July 2, 2012

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

Right now, California legislators are deciding whether to move ahead with constructing the first segment of a high speed rail system. At this point the State Assembly is almost certainly going to vote to appropriate $2.7 billion of voter-approved Prop 1A bond funds. The Senate vote is too close to call.

While many hoped to meet a July 1 deadline, there is a chance the vote will not happen until after the legislature's July recess.

TransForm is actively supporting this proposal.  We believe that high speed rail – including the excellent changes made in April's Revised Business Plan –  is critical for our state’s future. To learn why TransForm is supporting the proposal and our recommendations to ensure it is done right, read our new paper (or a four-page summary).

If you haven’t yet contacted your State Senator, call and leave them a message in support of moving ahead with high speed rail. 

Read on for the rest of the news:

  • Congress passes very disappointing transportation bill
  • If you're a fan of TransForm, have a glass of wine with our Board of Directors July 24
  • Seeking new members of TransForm's Board of Directors
  • Final votes to bring Bus Rapit Transit to the East Bay happen this month
  • Bus Rapid Transit poised to come to San Francisco, too
  • Is your name among the great 548?
  • How do you make the areas near public transportation hubs vibrant, walkable, and affordable? 

Congress passes very disappointing transportation bill

On Friday, Congress finally passed a new transportation bill. But so many of the things we fought so hard for that were included in the Senate’s draft of the bill were cut in a final flurry of negotiations. The final bill is more a "capitulation" than a compromise with the House of Representatives. It doesn't include a Complete Streets policy. It doesn't make tax benefits for public transportation commuters equal to what car drivers get. And it dramatically cut dedicated bike/ped funding.

There is a short list of things to be thankful for – transit funding is safe and they didn’t entirely eliminate dedicated walking and biking funding, as some in the House wanted – and we know that without your help things would have been even worse. On the positive side, this bill is just 27 months long, so we can redouble our efforts to regain what we’ve lost and make sure that the next bill takes a more balanced approach. Read TransForm’s statement on the federal transportation bill and Streetsblog's detailed coverage of the bill.

If you’re a fan of TransForm, have a glass of wine with our Board of Directors July 24

TransForm’s Board of Directors cordially invites you to join them at the Press Club in downtown San Francisco on July 24. This event will bring together the TransForm community as well as newcomers, so please bring along a bike/ped/transit-loving friend who might be interested in meeting new people and hearing more about our work. 10% of your food and drink purchases will be donated to TransForm. Get the details and RSVP for this free event.

Seeking new members of TransForm’s Board of Directors

This is an exciting time for our Board of Directors. TransForm has become a more complex organization, plus we’re now actively working at the state level, and our Board is expanding to meet our increasingly varied leadership needs. This year we are seeking expertise that includes social justice leadership, state-level policy, fundraising, communications and strategic financial planning. Learn more and pass this along to folks who might be interested.

Final votes to bring Bus Rapid Transit to the East Bay happen this month 

After years of community engagement and advocacy led by TransForm, the final votes to bring true Bus Rapid Transit with dedicated bus lanes to Oakland and San Leandro is upon us. If it passes, it will be a huge step for the entire Bay Area as it will showcase what’s possible: fast, reliable, frequent buses plus a better experience for riders – all at an incredible value.

We need to keep the pressure on so the excellent plan is adopted and not watered down at the last minute. There are three public meetings we need folks to speak out at: July 10 at 10 a.m.; July 16 at 7 p.m.; and July 17 at 5:30 p.m. Learn more and contact Joél if you might be able to attend a meeting.

Bus Rapid Transit poised to come to San Francisco, too

The 38-Geary Muni line in San Francisco has 50,000 riders… each day! If you ride it, you know it’s often slow, delayed, stuck in traffic, and packed to the gills. There’s a better way, though. Bus Rapid Transit is revolutionizing bus service around the world by mimicking rail with features like dedicated lanes, state-of-the-art buses with level, all-door boarding, and traffic signal priority. 

On July 5, 16, 18, and August 15 the San Francisco County Transportation Authority will hold public meetings about bringing Bus Rapid Transit to Geary Street. Come learn about the proposed alternatives and show your support for dramatically better bus service on Geary. 

Is your name among the great 548?

548 fabulous supporters and volunteers are listed in our just-released 2011 annual report. If you are one of the 548, we can’t thank you enough.  Your generosity with dollars and time are what make TransForm’s accomplishments possible. Be sure you’re listed in the 2012 annual report by making a gift to TransForm today.

How do you make the areas near public transportation hubs vibrant, walkable, and affordable?

You involve a wide range of people in creating a vision for their community so new development doesn't just build houses, condos, and apartments. Instead, it creates space for parks, libraries, childcare, and health facilities. It supports local businesses and abundant affordable housing. It builds community in the truest sense of the word.

That’s what the Great Communities Collaborative is all about: getting all kinds of people deeply involved in land use planning for the areas near existing and future public transportation hubs in the Bay Area.  The Great Communities Collaborative just announced the eleven areas they’ll focus on in the next year, from the San Jose Diridon Transit Station Area to the North Santa Rosa SMART Station Area.  As a partner in the Great Communities Collaborative, TransForm will continue to lead efforts in the Lake Merritt Station Area and with the International Boulevard Transit-Oriented Development Corridor Plan, plus start outreach in the South San Francisco Caltrain Station Area. Learn more about how we’re creating a region of great communities.