June 4, 2013

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

Right now, state leaders are negotiating the details of the final budget, which must be passed by June 15.

The budget will determine whether California immediately puts new cap-and-trade revenues to work fighting climate pollution – or delays action by loaning $500 million to the general fund indefinitely as proposed by the Governor.

The next ten days will make all the difference.

Our state advocacy team has been fighting for that $500 million to be allocated this year for critical clean transportation and sustainable communities programs. They need the resources to be as strong as possible in Sacramento – so we’re looking to you to help out right now.

This is the final stretch of our Cap-and-Trade Campaign and we need every dollar to win this fight. Can you donate now to our campaign and help us pull out all the stops for transportation choices and a healthy climate future?

Read on for more about the situation in Sacramento and the rest of the e-news:

Commute shutdown shows why BART Board must ensure safe, reliable service

Last Friday’s commute disaster shows just how much is at stake as the BART Board of Directors prepares to approve its budget for the coming year. Thousands of Bay Area commuters were stuck when a closure in the TransBay Tube limited service for several hours. With a projected maintenance backlog of over $6 billion in the next ten years, BART must keep a laser focus on repairing and maintaining the core system to avoid breakdowns that could cause a repeat of Friday’s commuter nightmare. But instead, some directors are proposing to spend precious funds studying unrealistic and unaffordable new extensions.

We’ll be at the next Board meeting on Thursday, June 13 at 6:00 p.m. to urge them to choose maintenance over costly extensions. Can you join us? Let Clarrissa Cabansagan know if you can attend, or click here for more information.

California Homes and Jobs Act moves forward thanks to swift action

Last week, the California Homes and Jobs Act of 2013 (SB 391) was debated on the State Senate floor. The bill was just one vote shy of passing - but Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco was not present on the floor to vote, so the bill was placed on hold. Supporters of SB 391 – including TransForm activists and allies – tweeted and called the Senator to encourage his support of the measure.

When Senator Yee returned to the floor, he cast the deciding AYE vote. SB 391 is now headed to the California Assembly for consideration. If passed, SB 391 would generate $500 million annually for state investment in affordable homes - and provide housing opportunities for Californians who use transit the most.

Thank you to everyone who took action on this important bill. If you or a group you work with is not yet in support of SB 391, click here to learn more and get involved.

Tell state legislators to reject the Governor’s climate-unfriendly budget

With the recent news that atmospheric carbon hit 400 ppm, we’re shocked that the Governor has proposed indefinitely delaying significant investment in programs to cut greenhouse gas emissions. In the next two weeks, legislators will agree on a final budget to send back to him – and we need them to reject his proposal to loan $500 million in climate mitigation funds to the general fund.

Instead, state leaders should be jumping at the opportunity to create real transportation choices to cut climate pollution. You can help ensure that the revenues from the new cap-and-trade program are invested this year to improve transportation, health, affordability and sustainability in our communities. Click here to take action now.

TransForm makes Express Lane Network a “HOT” topic

As the comment period for Plan Bay Area closed last month, we made sure our regional leaders received plenty of feedback. On top of public testimony and written comment letters, TransForm submitted a white paper entitled Moving People, Not Just Cars, which provides recommendations for improving MTC’s plan to create a regional Express Lane Network of high-occupancy toll – or “HOT” – lanes. Despite a price tag of $6.7 billion, not a penny of the revenue from the proposed network is planned for expanding public transportation, vanpooling, or promoting carpools. This network needs a reboot focused on social equity, transportation choices, and innovation.

We’re hearing that our input has resulted in recommendations to revise the Express Lane Network, and we are gearing up for the next set of meetings later this month. You can help by attending the Advocacy Day on June 11. For more information, contact Clarrissa Cabansagan – and read our Bay Area blog for the latest updates.

Reports show young people driving less, people of color biking more

Two new reports document the incredible shifts that are happening in transportation and call for infrastructure investments to catch up with the times. “The Driving Boom is over,” U.S. PIRG announced last month in A New Direction: Our Changing Relationship with Driving and the Implications for America’s Future, a report analyzing trends in vehicle-miles traveled since the 1940s. Millennials aged 16-34 are driving 23% less than in 2001 and could lead the way to a continued decline in driving over the coming decades.

