TransForm in the News

March 13, 2010
The instability of funding for public transit and for rail is doubly bad news, because our future requires us to have more and better alternatives to driving everywhere for everything, as metro roads max out with population growth, and as we work to reduce carbon emissions and our dependency on imported oil. There is a glimmer of hope for a new national vision, and that brings us to the other D.C. development this week. Our own Sen. Barbara Boxer, who chairs the Senate committee that must write the bulk of a new transportation bill, announced that she is pulling this critical issue off the back burner at last and is pressing ahead. She held her first hearing on the bill, which she has aptly dubbed "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century."
February 19, 2010
The FTA investigated the Title VI complaint filed in September by Public Advocates on behalf of Oakland-based community advocacy groups Genesis, Urban Habitat and TransForm.
February 17, 2010
February 2010 – TransForm presents documentation of its claim that BART painted an overly rosy picture of the connector.
February 15, 2010
BART "is going to need to do a very serious analysis, and that may include having to compare [the connector] to a rapid bus system. What [FTA Director Peter] Rogoff said is that their corrective action plan did not include that analysis," said TransForm's Stuart Cohen. "My guess is, ultimately, BART will have to include it, and they know they simply can't withstand the scrutiny. This project can't withstand any objective scrutiny by anybody."
February 13, 2010
"This is a great day for transit," said John Knox White, who works for TransForm, a transit advocacy group that has battled the project and joined in the complaint. "The FTA is saying there needs to be a lot more community involvement in the process."
January 28, 2010
Opponents, many of them members of East Bay social justice groups, argued that the commission should instead give the $70 million to ailing transit agencies and help their riders weather the recession. "In this climate, it is simply not an acceptable risk to take the chance of losing $70 million," said Rebecca Schneider, an Oakland resident who said she is dependent on transit.
January 21, 2010

John Knox White of TransForm, a consistent critic of the OAC project, said TransForm and its allies would continue to push for BART to complete more rigorous analysis of the project's equity impacts. He also said BART's response demonstrates an inability to understand the issue at hand.

"Nobody is arguing that there weren't public meetings on the OAC, the issue is that these meetings did not present accurate or credible information," said White. "BART's staff refused to present information requested by MTC Commissioners, the ACTIA Board, Port of Oakland Commissioners, the Oakland City Council, and members of their own Board, as well as Bay Area residents and community organizations."

"BART has already attempted a slapdash analysis of this project and it has been rejected by the FTA. It is not be credible to have BART staff rehire the same OAC consultants who were paid thousands of dollars to 'debunk' TransForm’s RapidBART proposal and the community," said White, referring to a May 2009 email from Tom Dunscombe, OAC Project Manager at BART, to several consultants on the project. 

January 20, 2010

The federal government has good reason to doubt a rail project that costs so much to serve affluent airline passengers, said Stuart Cohen, executive director of TransForm, an Oakland-based transportation advocacy group.

"BART has stonewalled the community," Cohen said, "and failed to consider cheaper alternatives that would better serve the community."

TransForm, Public Advocates and Urban Habitat all assert that BART could provide a much cheaper and just as fast service to the airport if it upgraded its current shuttle bus service rather than building the elevated rail extension.

With the savings, Cohen asserted, BART could make the shuttle bus free, a bargain compared with the $6 one-way trip BART has suggested it would need to charge for the system to break even.

January 20, 2010
John Knox White, who works for TransForm, a transit advocacy group that has opposed the project, said he hoped the commission would decide next week to give up on the project and instead give the money to Bay Area transit agencies to help them cope with their budget woes. "We can't see how MTC would raise $70 million in regional funding on this project," he said.
Public transit cuts will make Bay Area economic recovery difficult
January 11, 2010
"I think it's going to be a tough ride because what we're starting to see at some of the agencies are cuts that are getting so severe that they're going to make transit not truly functional for many workers," said Stuart Cohen, executive director for Oakland-based TransForm, a transportation and land-use nonprofit.
VTA is in dire financial straits, yet has major expansion plans
January 11, 2010
...Stuart Cohen, executive director of the Oakland-based transportation advocacy group TransForm, say more buses are a better idea than BART.

"VTA has all this expansion planned," Cohen said. "At the same time, they have to find ways to bring down costs. Buses will do that."

Officials, experts give perspective on Bay Area transit troubles
January 9, 2010

Stuart Cohen, executive director of Oakland-based nonprofit TransForm:

"It's going to be a big problem for the transit riders who either have to deal with that inconvenience or spend money for a new vehicle or take the car they already have. And it's going to be just as big a headache for people who are already driving."

January 4, 2010

"[The proposal] will likely reduce revenues and everyone agrees that the last thing we need to do right now is reduce revenues," said Stuart Cohen, Executive Director of TransForm, a non-profit supporting transit and smart growth. "We’re seeing service cuts and fare hikes that are larger than we’ve ever seen. Many agencies have already depleted their reserves dealing with cuts over the past two years. I don’t think these agencies can take another year of it."

January 4, 2010

Smart Growth America coalition member TransForm has developed a certification program called GreenTRIP to encourage building the kinds of places we need to reduce our carbon emissions.

January 1, 2010
The real opportunity today is improving bus transit, says Stuart Cohen, the executive director of TransForm, a decade-old transportation policy group in Oakland. “There are two ways to think about what Oakland needs — better infrastructure and smarter policies,” he says. “We need to revolutionize bus service, since we won’t get any more BART lines. Improving our alternatives means improving buses. If you have buses that act like trains in terms of speed and reliability, it will break us out of this view of buses as inferiors or transportation of last resort.”