TransForm in the News

October 8, 2009
With fewer stops than the AirBART bus, longer travel time, and a $6 one way fare, TransForm's John Knox White argued the project was costing more but providing less. Knox White and other advocates who spoke to council noted that the potential short term construction jobs created for this project would come at the cost of a loss of long-term transit jobs as BART and AC Transit were forced to cut services.
October 6, 2009

John Knox White, the program director for TransForm, an Oakland-based transit advocacy group, said in a statement, "This project has become a shell of the project that was promised to voters and offers no benefits to the city of Oakland."

White said, "The City Council has a chance to stop a terrible waste of stimulus and taxpayer money in favor of creating jobs, providing real transportation improvements and actually benefiting Oakland."

October 1, 2009

It's not as if no one has noticed the MTC fiddling with big capital projects while ordinary transit is burned. Organizations such as Urban Habitat have pointed out the waste in two new big future projects gobbling up today's necessary transit funding and have actually (with Genesis and Transform) sued over issues relating to the OAC. TransDef, TransForm, Rebecca Kaplan of the Oakland City Council, and others have raised their voices to complain about MTC’s allocations of funding.

 To date, such myriad voices have fallen on deaf ears.

September 27, 2009

Some public transit advocates, though, are strongly opposed to the bill. Stuart Cohen, executive director of the statewide group TransForm, said some of the Bay Area's most congested carpool lanes – in southern Marin County, Palo Alto and Berkeley, for instance – are also places where residents need little extra incentive to invest in a green car.

"These are the people that are going to buy these things anyway," Cohen said.

September 25, 2009
John Knox White of TransForm said his group will call on AC Transit's board tonight to take action only on the CMAQ funds in the short term, while simultaneously convening a task force to further analyze other options before trying to divert RM2 funds.

"This changes how this money was moved by the voters and it deserves more than a few days of discussion. If this is a short-term problem because of the economy, then they should have a short-term solution. We don't need to be gutting long-term improvements for riders."

September 23, 2009
BART officials have spent much of the summer defending their project and trying to downplay the rapid-bus proposal, saying they studied it in 2002 and determined it wasn't feasible. But their claims don't stand up to scrutiny. Agency documents obtained by an Oakland-based transit advocacy group, TransForm, reveal that at least one BART consultant acknowledged that the agency has not thoroughly examined the bus system proposed by transit activists. Moreover, internal e-mails obtained by TransForm raise serious questions as to whether BART officials could be unbiased. In one e-mail sent earlier this year to BART consultants, Tom Dunscombe, the airport connector project director, asked for help to "discredit" TransForm's rapid-bus plan. "Any information you can provide to put holes in this would be appreciated," Dunscombe wrote.
September 17, 2009

A fantastic summary of what is at stake in terms of dollars and sense. Written by a seasoned public transportation journalist and well worth the read.

September 15, 2009
"BART is trying to have this conversation in a vacuum as if we don't have a very successful AirBART system already in place," says TransForm's John Knox White.
September 10, 2009
A coalition of environmental justice organizations filed a formal administrative complaint to the Federal Transportation Commission last week seeking to derail plans by the Bay Area Rapid Transit District to build a 3.2-mile rail connection between BART’s Coliseum Station and the Oakland Airport.
September 6, 2009

TransForm's John Knox White says, for instance, that the OAC was supposed to have a top speed of 45 mph. Now it's about 27 mph. He added that over the years, its projected ridership and job-creation numbers have steadily declined.

Knox White said that what was once a system designed to "seamlessly" whisk an air traveler from the Coliseum Station to the airport terminal lobby is now a micro transit system that would take passengers only as far as the western end of the airport's hourly and short-term parking lot.

BART passengers, he says, would have to carry bags downstairs and across a busy intersection to enter the airport terminal.

He notes that the OAC's fares, once quite reasonable at $4 for a round-trip ticket in 2000, would now cost passengers $12.

"BART's attitude is, 'This is the project. We're going to build it no matter what the cost. We are done talking about it,' " Knox White said during a recent interview.

September 4, 2009
The move by Public Advocates Inc. on behalf of TransForm, Urban Habitat and Genesis, comes after concerns over the controversial project fell on deaf ears at both BART and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
August 5, 2009
TransForm received a $112,500 grant to support its efforts to open a satellite office in San Jose to engage residents in advocating for express bus service in the Santa Clara-Alum Rock corridor. The grant also will help TransForm develop its [GreenTRIP] certification program, which encourages low-traffic developments. TransForm believes that if residents become engaged, they can change the way development decisions are made.
BART-Oakland Airport connector gets $140 million
July 22, 2009
"We're obviously very disappointed in the vote, particularly because many of the commissioners who voted in favor of the project expressed grave concerns about the (potential) ridership and the cost but ended up voting for it anyway," said Rebecca Saltzman of TransForm. "The good news is that the City of Oakland's public works committee will discuss the project at its September meeting, so the city will have a chance to weigh in on the matter."
July 22, 2009
"Transit service is a critical part of our transportation network," said Carli Paine, Transportation Program Director for TransForm. "And, by keeping our buses, trains and ferries running, operating funds accomplish a triple bottom-line: they provide access to people who rely on it, create jobs, and help meet climate and health goals."
Bay Area Residents Who Give Up Cars Steering Against the Flow
July 14, 2009

"I feel the society has groomed us to the allure and freedom of the car," said Andrea Tyler, outreach manager for TransForm.  "But the auto is no longer living up to its expectations because of the adverse affects on our healty and our environment."