Wow. Nearly 2015.
I’ve been reflecting on what an amazing year we’ve had here at TransForm. Marked by so many successes, 2014 was a year of exciting work that will have an impact for years to come.
Here's my list of the top five moments of 2014:
1. We helped win billions of dollars for transit and affordable homes in the state’s new cap-and-trade program.
After two intensive years co-leading the Sustainable Communities for All Coalition, we scored an incredible victory: the Legislature approved a long-term spending plan that gives 60% of California's cap-and-trade funds to public transit, sustainable communities, and affordable homes near transit.
This is huge! It will bring in over $10 billion for these issues, and maybe much more, by 2020 alone. We also co-authored a report with the California Housing Partnership Corporation that finally shows how to calculate the greenhouse gas reduction benefits of building affordable homes. We then released it at a press conference with Senate leaders Darrell Steinberg and Kevin de Leon, as well as Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, helping cement affordable homes as part of the spending plan. Read about the victory here.
2. We helped win $7.7 billion for transit, walking and biking.
Thanks to TransForm, Bike East Bay, and many partner groups and volunteers, Alameda County voters approved an historic one-cent sales tax that will dramatically expand bus service, improve BART, and create complete streets along with a whopping $1 billion-plus to make walking and biking safer.
3. We launched our GreenTRIP Parking Database to rave reviews.
This online tool is already helping affordable housing developers save millions of dollars on reduced parking for their affordable units. And if you want to see an inspiring future, just check out our first zero-parking GreenTRIP building. GreenTRIP helped its developers get rid of their proposed parking garage and replaced it with free transit passes, carsharing, bike facilities of all kinds, and more!
4. We helped shape a new mission and vision for Caltrans.
To the relief of those who care about the state of transportation in California, Caltrans developed a dramatically new mission. With leadership from bike coalitions throughout the state, we pushed for our state's department of transportation to leave the business of dictating local street design behind, since their highway-building style has not been the best strategy. Caltrans then adopted an excellent guide on urban design done by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
5. The first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line broke ground in the Bay Area.
After more than a decade of planning and design, the Bay Area’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project broke ground on March 21 in San Jose. This represents a huge milestone in transforming transit in Silicon Valley, creating fast, frequent, affordable bus service at a fraction of the cost of rail. TransForm also played a major role in gaining support and final funding for Oakland’s BRT, so we expect another exciting groundbreaking in the East Bay soon!
Now, my New Year’s resolution: Make 2015 even better.
It’s a tall order, but I think it’s possible – especially if you’re with us. In 2015 we’ll be launching some incredibly exciting initiatives. And we’ll have the help of eight amazing new Board members to help us implement our recent Strategic Plan.
Together, we can create a California where everyone can live in affordable, walkable communities with great transportation options. Please help us launch another unforgettable year of transforming transportation, and connecting our communities. Support our Campaign to Connect California today – for our communities, our climate, and our future.