May 5, 2009

Your monthly pass to better transit and more wonderful, walkable communities.

We knew Vice-President Biden was a huge fan of public transportation (he commuted by train for 35 years), but we weren't expecting President Obama's April 16th speech proposing a "world-class high speed rail" system.

He declared it would "transform travel in America."

We definitely like his use of the word "transform". Read on to learn about and get involved in transforming our communities, commutes, and more:

  • Tell BART to study alternative to the Oakland Airport Connector
  • Top 5 reasons to attend TransForm's May 16 Summit
  • Regional Transportation Plan adopted - now let's tackle climate change
  • TransForm's Car-Free Challenge: how few miles can you drive in one month?
  • How much do we drive? TransForm's bill would lead to better data
  • Safe Routes to Schools program expands to 100+ schools!
  • Antioch creates bold plan for area surrounding future BART station
  • Share an hour or two, and we'll love you!
  • Will you be our fan, friend, or follower on Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace?
  • Patrick Kennedy on the 10 commandments of infill development May 7
  • Celebrate Affordable Housing Week and Sunday Streets

And a big welcome to Contra Costa County Climate Leaders and the Parent Leadership Action Coalition, both of which joined TransForm's regional coalition!

Tell BART to study alternative to the Oakland Airport Connector

Thanks to turnout by TransForm supporters at the recent BART Board meeting, the BART Board listened to us and held off taking on $150 million in new debt to build the Oakland Airport Connector. The Oakland Airport Connector (which the BART Board will vote whether to move ahead with on May 14) has huge costs, questionable benefits, and risks all BART riders in terms of fare hikes and service cuts. TransForm believes there is a better and much more affordable alternative to the Oakland Airport Connector. Join us in demanding fiscal responsibility and the study of a Bus Rapid Transit alternative by BART.

Top 5 reasons to attend TransForm's May 16 Summit

  1. Learn lots: including how to make the economic argument for world-class public transportation and walkable communities
  2. Make friends and connections (300+ attendees and a networking hour!)
  3. Get inspired: our keynote speaker will make you think and act
  4. Get outside: take one of the walking, bicycling or transit tours offered
  5. Eat delicious organic food

Register now for only $25 (just $15 for individual TransForm supporters!).

Regional Transportation Plan adopted - now let's tackle climate change

Thanks to more than two years of advocacy by TransForm and a wide range of organizations and activists, the 2009 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) adopted on April 22 included unprecedented levels of funding for: maintaining public transit; creating better transit connections between low-income communities and key destinations; walking and bicycling safety and infrastructure; promoting smart growth; and fighting climate change.

But the RTP is still not what it needs to be: an outcomes-based plan. Learn how TransForm is already working to make the next RTP a model in fighting climate change and improving our quality of life.

TransForm's Car-Free Challenge: how few miles can you drive in one month?

Join a huge community of people in setting and reaching a personal low mileage goal in the month of June - plus win great prizes and share your stories (good and bad) of taking transit, walking, and bicycling. Together we can send a message that a critical mass of people want to drive less and live more!

Learn more about the Challenge and get alerted as soon as you can sign up to take the Challenge.

How much do we drive? TransForm's bill would lead to better data

How do you measure what makes people drive less when you don't know how much they're driving in the first place? TransForm is sponsoring a bill (AB 1135) that would allow California to (finally) be able to accurately track how much Californians drive each year. Government agencies would then have the data needed to assess which transportation and land use strategies really reduce driving. Learn more about the bill and have your organization sign on in support.

Safe Routes to Schools program expands to 100+ schools!

TransForm, the leader of the Safe Routes to Schools Alameda County Partnership, has been working with dozens of urban public schools to increase how many kids walk and bike safely to school for the past two years. Now, our reach is about to expand to more than 100 schools!

A huge thanks to the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA), which just approved a large grant to make this happen. Read about the grant and the many benefits this expansion will bring.

Antioch creates bold plan for area surrounding future BART station

On April 14, the Antioch City Council unanimously approved a plan that will create 2,500 new homes, 5,500 new jobs, and over 2 million square feet of commercial retail around the future Hillcrest BART station.

This is the first approved "station area plan" for what will be the eastern Contra Costa County BART corridor (eBART), which will extend BART ten miles from the current Pittsburg/Bay Point Station. Read about TransForm's work as part of the Great Communities Collaborative to engage local residents in making Antioch's plan an exceptional one!

Share an hour or two, and we'll love you!

TransForm has volunteer opportunities available around the Bay Area for you to support and celebrate Bike to Work Day - and not just on May 14th. There are thousands of goody bags to be stuffed, and energizer stations to help with. Learn where and when we need help, and sign up now.

Will you be our fan, friend, or follower on Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace?

Want super urgent action alerts or funny tales from taking transit? We've got a Twitter feed for you. Want to show your network of family and friends the cool cause you support? Be our fan our friend in Facebook or MySpace. Get instructions on how to connect with us through social media.

Patrick Kennedy on the 10 commandments of infill development May 7

Infill development (when done well) can lead to better public transportation, reduce driving, support local business and make it safer to walk and bicycle. Unfortunately, it is often unachievable. Why? Successful mixed-use infill developer Patrick Kennedy will share his "secrets for success" and address how to overcome the myriad of obstacles an infill developer faces every day. Hear Patrick on May 7 at 6:00pm in Redwood City; get all the details here.

Celebrate Affordable Housing Week and Sunday Streets

Affordable Housing Week is May 9-16 - don't miss the incredible lineup of events all about creating more affordable homes and building stronger communities in San Mateo County. Get all the details at http://www.hlcsmc.org/.

Experience the ultimate in walkable communities with Sunday Streets on May 10 from 10am until 2pm when San Francisco shuts down streets to traffic from AT&T Ballpark to the Bayview Opera House - a gorgeous bayside stretch in the Southeast part of the City. Get the map at http://sundaystreetssf.com/.