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

Norwegian Highway Art

News July 13, 2009
Should you be driving on the highway in rural northwest Norway keep your eyes peeled for more than just the natural beauty. The Norwegian national road agency is in the midst of a $1.6 billion project that attempts to lure tourists to this often over-looked area by highlighting the landscape with architecture--in the shape of viewpoints, rest stops, benches, winding foot bridges and stairs leading you to the sea. It has already hired more than 45 architects, landscape architects and artists to create these eye-catchers. And you don't need a car to enjoy it! Some of the projects include resting shelters for bicyclists. A rest house for cyclists.

SPUR Urges the MTA to Adopt the San Francisco Bike Plan

Policy Letter June 24, 2009
These projects are critical to moving San Francisco's city-wide bicycle network towards completion. Better biking infrasturcture will encourage greater use, leading to improvements in mobility, health, livability and reduced emissions.

Board Fails to Reject SFMTA Budget

News May 27, 2009
Only five members of the Board of Supervisors today voted to reject the SFMTA budget, two short of the supermajority of seven needed to reject it. The supermajority requirement was put in the City Charter by Proposition A and Proposition E (both in part crafted by SPUR) to create a balance between the need to defend the SFMTA from political influence and give the city's elected leaders a chance to reject the budget if it seriously misrepresents their values. In the current budget debate , where the Supervisors were asked to approve a replacement 2009-2010 budget to deal with $129 million in cuts (fully 1/6 of the budget), it is no surprise the Supervisors came closer to rejecting the budget than they ever have since Proposition E passed. SPUR initially supported the motion to reject the budget. Some changes since that time improved the budget and SPUR sat out the...

The Alliance for Biking & Walking Works the Bike Caucus

News May 21, 2009
The Alliance for Biking & Walking, a national coalition of advocacy organizations, is working the Congressional Bike Caucus. The Caucus represents a majority of members who support an increased federal role in promoting bicycling as a solution to our nation's transportation crisis, not to mention our health and environmental crises. In the attached letter from the Bike Caucus Chair, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland, OR), you'll see what the national bike movement is up to. The letter calls for four policies: 1. an increase in safe routes to school funding. (This will help us traffic-calm many SF streets) 2. a complete streets requirement (that all streets be designed for safe use by all, a policy already in place in San Francisco). 3. an "active transportation investment fund" to provide large grants for ambitious nonmotorized transportation plans, and 4. better data collection. All in all, if the bike caucus (which is comprised...

Market Street Draft Study Released

News May 19, 2009
The Transportation Authority today released the draft Strategic Analysis Report on " Transportation Options for a Better Market Street ." SPUR has long considered potential improvements to Market Street, and advised the Transportation Authority on the scope of this SAR. We urged the agency to be bold, but positive. That is, we emphasized that a study of Market Street ought to focus on the goals first before proposing solutions such as banning car traffic. We cited five goals: - speeding transit vehicles by 20%, at least. - a contiguous, carfree bicycle path of travel - elegant bus stops, that are comfortable and more like "stations" than "stops." - more convenient and safer pedestrian conditions on the north side, where the "pork chop" intersections damage the walking experience - beautiful streetscapes with plenty of options for sitting How did they do? Plesae review the study and give them, and us, your feedback.

No Siesta for High Speed Rail in Spain

News May 13, 2009
Since the Madrid-Barcelona leg of Spain’s AVE high-speed rail system opened last year, air travel in the corridor has been cut by half. But bullet trains aren’t just changing the ways Spaniards get around: according to an article in the Wall Street Journal , they are literally uniting the country, and revitalizing rural areas. Spaniards historically have been reluctant to travel, but “the AVE has radically changed [the younger] generation’s attitude,” a professor noted. Meanwhile, the once-forgotten town of Ciudad Real, now a 50-minute commute to Madrid (a distance of 120 miles), is booming as new residents take advantage of sudden proximity to the capital: new students from other regions are enrolling at the once isolated university; businesses have moved in; and an airport is being built next to the town’s train station, marketed as a cheap alternative to Madrid’s.

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