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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More

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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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?

    Read More

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?

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More

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?

    Read More

Advanced Search

  • Find more of SPUR's transportation research

    Read More

Updates and Events

San Jose Then and Now

News September 14, 2010
Many who joined the latest SPUR study trip to San Jose were impressed to see how much the city has changed physically in the past few decades. These changes have helped accommodate considerable population growth - San Jose grew from under 100,000 residents in 1950 to 460,000 in 1970 to nearly 800,000 today. According to the Association of Bay Area Governments, San Jose will add approximately 400,000 more people from now until 2035, which will no doubt result in even more dramatic physical changes in the city. Many of these changes also reflect the city's attempts to transform itself from a suburban auto-oriented place to a vibrant, dense, transit rich city. Santa Clara Street at Fourth looking East, 1975 and 2006. [All photos via Buena Vista Neighborhood Association] Market Street at San Fernando looking southeast, 1975 and 2006. The Circle of Palms and the Fairmont Hotel are in the background...

Exploring future job centers of the Bay Area: Mission Bay as urban tech park

News September 13, 2010
Across the Bay Area, only one in 10 commuters takes transit to work each day. And half of those transit commuters go to one job center: downtown San Francisco . But since most work is outside of downtowns, SPUR is trying to understand a little more about emerging suburban and non-downtown job centers . This post is the first in an occasional series that will look at the Bay Area's evolving and emerging business districts. For each employment district, we will ask four main questions: The Location: Where is this place located? How far or near to major transit? And how large from one end to the other? The Plan: What was the planning vision for this place? Was it master-planned? Did it grow up organically? The Market: What kinds of jobs and companies are located there? The Commute: How are workers getting to their jobs each day and why?...

Californians to Drive Less to Meet Emissions Targets

News September 9, 2010
[Photo Credit: flickr user sandy kemsley ] This post is the first in an occasional series that hopes to make sense of the issues surrounding the implementation of California's smart growth law, SB 375 . California's future demographic reality is clear. We will grow — perhaps not as quickly as in recent decades — but we will nonetheless continue to increase our population. The state projects a population of 44 million by 2020 and well over 51 million by 2035. Even if the recent economic downturn results in slower future population growth, the question still remains: how do we manage this growth with minimal environmental impact? For much of the past century, this growth was accompanied by increased auto use. But California's 2008 smart growth law, SB 375 — now being implemented throughout the state — proposes a different approach. A key recent policy decision relates to "Greenhouse gas reduction...

More than Just a Place to Park Your Bike

News September 1, 2010
A prototype for a bike rack designed by David Baker + Partners [Photo Credit: David Baker ] Build pretzel-shaped steel tubes, bolt them to the sidewalk, and the cyclists will come. Or at least that seems to be the logic behind the newfound interest in bike rack design in cities throughout the country. I remember a time when parking your bike meant locking it to anything you might tie a dog to, but these days everyone seems to have an opinion on the right way to lock up your bike — and a lamp post or park bench just will not do. San Francisco-based architect David Baker (whose elegant, pleasantly weathered bike rack prototype is featured in DIY Urbanism: Testing the grounds for social change -- opening next Tuesday!), provides an excellent primer on bike rack design and implementation. Who knew that round tubes were more susceptible to pipe cutters?...

Why Are Our Roads Seeing Red?

News August 31, 2010
[Image courtesy of Streetsblog ] San Francisco has a problem with its roads. Since 1988, the average pavement condition of roads in San Francisco has declined 20%. No longer considered an essential city service to be paid for out of the City's General Fund, city officials are looking for new ways to pay for street repavement projects. They are also prioritizing street repairs based on how fundamental each road is to the overall system. With the current average PCI (pavement condition index) of San Francisco roads registering at 63 out of 100, we are in a troubling situation. Our roads are no longer considered "Good" (roads with scores of 70 and above). Instead they are dangerously close to "At risk" (roads at 57 and below). According to a report prepared by San Francisco's capital planning program, "San Francisco's street network as a whole is slightly below the threshold for preventive...

New Housing Affordability Index Now Includes Cost of Transportation

News August 25, 2010
While living in the suburbs often appears less expensive than living in the city, this is often not the case when factoring in transportation costs. The Center for Neighborhood Technology just released an expanded version of their housing and transportation index which provides a comprehensive view of neighborhood affordability. Unlike other affordability indices, the Housing and Transportation Affordability Index takes into account transportation costs associated with neighborhood design and location. Their website allows users to explore neighborhood-level data about housing and transportation prices which include information on auto ownership, transit use, and housing density that can help Americans make more informed decisions about where they want to live. [Map generated on H + T website comparing affordability in the Bay Area] The H + T Affordability Index is a product of a collaboration with the Center for Neighborhood Technology , Center for Transit Oriented Development and was developed as a...

Follow Our Work

Get the latest updates on Transportation projects and events.

Sign up for our email newsletters