Our Approach

At TransForm, we believe that all Californians should be able to live in healthy, connected communities with great options to get where we need to go.


People at outdoor cafeOur Mission
TransForm promotes walkable communities with excellent transportation choices to connect people of all incomes to opportunity, make California affordable, and help solve our climate crisis. 

With diverse partners we engage communities in planning, run innovative programs and win policy change at the local, regional and state levels.


How we work diagram

These measurable indicators will demonstrate progress towards our vision of healthy, connected communities, with a particular focus on benefits for low-income people, people of color, youth, seniors, and people with disabilities:

  • A reduction in transportation pollution to help clean the air and meet California’s ambitious climate goals
  • A decrease in the combined cost of housing and transportation
  • Higher rates and safety of walking and bicycling
  • Greater access to jobs via public transit and other affordable options
  • More decisions that lift up the leadership and priorities of underrepresented and impacted communities

Our History

TransForm was founded in 1997 by Bay Area environmental and social justice groups that recognized the region was at a critical point in time. Public transportation was being bled dry while highway projects got the green light. Bulldozers were carving up remaining open spaces and farms. Huge numbers of people — especially low-income families — were moving in pursuit of affordable places to live only to have grueling, costly commutes. For those on foot, bicycle, or using a wheelchair, it was far too dangerous.

The time had come to turn the tide on sprawl, and redefine transportation in terms of access, health, justice, and sustainability. In the years since TransForm’s founding, often alongside the same groups we started with, we have helped win tens of billions of dollars and groundbreaking policies in support of public transportation, smart growth, affordable housing, and bicycle/pedestrian safety.

You can read more in Our Impact.