A Story of How GreenTRIP is Helping Families Save Money

GreenTRIP's impact goes far beyond reducing traffic.

The Fourth Street Apartments, with a wealth of bus and rail options nearby, give free transit passes to every resident.  That helps families like the Lopez family save thousands of dollar per year, own fewer cars, and drive less.

Rosalia Lopez has always worked hard to take care of her family. For almost two hours a day, five days a week, Rosalia would commute on buses from her home in East San Jose to her job as a janitor in Palo Alto. Her four children, ages eight to 16 years old, were usually able to walk to school, but sometimes they too needed to take the bus. Overall, transportation costs were a real burden for her family. 
 
With Rosalia’s modest wages and the cost of transportation being so high, the options for where her family could live were limited. Anything close to transportation was just too expensive and the further away you got from the light rail and buses, the more expensive it would be to get around. 
 
Two years ago, Rosalia discovered there was hope. She and her family applied for and got a three-bedroom apartment at the Fourth Street Family Apartments in San Jose—a building that is "GreenTRIP Certified."
 
The GreenTRIP certification program is transforming how we approach growth in our communities, certifies buildings that plan for people—not parking. With GreenTRIP strategies built in, Rosalia’s new apartment building has fewer parking spaces, more housing units, and provided every family with free transit passes. 
 
By decreasing the amount of excessive parking, even while increasing these great benefits to the residents, it lowered the overall cost of the building. That meant the developers saved money and were able to build more units at more affordable prices -- more affordable homes for hardworking families like Rosalia’s.  
 
“Living at Fourth Street family apartments has had a huge impact on our lives,” said Rosalia. “My kids have greatly benefited, they are less stressed, have more room to be quiet and to study, they are so much happier, which is less stress on me.  We’re still living in San Jose, but we’re now only three blocks from light rail and very close to downtown.” 
 
“The new neighborhood has meant so much for our family.  There are more job opportunities here that are easier to get to. I definitely spend less time and money on commuting.”  In fact, the money that Rosalia is saving every year on transportation is equal to two month’s rent. They have greater transportation opportunities and spend less money on getting around.
 
With these savings, Rosalia has more money to spend on the things that are important to her family. “Moving to Fourth Street has also allowed us to all go to quilting class together and the kids get to go to art class.” To top off those benefits, the transit passes have made it possible for her children to stay in their old school, with all their friends, making the move to a new neighborhood much easier on the whole family. 
 
The bus passes, and the fact that they now live much closer to downtown, also mean the family is more active than before. “On the weekends we can get to so many more places like museums, cultural events and parks.”
 
GreenTRIP is helping communities across the Bay Area plan for growth in a way that creates safe and vibrant neighborhoods – neighborhoods where families like the Lopez’s can afford to stay in a place they can love to call home.

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