May 4, 2011

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

Read on for actions, news, and events:

  • We brought your message to Washington
  • Temporary Caltrain fix closer to becoming a reality
  • Attend a workshop and shape the next generation of transportation and land use
  • Sign on in support of a worthy Regional Transportation Plan
  • If you like nerding out on transportation policy, you’ll love our new blog
  • Car-Free Challenge takes the form of two fun events this summer
  • Two upcoming volunteer opportunities
  • TransForm is hiring
  • Live in a large transit-oriented development in Alameda County?
  • Affordable housing events kick off today
  • Convening on transportation and health May 5 – attend free!
  • Bike to Work Day on May 12 is also Bike to School Day!
  • RSVP for May 17 TransForum: note change of date!
  • Stuart Cohen and Peter Calthorpe at the Commonwealth Club May 25


We brought your message to Washington

Senator Boxer has been hearing plenty from all of you to pass a bold transportation bill that breaks from its highway-focused past. Well, TransForm took your message straight to Washington as part of a national convening with Transportation For America to urge Senator Boxer and other members of Congress to defend funding for walking, biking, and public transportation. Check out the photo of a couple of our staff with some of our partners in front of the Capitol.

As chair of the committee writing the transportation bill, Senator Boxer has committed to releasing a draft bill by Memorial Day. Let her know we need her to be our champion for federal policies that support world-class transit and walkable communities. Ask Senator Boxer to draft a fantastic transportation bill now!

Temporary Caltrain fix closer to becoming a reality

After a huge outcry, the Caltrain board recently approved a funding plan that would keep Caltrain running with all 86 trains and no station closures for the next fiscal year. This still isn’t official – the Metropolitan Transportation Commission must approve $3.5 million in funding for the plan to become a reality – but it looks promising. 

The real challenge now is finding a permanent solution to Caltrain’s lack of a dedicated funding source, so we’re not back in this same place a year from now. Send an email asking for the plan to be made final and put in place for two years so there’s time to come up with a long-term fix.  SPUR recently released a report with some ideas on how to do this; check it out.

Attend a workshop and shape the next generation of transportation and land use

By 2035 there will be an estimated 900,000 new households and 1.2 million new jobs in the Bay Area.  How this growth happens has huge implications for our economy, environment, and quality of life for people of all incomes. 

We need to be smart about this, which is where you come in. We need people like you in every county to attend upcoming “You Choose/One Bay Area" workshops and speak out for the things that support a future with affordable, abundant public transportation and walkable, bikable communities. These workshops throughout May are your first chance to get up-to-speed and plug into the planning process where you live. Learn more and RSVP now.    

Sign on in support of a worthy Regional Transportation Plan

The Bay Area is updating its Regional Transportation Plan, which will designate how $200+ billion is spent over the next 25 years. Together with a wide range of partners, we have developed and just released a platform that details what we want to see in the Plan so that it yields big wins for public transportation, walking, biking, affordable housing, and smart growth. Help us show wide support for this platform now by signing on as an individual or organization.

If you like nerding out on transportation policy, you’ll love our new blog

TransForm's Stuart Cohen and Jeff Hobson are knowledgeable and respected voices on the Bay Area’s transportation policy. We decided it was high time to give them a channel for sharing their wonky insights and updates on what’s happening, especially related to the Regional Transportation Plan. Check out the blog.

Car-Free Challenge takes the form of two fun events this summer 

We’re taking a year off from running our full-blown Car-Free Challenge this year, where participants set a personal low car mileage goal and then log their miles plus share their experiences online. But we still want to bring all of you awesome transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians together to celebrate driving less and living more! 
 
Come to our Car-Free Celebration TransForum on July 21 in San Francisco. We’ll hear from a panelist of fascinating speakers who have gone to great lengths to go car-free, recognize some car-free heroes, and then swap stories over wine and snacks. RSVP now! 
 
TransForm is also partnering on the Car-Free Triple Threat on June 18, a public transportation-bicycle combination adventure.  You can ride or volunteer

Two upcoming volunteer opportunities

We need help with a big mailing project on May 11 and 12 in our Oakland office. Can you spare a few hours to help stuff and stamp while chatting over snacks?  Get more details and RSVP now
Also, San Francisco MTA is conducting a “transit speed and delay study” of Market Street and needs volunteers to gather data on what’s keeping buses from moving more quickly on May 10, 11, 14, and 18. Contact emily.drennen@sfmta.com to learn more.   

TransForm is hiring 

Consider applying or spread the word right away on two open positions in our Oakland office: Development and Events Manager and Transportation Policy Director

Live in a large transit-oriented development in Alameda County?

Then let us bring TravelChoice, TransForm’s award-winning program, to your building! TravelChoice is an innovative approach to reduce how much people drive by providing personalized information on car-free options and other incentives to get people to “think outside the car” more often. Funded by the Alameda County Transportation Commission and the Transportation Fund for Clean Air, TravelChoice just launched at developments in Oakland and Hayward. We’ll continue to expand this fall, so need ideas for more potential places. Contact John if you live in or know of a development that might be the right fit for TravelChoice.

EVENTS
Affordable
housing events kick off today

We need more places where people at all income levels and stages of life can live – it’s a key ingredient of wonderful, walkable communities! Don’t miss Affordable Housing Week’s tours, building openings, workshops, and more from May 6 - 15 in the East Bay and San Mateo County. 

As part of affordable housing-related events, TransForm is cosponsoring a tour on May 10 in Oakland of Broadway Auto Row and how it can be made a great place for seniors. Also, don’t miss the Silicon Valley Housing Summit on May 4.

Convening on transportation and health May 5 – attend free!

Join the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) and TransForm for The Road to Health: Improving Community Wellbeing Through Transportation on May 5 in Oakland. Featuring presentations from TransForm, Urban Habitat, and this Pacific Institute, this convening will focus on how we can achieve cleaner air, safer streets, and better access to services in more places through improved planning. We’re happy to be able to offer you free registration: just register online (you can do this without paying) and then email Ruben to tell him you’re a TransForm comp.

Bike to Work Day on May 12 is also Bike to School Day!

You may already be planning biking to work on May 12, but you may not know that we’re working at over 20 schools to get kids biking that same day. Also, in our broader efforts to make it safer to get to school on foot or bicycle, we’re supporting two bills that would double fines for drivers who speed in school zones plus bring Safe Routes to Schoolsprograms to more schools in low-income areas. Save a child’s life and tell your Legislators to pass these two bills and consider helping out at a school on May 12.

RSVP for May 17 TransForum: note change of date!

It’s been a brutal decade: we’ve lost billions of state dollars marked for California’s public transportation to other uses. Well, we’ve had it here at TransForm, which is why we’ve launched a bold new statewide campaign to get our leaders to invest in transit once and for all. 

Join us in our Oakland office on Tuesday, May 17 (NOTE CHANGE OF DATE!) when we’ll talk about the future of state funding for public transportation – and how we can make it a brighter one! Our Sacramento staff will give the scoop on what’s really happening in the Capitol, plus have time for your questions and networking. This TransForum will be held from 5:30 - 7:30. Snacks and drinks will be served. TransForums are $5 or free if you’re a TransForm supporter at the $40+ level). Register now.

Stuart Cohen and Peter Calthorpe at the Commonwealth Club May 25

Stuart Cohen, TransForm's executive director, and Peter Calthorpe, world-renowned planner, will talk about what it really takes to build more sustainable communities and what’s happening in the Bay Area and California to encourage – and discourage – this kind of growth. Register now for this daytime event.