I have an extensive background in bus transportation services which can be used to help achieve the objective to improve the transit services provided to our area. I am also committed to supporting alternative modes of transportation which include transit, bicycling, and walking and I’d like to see us reduce our Greenhouse Gases to help achieve our air quality goals. The latest studies have shown that while overall, we’ve done better and met some of our climate goals, transportation is way behind. We need to do better. I think I’ve shown that I support these objectives by applying for and being appointed to the Fremont Mobility Task Force, by being a member of the Alameda County Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee as AC Transit’s representative, and by volunteering and trying to help Safe Routes to School programs. I walk the talk and am motivated to make a difference for Ward 5.
What can AC Transit do to move them towards a zero-emission fleet to help California meet its clean air target?
Although transportation is still a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in California. AC Transit was the first transit agency to join the California Climate Action Registry and has been named a “Climate Action Leader.” They have long been a statewide and national leader in developing and deploying hydrogen fuel-cell technology for its bus fleet. Expansion of on-site hydrogen production and fueling capacity is needed and the existing hydrogen bus program should also be expanded. They need to move to zero-emission fleets for maintenance and company pool vehicles as well. The biggest problem is lack of funding for new equipment, which is seriously threatened by lack of federal support.
How could AC Transit better coordinate services with other transit agencies to provide a better service to the community?
There should be working groups among the agencies to better coordinate services. As a person who took transit for 11 years from Fremont to San Carlos I know firsthand the difficulties the passengers face when they need to ride multiple systems. We should also have more interagency work teams to partner on common issues.
We need to provide frequent and reliable services to get choice riders. This includes both the riders within our area as well as the riders who just commute through our cities to go to other counties. If we worked with other agencies to provide a seamless and affordable transit option for commuters I think we could capture some of those choice riders. And once people try the Transbay Service they tend to stay with it as shown by the increase of riders after the BART strike. I also think we need to partner with housing complexes to offer transit to their homeowners and keep the cars in the garage.
AC Transit needs to address some of the challenges that keep the community from riding transit such as frequency, reliability, and availability. Public transit has an issue with getting people to where they want to go once they get off the bus. First mile/last mile issues are a roadblock to transit. I’d like to see AC Transit work more with other companies to offer solutions to those first mile/last mile issues. We also need more information on the origin and destination of the passengers. We need to understand where our patrons need to go and work together to insure a seamless travel experience.
School transportation service is a big issue that needs to be addressed. We need to partner with others to insure our youth are getting to school reliably and safely. We should also get more children walking and riding their bicycles to school so that we don’t have as much school car service. Safe Routes to Schools needs to be in every school and supported appropriately. In addition, we need to partner with more employers who support having their employees ride transit. If the employers support it, the employees will take it. I also believe that we need to look at a regional transportation plan to allow people access to affordable and reliable transit across county borders. And we need to insure a safe system both for the riders and the employees.
1 – Funding: I will work with legislators, ACTC and MTC to secure funding. SB1 provides that source of steady funding so we must oppose Proposition 6
2 – TNCs: Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft are taking away our riders. We need to be creative by exploring other forms of transit delivery like Flex service or by partnering with them for the first and last mile where AC Transit doesn’t provide the service.
3 – Customer Information: We need to have a robust IT system so riders have access to the data they need, when they need it, and can rely on the accuracy of the information such as for Nextbus.
4 – Workers Welfare: The safety for drivers and supervisors, accessible bathrooms for drivers, good compensation and long-term benefits. These are employee welfare issues which need to be addressed by working with the unions to identify acceptable solutions. Things such as changes to policies, or additions to their physical environment or training to help mitigate potential issues.