Transportation

Our goal: Give people better ways to get where they need to go.

SPUR’s transportation agenda:

• Make our streets safe and inviting for pedestrians.
• Complete our bicycle networks.
• Increase capacity and speed on key bus and light-rail lines.
• Increase rail service in the region’s urban core.
• Build out the state’s plan for high-speed rail.
• Integrate the region’s many transit operators to make a seamless experience for riders.
• Control transit costs.
• Use pricing to manage traffic congestion.

Read more from SPUR’s Agenda for Change

The Bay Area

  • SPUR Report

    Seamless Transit

    Bay Area transit riders contend with more than two dozen different operators. By integrating our many transit services so they function more like one easy-to-use network, we can increase ridership and make better planning decisions.

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  • SPUR Report

    A Mid-Life Crisis for Regional Rail

    Fifty years after the visionary Rail Plan for the Bay Area, only part of the original vision has been realized. The region's top priority now should be expanding capacity in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.

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  • SPUR Report

    A Better Future for Bay Area Transit

    Capital and operating deficits are putting the viability of Bay Area transit at risk. MTC has launched the Transit Sustainability Project to identify policy solutions. SPUR recommends nine strategies to reach the project’s goals.

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  • SPUR Report

    Saving Caltrain for the Long Term

    Caltrain is one of the most important transit systems in the Bay Area, and yet recurring budget shortfalls and a complex three-county governing structure have made its future uncertain. SPUR looks at long-term solutions.

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San Francisco

  • SPUR Report

    Reversing Muni's Downward Spiral

    Muni faces an urgent financial crisis. SPUR proposes to boost revenues by increasing the speed of boarding, reducing waits at lights, improving transit stop spacing and favoring primary transit corridors.

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  • SPUR Report

    Taking Down a Freeway to Reconnect a Neighborhood

    Highway 280 and the Caltrain railyards create barriers between SoMa, Potrero Hill and Mission Bay. But San Francisco has the opportunity to advance bold new ideas that can enhance the transportation system and the public realm.

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  • White Paper

    Connecting San Francisco's Northeast Neighborhoods

    North Beach, Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill, Fisherman’s Wharf and northern Chinatown have high densities of residents, workers and tourists — yet no major plans to increase transit. How can transit better serve these neighborhoods?

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San Jose

  • SPUR Report

    Freedom to Move

    Santa Clara County grew up around the car. Now traffic is stalling economic growth, social equity and quality of life. How can we get the South Bay, its people and its economy moving in a more sustainable way?

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  • White Paper

    Improving Access for Santana Row and Valley Fair

    Two major San Jose destinations — Santana Row and Valley Fair — are both planning to expand. SPUR offers 20 ideas for improving access and circulation for this already-congested area.

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Oakland

  • SPUR Report

    A Downtown for Everyone

    Downtown Oakland, one of the most transit-accessible places in the Bay Area, is poised to take on a more important role in the region. But the future is not guaranteed. How can downtown grow while providing benefits to all?

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Advanced Search

  • Find more of SPUR's transportation research

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Updates and Events

Learning from Washington D.C.

News January 5, 2010
This past fall, a group of SPUR board members and staff traveled to Washington DC to learn from the urban-planning successes of our nation's capital; today, three members of that group presented their findings at a lunchtime forum. SPUR Deputy Director Sarah Karlinsky began the discussion with an overview of the Washington urban planning models from Pierre L'Enfant's plan of 1791 to and James McMillan's Plan of 1901 through modern-day endeavors to enliven the long-neglected Southeast waterfront area along the Anacostia. Regional Planning Director Egon Terplan expanded the geographical scope of the discussion, demonstrating with satellite photography areas in the region where forward-thinking transit-planning decisions brought about transit-oriented development along major corridors and high public transit use. Terplan focused on the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor in Virginia and Bethesda in Maryland , both tremendous successes in inducing dense development clustered around regional rail service. Finally, architect and urban historian Rod Freebairn-Smith showed...

Thriving TOD

Urbanist Article January 1, 2010
While urban planners across the U.S. talk about creating transit-oriented development, the D.C. region has built TODs in a way that's actually changing commuter behavior. What lessons can San Francisco learn from this success story?

SPUR and streets on film!

News December 18, 2009
Deputy Director Sarah Karlinsky was featured in a short film this week on the future of San Francisco’s streets. Streetsblog San Francisco posted a video on Monday showcasing the Making a Better Market Street Project. The project envisions Market Street as a grand boulevard similar to La Rambla in Barcelona, the Champs-Élysées in Paris, or the more recently reconfigured public space in New York’s Times Square. As Sarah Karlinsky explains in the film, “[these cities] are really thinking about their streets as more than just infrastructure for cars to move along; they’re really places that people want to make use of.“ In this spirit, the project has instituted trial traffic diversions, public art in storefronts, live music and public programming along Market. According to the video, private automobile traffic on Market Street has reduced by 60%, pedestrian traffic has increased by 250 pedestrians/hour, and MUNI travel time in the trial...

SPUR Comments on Proposed Bridge Toll Increase

Policy Letter December 17, 2009
SPUR encourages MTA and BATA to consider financing a plan for the Bay Bridge corridor that is multimodal, incremental and addresses long-term capacity constraints. Such an approach is an important step in reducing job sprawl, decreasing automobile dependency and providing greater resiliency for the region.

Greening Paris

News December 1, 2009
Fall programming concluded November 18th with bikes, parks and policy in the City of Light. Writer and lecturer Marilyn Clemens illustrated current trends in Parisian roadway and park design, which follow the geometry of the classical era, while also redefining the purpose of public space. The Alliance Française generously sponsored the event. Clemens reported walking as the most popular method of circulation, and the city of Paris plans accordingly for its pedestrians. From small alleys to the Champs-Élysées, streets of all sizes have taken lanes away from cars and given to pedestrians. Cyclists are also a priority, with over 230 miles of new bikeways in the works. And while bicycle sharing has faced challenges , Vélib’ remains popular throughout France. A partnership of the planning department with the department of the environment prompted a new focus on sustainability in the parks, using educational programs and exhibitions to promote the message...

SF Battles the Yogi Berra Parking Problem

News October 23, 2009
Yogi Berra once posited about a restaurant suffering a perceived decline, "Nobody goes there anymore -- it's too crowded." San Francisco parking faces the same dilemma: high parking occupancy and low turnover make parking in San Francisco a headache as drivers are forced waste upwards of 45 minutes orbiting for a space, adding to traffic and burning gasoline. To combat this problem, the SFMTA is considering two proposals: SF Park , an initiative to use parking technology to make finding and paying for parking easier, and the recently unveiled the Extended Meter Hours Study (EMHS) , which would extend parking meter operations in a number of neighborhoods. Increasing turnover and making more spaces available should be quite welcome in a number of neighborhoods where parking is at 100% utilization (or more, when counting cars double-parked, left in illegal spots, or parked on the sidewalk). Implementing the EMHS would also raise...

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