March 1, 2011 e-news

Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities.

Enough is enough.  We’ve had it with a decade of brutal cuts to state public transportation funding and all the resulting service cuts and fare increases.

That’s why we just launched a new statewide campaign calling on our state leaders to invest in transit now for the sake of California's future.  

We want individuals, businesses, and organizations from every corner of the state to be part of this campaign.  Sign the Invest in Transit petition now and spread the word.

Now onto more news, action and events:




TransForm is hiring

We’ve got openings for a Transportation Policy Director and a Safe Routes to Schools Site Coordinator.  Both positions are based out of our Oakland office.  Read more and spread the word.

Obama proposes swoon-worthy federal transportation proposal

On Valentine's Day President Obama released a 6-year, $556 billion transportation proposal that made us swoon.  It proposed: doubling public transportation funding; a new program to fund biking, walking, and sustainable neighborhoods; and $53 billion for high speed rail. 
The heartbreaker is the President's proposal won't become law without the support of Congress.  Senator Barbara Boxer, charged with leading the Senate's effort to write a transportation bill, will be critical for forwarding Obama’s proposal.  Let Senator Boxer know you’d like a transportation bill that builds on the President's proposal.

Sign on your organization in support of an exceptional Regional Transportation Plan

Every four years, TransForm leads a campaign to shape the Bay Area’s latest transportation funding plan so it yields big wins for public transportation, walking, biking, affordable housing, and smart growth. This week, we’re circulating a sign-on letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission regarding their “committed funds and projects policy” so that only the best projects make it into the next Regional Transportation Plan. We are also developing a draft of shared policy recommendations, as we have for past transportation plans, that we’ll send to partner organizations soon for comments.

Contact Jeff Hobson
to sign your organization onto our letter and be sure you're on the list to comment on policy recommendations.

Suggest transportation projects for your county

As the Bay Area’s regional agencies updates our Regional Transportation Plan, each county plays an important role as they propose most of the projects and programs included in the plan.  For the first time, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is requiring each county to get public input on what to include and even to consider projects suggested by members of the public.

Please attend one of the upcoming community workshops to weigh in on what you think Alameda County’s needs and priorities are or take the survey by March 15
Attend on March 9 (Hayward), March 16 (San Leandro), and March 24 (Dublin). You can also see when all the counties' meetings will be, plus watch our website for specific ways to get involved.

Speak out to save Caltrain service March 3 or 23

Although Caltrain is one of the highest performing Bay Area transit agencies, it’s the only one without dedicated funding.  Now it faces a $30 million operating deficit for the coming year.  We need you to speak out against the drastic service cuts!  Come speak out at a March 3 Caltrain meeting or a March 23 Metropolitan Transportation Commission meeting.  Contact Chris Lepe if you can help with outreach to riders, plus sign the petition if you haven’t yet. 

Plan moves forward for a more vibrant, walkable East Oakland

In as early as 2015, Bus Rapid Transit will cruise down International Boulevard, ushering in a new era for quality public transportation service for East Oakland residents. 
Now, after months of working to get residents involved in the planning process for the future of International Boulevard, we have more great news.  The Oakland City Council is poised to move ahead with a fantastic, community-driven plan for this corridor that includes: lots more affordable housing; improved pedestrian/bicycle safety; additional ground-level retail; and a much-needed grocery store between 55th and 85th Avenues.  Learn more. 

Meet our rockstar volunteer, Brent Bateman

Brent Bateman’s about to get rid of his car.  “I want to walk the talk,” says Brent.  “I think everyone should have better access to public transportation and that starts with me supporting taking the bus or train more often.”  Here at TransForm, Brent is making a big difference, too.  Read more about Brent.  

Vote for TransForm to receive award from Patagonia

TransForm is one of three nonprofits in the running for a $2,500 Voice Your Choice grant from Patagonia – but we need your votes to win.  Go to Patagonia in San Francisco from March 10 - 31 and cast your vote

Learn about the history of race, inequality, and transportation

More than half a century after Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus, African Americans and Latinos across the country still face serious transportation-based inequities.  A new public radio documentary and accompanying website are full of fascinating stories and facts about this issue.  The civil rights victory against the Oakland Airport Connector boondoggle that TransForm was part of is now triggering positive changes at transit agencies across the country is also featured.  Listen to the documentary. 

RSVP now for March 23 TransForum movie night and discussion

Join us on March 23 for the documentary, “The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream.”  Afterwards, we’ll discuss the film and how it relates to federal transportation policy with Shannon Tracey, field organizer for the Transportation For America campaign.   This TransForum will be held from 6 - 8pm at EBMUD’s Board Room, 375 11th Street, 2nd Floor.  Snacks and drinks will be served.  TransForays are $5 or free if you’re a TransForm supporter at the $40 level).  Register by March 18. 

Riding the bus comes to life as part of El Cerrito’s film series March 12

“Tango 73: A Bus Rider’s Diary” is a first-person documentary shot in the Bay Area about the vital importance of public transportation and the real people who depend on it.  The film will be followed by a panel including TransForm’s Joel Ramos.   Register now for this free event being cosponsored by TransForm. 

Explore connections between transportation and health March 13 in San Francisco 

How do transportation choices affect our health? What are some creative ways to get into nature without a car?  Talk about the answers to these questions and more at an event hosted by Mind the Gap, a documentary project examining sustainable urban transit.  Register now for this free event (donations welcomed in support of the project). 

Show support for an Oakland streetcar study March 15

On March 15 the Oakland City Council will vote on applying for grant to study a potential streetcar linking Jack London Square, Downtown, Uptown, and MacArthur BART via Broadway.  The Oakland Streetcar project could be an opportunity to revitalize Oakland’s economy and promote more walkability.  Come show support for the study at the City Council meeting at 5:15pm, learn more at the Oakland Streetcar Plan blog!

TransportationCamp March 19 and 20 looks at technology and transportation 

Attend a free “unconference” in San Francisco bringing together transportation professionals, technology folks, and others interested in the intersection of technology and urban transportation.  Learn more and register now.