And just last week, the Sierra Club and the League of American Bicyclists released The New Majority: Pedaling Towards Equity, which shows that the fastest growth in bicycling over the last decade has come from people of color. From 2001-2009, bicycling among African Americans doubled; for Asians, it grew by 80%, and for Latinos by 50%. Now it’s time for our leaders to catch up and make sure there are plenty of options for safe biking, walking, and public transportation for everyone!

Safe Routes Fellows speak out in Sacramento

Sacramento received a visit from the next generation of transportation leaders last month thanks to the efforts of our Alameda County Safe Routes to School high school coordinator Alissa Kronovet. Seven Safe Routes Fellows – high school students who have spent the year as ambassadors for walking and biking at their schools – joined youth from around California at a conference in the state capital to become better advocates for sustainable communities. Their learning culminated in a day of meetings with state legislators to discuss funding for Safe Routes to School.

Check out our blog to read more about the impact these young leaders are having.

Carbon Crushers bring it home on the California Climate Ride

Thank you so much to our amazing TransForm Carbon Crusher team! In TransForm's first year as a beneficiary of Climate Ride, these ten incredible individuals pedaled over 300 miles and raised over $31,000, with a large portion going to TransForm. We’re so proud and grateful…although we’re not so sure about their recommendation to move our office to the Mendocino County coast. (Sounds like the scenery was pretty stunning – you can check out some of their photos here.)

It's not too late to sign up for the East Coast Climate Ride on September 21-25. If you choose TransForm as one of your beneficiaries, you’ll become an official Carbon Crusher too! Or if you’d like to ride with the TransForm Carbon Crushers in California in 2014, please contact Shannon Tracey.

Over 3,000 kids on bikes in Alameda County

Our Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools staff organized the biggest and best Bike to School Day yet. Close to 70 Alameda County schools organized bike events this May, 53% more than last year. We counted over 3,000 students biking to school - more than double the participants in 2012 and three times the number of kids who normally bike to school.

Click here for inspiring photos and more information.

Upcoming events in the Bay Area and beyond: Dump the Pump!

Below is a sampling of upcoming events in June and July. Visit TransForm’s events webpage frequently for details on transportation-related events in the Bay Area and beyond.

Oaklavía/Love Our Lake Day
Sunday, June 9 from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in Oakland

Car-free streets are coming to Oakland’s Lake Merritt this weekend! Three miles of road around the Lake will be closed to cars but wide open for walking, biking, scootering, dancing, and more. Learn more at oaklavia.org or click here to sign up as a volunteer.

TransForm is proud to be a sponsor of this event, so please “come play in the streets” with us!

Education and Advocacy Day for Just and Sustainable Communities
Tuesday, June 11 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in Oakland and beyond

Join a diverse group of Bay Area residents to learn about important transportation issues and educate our regional leaders for more just and sustainable regional planning. The goal for the day is to visit every single decision maker – but there are many of them across the 9 counties of the Bay Area, so we need your help!

To sign up, email Claire or click here for more information.

8th Annual National Dump the Pump Day
Thursday, June 20 everywhere in the U.S.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and public transportation systems across the country invite you to join the 8th Annual National Dump the Pump Day. It’s a great opportunity to introduce a friend to public transportation! You can find resources, including an online toolkit, by clicking here. Then make sure to take the bus, train, light rail, or ferry on June 20.

Oakland City Council hearings on Bus Rapid Transit
Tuesday, July 9 and Tuesday, July 16 in Oakland

Save the date for two upcoming meetings to keep Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) moving forward for Oakland. Oakland City Council members will hear updates on how the planning is going, and need to be reminded that local businesses and public transportation riders will benefit greatly from this project. For more information, please contact Joël Ramos.

An Evening at the Press Club
Tuesday, July 16 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. in San Francisco

This event was so much fun last year that our Board of Directors has already signed up to do it again! Join our Board and friends for a nice evening out to benefit TransForm. Learn about our work, meet and mingle with our Board, staff, and supporters, and have a drink – or three – because 10% of all food and beverage sales will be donated to TransForm. Click here for details and to RSVP