Florida are keen to move forward on the stalled federal transportation bill, but won't necessarily be forwarding policies that make walking, biking, and public transportation real choices in more places.

We need a champion to advocate for a bill that will break with the past and put a huge share of funds into public transportation, pedestrian/bicycling infrastructure, smart growth, and repairing our aging roads and bridges rather than building more highways.  Senator Barbara Boxer, chair of the Senate committee in charge of transportation, can help our state and the whole nation by being this champion. Email Senator Boxer now and ask her to be the transportation leader California needs.

RSVP now for TransForum with Peter Calthorpe on January 27

At a special TransForum, world-renowned urban planner Peter Calthorpe will discuss his new book, Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change.  The book explores how compact patterns of growth combined with conservation and new technology can successfully fight climate change, based on the exciting Vision California project.  Peter will sign books at the end of the talk while guests mingle over snacks and drinks.  The event will be held from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at the SPUR Urban Center in downtown San Francisco.  This special TransForum is $15 (free for TransForm supporters at the $40+ level).  RSVP now. 

Victory for public transportation riders nationwide

Last year as part of last year’s stimulus package, Congress more than doubled the amount employees can deduct from their paychecks (before taxes) to apply towards public transportation commuting costs.  The benefit went from $120 to $230 per month to match the deduction car commuters get for parking.  But the $230 benefit was about to expire and go back to just $120 per month… while car drivers continued to enjoy a $230 benefit.

Thanks to a huge outcry, however, this benefit has been extended for one year as part of the tax cut bill and can save commuters about $1,000 over the course of the year.  Many thanks to the hundreds of people who sent emails to Congress through TransForm’s site – this got legislators' attention!

TransForm is hiring!

Spread the word: TransForm’s hiring a State Transportation Organizer.  This new position will join our State Policy Director in our Sacramento satellite office.  The Organizer will help build a powerful network of partners across California to work together to increase public transportation funding and ensure state transportation policies support environmental, health and equity goals.  Read more about the position.

GreenTRIP-certified projects are changing how development happens

TransForm's cutting-edge new program, GreenTRIP, certifies residential and mixed-use developments that keep the number of new parking spaces as low as possible and offer incentives for new tenants to drive less and own fewer vehicles.  One year after we piloted the project, we’re thrilled to share that the first five GreenTRIP-certified developments together will provide the equivalent of 80,000 years of free transit passes to residents and more!  Read more about how GreenTRIP is spurring less traffic and pollution, plus more affordability and density.

Get involved in the International Blvd. planning process on January 11 and 12

The City of Oakland is currently conducting a community-based planning process for the future of International Boulevard.  We want you to get involved so the plan that’s created includes the things that will make this area more vibrant and walkable: improved pedestrian/bicycle safety; affordable and market rate housing; ground-level retail; parks; and a grocery store between 55th and 85th Avenues.  Get the details to attend on January 11 or January 12.

Attend the Alameda County transportation forum January 20 in Hayward

The Alameda County Transportation Commission is beginning their official update of the countywide transportation plan, which is a big opportunity to win more funds for walking, biking, and public transportation.  Come to the transportation forum to learn about the planning process and speak out on what you think Alameda County needs.  Get the details to attend.

Come to "Save Our Caltrain" summit on January 29

Caltrain is facing a severe fiscal crisis next year.  Although it is one of the highest performing Bay Area transit agencies, is the only agency that lacks dedicated funding.  Friends of Caltrain, of which TransForm is a supporting organization, is bringing together riders, residents, voters, and small businesses from throughout San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties to discuss solutions on January 29 in San Carlos.  Learn more and RSVP.