January 7, 2016

We're in the same boat now

2015 was a year of big things for TransForm. We stepped up our work to strengthen California's climate program and bring more benefits to more communities. We co-sponsored landmark legislation. And in October, we honored two very inspiring women working to make our state a more fair, healthy place. And we've got so much ahead of us! As we focus our 2016 efforts on equity, climate, and our communities, the words of Martin Luther King Jr resonate with us deeply: “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Executive Director Stuart Cohen reflects on 2015 and shares his thoughts for 2016 on TransForm's blog.

Read Stuart's blog

It's time for more affordable homes in Oakland

Now is the time to bring more affordable homes to Oakland! This month the Oakland City Council will consider creating anaffordable housing impact fee, which would raise money to build and preserve affordable homes throughout the city. But we need to make sure that the City Councilmembers pass the strongest impact fee possible. Your voice matters: come to the Oakland City Council meeting on January 12 at 1:30 p.m. and show your support! Read our perspective on the impact fee in the East Bay Express.

Learn more and join us on Jan. 12!

Governor's budget proposal increases transportation funding - except for biking and walking

In the 2016-17 state budget proposal released today, Governor Brown proposed increasing funds for transportation - an increase that is long overdue, and largely on the mark. The bad news; there is no new dedicated funding for walking and biking and some funds for "low-carbon roads" may have some dubious uses. We think he could do better - for our climate, our communities, and our future.

Read more about the Governor's budget proposal

The winning pitch for better transit

If you could pitch one idea to improve transportation in San Francisco – what would it be?

For us, it was figuring out a way to incentivize riding Muni over driving, especially in communities where driving is a big financial burden. And the judges agreed! TransForm and RideScout teamed up and won the first place prize in the Schmidt Family Foundation’s “Just Transit SF Challenge,” a contest to come up with transit improvements ideas that can be implemented quickly. Working together to pair community outreach and technology, we’ll use this funding to help low-income San Franciscans find more effective, affordable ways to get where they need to go.

Read more on our winning idea

It pays to ride the bus to work...literally!

It's about time! On December 15, Congress finally agreed to give workers who ride transit the same financial boost as those who drive. As of January 1, people who ride public transportation to work can receive up to $255 in pre-tax commuter benefits, the same amount as people who drive. This may seem like a no-brainer, but for years, transit riders have received significantly less per month than drivers.Thanks to all of you took action and wrote emails to your Legislators to help bring this change! Pretty convenient timing too, especially if your New Year’s resolution is to save money, be more eco-friendly, read more, or calm your road rage...

Hop on the bus!

Bringing in the New Year with a better BART

Sometimes just the simplest of things can bring us joy – like finding a seat on your BART train home, or sprinting down the stairs to see that you have 2 minutes to catch the last train of the night. The good news is that over the past few years, BART’s Board of Directors have increasingly prioritized improving core BART service through investments in maintenance, more cars, and cleaner stations. Now they are planning to put a large funding measure on the 2016 ballot to help raise the money BART needs to get in excellent running order, and stay there for many years to come.

Show your support for a 2016 BART funding measure

Monique L. Davis on art, creativity, and technology in San Jose

As the Bay Area’s largest city and a booming tech hub, San Jose is no stranger to the pressures of rising rents, gridlock traffic, and pollution. That’s why we’re so excited aboutSparQ, San Jose’s first GreenTRIP Platinum Certified project. We sat down with Monique L. Davis of Core Companies to talk about this project that she calls a place where “art, creativity, and technology blend together.”

Learn more about Monique & SparQ

Caltrans gives the green light to separate bike paths

Bring on the bikeways! On December 31, Caltrans released an update to its Highway Design Manual – the definitive guide for how to build different types of roads. This year they added a description of best practices for designing separated bikeways aka “cycle tracks”. This is a green light telling city engineers and transportation planners that separated bikeways are a legally approved road design in the state of California. This means more cities will feel comfortable incorporating separated bikeways into their transportation plans – and more people will feel safe taking to two wheels to get around town.

Read the Design Information Bulletin for all the wonky bulletins

Plan Bay Area targets aim high on displacement and affordability 

The Bay Area’s communities are changing at lightning speed. So it’s incredibly important that we have a regional plan for how to handle these changes to keep people in their homes and connected to jobs, community, and opportunity. The new targets finalized in Plan Bay Area provide a guide for how the region can improve affordability and protect existing communities from displacement. Now it’s up to us to follow through and hit the mark.

Read our blog for more on Plan Bay Area