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.
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.
This 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.
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.
ACCE Riders for Transit Justice is organizing a People’s Hearing to allow bus riders and their allies to speak directly to AC Transit, MTC and Alameda CTC board members – the ones who determine AC’s funding -, and lay-out proposals for:
1) Restoring lost AC service, 2) Funding a FREE Eco bus pass for middle and high school students, and 3) Allowing transfers to be used multiple times (rather than just once).
When: Thursday, April 21st at 6 p.m.
Where: 160 14th Street, Oakland (at Madison) in the Community Room.
For more information, contact Jason at 714-745-6243 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about AC Transit's proposed fare policy or get involved with the free youth Eco bus pass and the multi-use bus transfer campaigns open the document attached.
While much has been made about the devastating service cuts being considered by Caltrain, an even worse scenario could befall the rail operator’s sister agency, SamTrans.
Depending on its funding contribution to Caltrain, SamTrans could run out of cash within three years, forcing the agency to cease operations entirely. Even if the transit agency slashes its current annual allocation to Caltrain by two-thirds — a potential death knell for the rail operator — SamTrans would still become bankrupt by 2015, according to the agency’s latest financial models.
“This is how serious our situation is,” said Mark Simon, a spokesman for the agency. “We are looking at the very real possibility of having to cease operations.”
By Gen Fujioka
The following article originally appeared in The Planner's Network and is reposted here with permission from the author, Gen Fujioka (Senior Policy Advocate at the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development).
Transit-oriented development (TOD) has become a leading policy prescription for reversing America’s sprawling path of growth. The Obama administration, through its Sustainable Communities Initiative, state and local agencies and progressive think-tanks all emphasize TOD as a means to achieve housing, transportation and environmental goals, often through public-private partnerships. But as TOD has been justifiably promoted as the cleaner alternative to auto-dependent development, gaps have appeared in the discourse that understate its costs. This report seeks to fill in some of those gaps with snapshots from four communities of color that have been impacted by various stages of TOD in the cities of Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Minneapolis–Saint Paul.
The Freedom Bus Project, a joint effort by the Alameda County Office of Education and AC Transit, in conjunction with West Contra Costa Unified School District and Art IS Education, displayed the official AC Transit Freedom Bus honoring all civil rights movements at the Oakland School for the Arts on March 25, 2011 at the Freedom Bus Project’s Art Exhibition and Community Celebration.
The Freedom Bus Project honors the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ historic bus ride in Montgomery, Alabama. Commemorating this historic event, and all civil rights movements, the Freedom Bus Project was launched to celebrate the East Bay’s rich diversity and legacy of community activism. The project engages youth across the East Bay to learn about and express their unique visions of social justice through the arts. Project co-chair and AC Transit Board Director, Joel Young, comments, “There is a gap in education when it comes to teaching civil rights, and our goal is to bridge that gap by integrating civil rights and the arts.”
“Considering that a passenger on a public bus was the catalyst for a civil rights movement that literally swept the world, it is only fitting that AC Transit—a public bus agency—be a part of this historic educational project,” said AC Transit Interim General Manager Mary King. “As an agency, we are both honored and proud to be a part of the Freedom Bus Project effort to integrate fine arts with civil rights and public transportation.”
East Bay Transit Activists, Listener call-ins, East Bay Bike Party, Film: “Jashn-e-Azadi” AC Transit is planning to raise the bus fares again. With gas prices up and wallets tight, some bus riders don’t think this is a good idea. We also discuss the 25 year regional dividing of the transportation tax money which is going on now. Guests: Lindsey Imai of Urban Habitat (http://www.urbanhabitat.org) and Alia Theltz of ACCE Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (formerly ACORN, http://www.calorganize.org), KPFA listeners talk about the effect of the ongoing economic meltdown on their lives and in their community. Sam The Shaolin B-Boy joins an East Bay Bike Party. Here are the sights and sounds. http://eastbaybikeparty.wordpress.com/ Filmmaker, Sanjay Kak, talks about "Jashn-e-Azadi" (How We Celebrate Freedom), his film about Kasmir, arguably the most militarized country in the world (http://www.kashmirfilm.wordpress.com). Hosted by Adrienne Lauby & Leah Gardner.
It’s True! We have FREE fast passes for youth!
Community groups are celebrating an incredible victory--FREE MUNI fast passes for low-income youth!
Thanks to, the MORE Public Transit Coalition, POWER, Chinese Progressive Association, Jamestown Community Center, the SRO Collaborative, Urban Habitat, the San Francisco Youth Commission, the MTA, Supervisor David Campos and more, low-income SFUSD students will ride MUNI free for the remainder of the school year!
Come down to 16th Street BART and fill out your BRIEF application to get your free fast pass! All you need is your student ID number and your household income...no, really, THAT'S ALL! Bus passes will be distributed through the schools, but you must APPLY to receive it.
(The deadline for the application is the Tuesday, March the 15th)
Don't miss out...and spread the word!
THURSDAY, MARCH 10
16th Street BART station
MTA / SFUSD Discount Pass Program
135 Van Ness, Room 112
San Francisco, CA 94102
You can also download the application form below.