Transportation (News)

MTC Told To Make Good on “One Bay Area” Community: Civil Rights Groups Press Commission To Put Equity on Its Agenda

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 06/24/2011 - 1:51pm
Urban Habitat

For Immediate Release
June 24, 2011

MTC Told To Make Good on “One Bay Area” Community
Civil Rights Groups Press Commission To Put Equity on Its Agenda

After close to three hours of lively and sometimes rancorous debate at their June 22 joint meeting, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) opened the door to advancing social equity in their long-term planning projects.

Under the banner of “One Bay Area,” MTC and ABAG have launched their work to plan how the Bay Area will grow in the next generation.  This planning process will implement SB 375, the important companion legislation to AB 32, California’s landmark climate law.

SB 375 requires MTC to partner with ABAG to come up with a “Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS)” to reduce driving and greenhouse gas emissions in the region by supporting transit service that links jobs and affordable housing. The SCS will be included in MTC’s Regional Transportation Plan that distributes more than $200 billion in state and federal funds.

Tea Party: Anti-Sprawl Plan Will Take Your Freedom

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:30pm

The East Bay Tea Party has taken aim at a wonky effort to encourage housing near transit hubs
The words flash onto a black screen: “The ‘New World Order’ is here.” Dramatic music swells as the message continues: “One Global Vision, Designed by the United Nations, To Strip you of Your Freedom.”

What could be so sinister? According to the video posted on the East Bay Tea Party’s website, it’s the Sustainable Communities Strategy being developed by two of the wonkiest governmental bodies in the Bay Area: the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments.

Metro's record-setting $4.2-billion budget heavy on L.A. rail projects

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 05/05/2011 - 10:54am

Los Angeles transportation officials have unveiled the largest budget in the Metropolitan Transit Authority's history, a $4.2-billion plan that reflects the agency's heavy investment in rail projects around the region.

The budget includes money for a slew of rail lines, including the Crenshaw Line in South L.A. that should begin construction next year. The budget has operating funds for the Expo Line, which should open later this year.

There is also money for developing several more rail lines including the so-called "Subway to the Sea" and the "Regional Connector," which would link several existing rail lines through downtown L.A.

“Metro will be advancing one of the largest public works programs in the nation’s history in [fiscal year] 2012, with a dozen major transit and 15 highway projects in various stages of development,” Metro Chief Executive Art Leahy said in a statement.

Oakland Airport Connector Could Be Derailed Again

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 04/27/2011 - 12:57pm

BART has already spent $64 million on the controversial Oakland Airport connector. But Robert Raburn, a member of the BART Board of Directors, thinks he can derail the roughly $500 million project, which he’s nicknamed the “gold-plated” connector, before any more money is spent.

The tram is slated to run from the Coliseum BART station to Oakland International Airport and replace the shuttle bus that currently runs a similar route. It’s been called a “boondoggle” by critics; the feds yanked $70 million from the project last year over civil rights concerns. Others say the connector would be a boon to Oakland, bringing jobs and an easier way to get to the airport.

The BART board approved the connector last July — and a celebratory ground-breaking was held in October. But two of the project’s biggest champions have since left the transit agency.

AC Transit considers ramping up youth pass price

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 04/27/2011 - 12:48pm

The financially struggling AC Transit offers one of the best public transit bargains in America for riders 18 and younger: $15 per month for a youth pass good for unlimited local bus rides.

The deal may not last much longer, though. Bus system administrators have proposed increasing the pass price to $20 per month in August as the first step toward tripling the charge to $45 per month over eight years.

The proposal -- to be aired in a fare increase public hearing 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday in Oakland -- has sparked debate over the district's competing goals. District officials say they want to offer a break to students, but also face pressure to act more frugally in hard financial times that forced the district to cut service twice last year.

Rethinking Cities: Sunnyvale Film and Discussion Series

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 04/22/2011 - 12:49pm
Source: film series explores how sprawl replaced traditional neighborhoods and what can be done to bring back community and sustainability to our cities and towns. The Films start at 7 PM, Laurel Room, Sunnyvale Community Center, 550 East Remington. Doors open at 6:45. FREE.
May 6: Save Our Land, Save Our Towns (1 hr)
Small town newsman Tom Hylton explores why America's towns have declined and what we can do to revive them. Philadelphia Daily News praises, “Development and zoning issues normally make the eyes glaze...Tom Hylton makes them downright fascinating."

May 13: Creating Places We Want to Live

Portland: A Sense of Place (Design e2 Episode) (30 minutes) 2008  
Thanks to a progressive public transportation portfolio that includes train, streetcar, bus and aerial tram, Portland has become one of the most livable cities in the US.

Community by Design (26 minutes) 1997
Learn about the key role that design plays in building community from some leading progressive thinkers on the subject.


A Temporary Reprieve for Nassau Bus Riders

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 1:58pm
A late infusion of cash from Albany has postponed the plan of the Nassau County executive, Edward Mangano, to cripple his county’s bus service, but only until the end of the year.

The State Senate came up with an $8.6 million bailout for Long Island Bus. That will allow the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the system, to put off cuts on more than half of the system’s 48 routes. At least 16,000 riders would have lost service, and 200 disabled riders would have lost their paratransit service. All bets are off in January because the system still faces a financing shortfall that Mr. Mangano doesn’t want to fill.


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