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

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Updates and Events

T4A: Create Jobs by Investing in Transportation

News February 19, 2010
Public transportation gets millions of Americans to and from their jobs every day. Transportation for America , a national public-transit and smart-growth advocacy organization, thinks investing in our transportation sector can create jobs as well. In response to the jobs bill now working its way through the Senate , which would largely offer tax cuts to small businesses, T4A has proposed instead that funding be put toward projects such as: $16 billion for transit $8.1 billion for the Surface Transportation Program (highways) $9.8 billion for competitive grants, such as TIGER grants $1.5 billion for bike and pedestrian facilities to make walking and biking safer and more attractive. The non-partisan Economic Policy Institute agrees that the T4A plan would be effective . EPI has stated that such projects would spur significant job creation, particularly among the economically disadvantaged and those without higher education. As Bay Area transit-and-smart-growth advocate TransForm recently reported,...

Despite Recession, Cycling Sees Dramatic Increase in SF

News February 3, 2010
The recession has caused both private auto and public transit use to fall in the past couple of years, both in San Francisco and throughout the country, as travelers cut out superfluous trips to save money and those who have lost their jobs simply do not have anywhere to go. Yet one mode of transportation in SF has shown massive mode-share gains over the same period: bicycle ridership in San Francisco increased 8.3% from 2008 to 2009 , the MTA reports. During this same period, recession pressure has seen bicycle use stay flat or even fall, even in bicycle-friendly cities like Portland . This increase extends a trend that has seen SF ridership increase 53% from 2006 to 2009. Not only is bicycle use up, but so is support for bicycle advocacy efforts: in the past year, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has seen its membership rise 15%, to more...

Learning From Muni

Urbanist Article February 1, 2010
While there are lessons both good and bad that other cities might draw from Muni and its parent organization, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, a few recent highlights may be most noteworthy.

Woe is Parking.

News January 20, 2010
As someone who has lived in this city for virtually my entire life, there is one thing I know for sure – parking is a pain. Were I to calculate the total time I’ve wasted cruising for a parking space or the total amount of money I’ve spent in parking tickets, I might go insane. However, we are not just losing our time, money, and sanity in this parking climate. We are also increasing traffic congestion and, in the process, greenhouse gas emissions . But how can we fix this conundrum? [Image: Colleen McHugh ] Last Thursday’s lunchtime forum addressed the Parking Problem on a regional scale and proposed parking reform strategies aimed at alleviating this issue as well as at incentivizing other forms of transit. Valerie Knepper from the MTC addressed the strong need for innovative regional reform. Among the current regional parking flaws, Valerie noted a number of...

Learning from Metrorail

Urbanist Article January 6, 2010
The Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority developed their respective regional transit systems around the same time, and toward similar aims. Both were conceived in the 1940s to complement new highways and underwent construction in the 1960s as opposition to those highways began to mount. BART began operation in 1972, and has grown to 104 track miles; Metrorail began operation in 1976 and now has 106 track miles. But that’s where the similarities end. Metrorail has more than 700,000 riders per day while BART has fewer than 400,000: it’s clear WMATA has achieved a level of usability that BART has not. Why the difference? For starters, Metrorail does a better job of getting people to and from D.C.’s downtown area. With 86 stations, it has twice as many stops as BART (at 43) — Metrorail stations are also better situated, in more easily accessible...

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