"We are disappointed with the package, but understand that it represents the best package that legislators were able to develop given the state budget crisis. Together, the bills strip public transportation of potentially billions of dollars of funding that advocates have been fighting to protect, and replace them with limited funding that remains vulnerable to raids. This proposal will result in an annual budget battle to ensure that the funding dedicated to public transit actually gets allocated to our buses, trains, and ferries."
The Ohlone, an 800-unit housing development proposed for 8.25 acres along West San Carlos and Sunol streets in San Jose, is the first Bay Area project to be officially certified for reducing traffic.
The environmental movement in construction has convinced developers of the importance of earning certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. TransForm, based in Oakland, wants to do the same thing with cars.
“How people get to and from their new homes is just as important as what those homes are made of,” Cheng said.
He said, "This makes the Bay Area the first region in the country to have a program to cut global warming pollution by trying to decrease demand on the roadways."
Cohen said that's important because "transportation is by far the biggest source of global warming pollution in California and the country."
Critics acknowledged that the project was likely to be approved but criticized BART for not providing sufficient information about the project, not updating ridership figures and not giving due consideration to alternatives, including a less-costly rapid bus service. BART estimates that 4,350 passengers a day will ride the people mover - an estimate it updated earlier this year.
John Knox White of TransForm, a transit advocacy group, called on BART to delay the decision and take a harder look at the project.
"You need to have the information before you can vote," he said.