VTA’s Incredible Shrinking Bus Ridership

A bus ridership crisis at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has publicly reared its head. Gary Richards of the San Jose Mercury News reports on how VTA bus ridership has dropped 23% since 2001. Richards’ report details highlights of a presentation from worldwide transit planner Jarrett Walker detailing solutions to the bus ridership […]

Durable Growth

What Blood Sweat and Tears can teach us about mixed-use

Mixed-use building in the Uptown neighborhood of Dallas

(Warning: Except for the last few links, the links in this post aren’t safe for work. It’s not language or nudity. It’s that most of the links go to music and some of those songs may be too loud for workplaces. Of course, you could turn […]


Governing Caltrain in the age of electrification

Image from SPUR.

Last week Tuesday at SPUR HQ in San Francisco, at an event co-sponsored by Friends of Caltrain, a set of international and regional experts discussed different scenarios for the governance of Caltrain in the age of electrification.

Electrifying Caltrain promises to create even stronger financial performance, with higher ridership […]


Caltrain’s platforms should match high-speed rail

by LA Wad, on Flickr

Caltrain is reinventing itself, transforming from a commuter rail line into a hybrid Metro/high-speed rail. Integral to this transformation is the otherwise mundane concern of platform height. Matching it to the standard of California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) is the only option that makes sense.


There are two basic […]


What’s in store for Capital Expressway?

The new Capital Expressway. Image by Richard Masoner.

San Jose wants to change its car-oriented ways, at least a bit, and transforming Capital Expressway from a 10-lane surface highway into a multi-modal transit corridor. With new VTA light rail, BRT, sidewalks, bike lanes, and a road diet, it seems there is a bright future […]


Caltrain service driven by data, not gut

Census distribution of jobs and population along Caltrain

The current operation of Caltrain is, to put it mildly, inefficient. With 35 separate station stopping patterns in the broad categories of Local, Express, and Baby Bullet, it is a confusing mess to the uninitiated.

There are a number of reasons for the mess, but Clem […]


Caltrain needs higher fares to expand service and reduce overcrowding

by Andrei Z, on Flickr

Caltrain is packed, and its ridership growth shows no sign of abating. Meanwhile, the Caltrain system is struggling to make ends meet, often threatening service cuts.

This is madness. A service so popular that it cannot bear all the passengers also cannot pay its own bills.

The solution is […]

Government, Transportation

Palo Alto’s parking debate has it backwards

by IK’s World Trip, on Flickr

To address an ongoing parking problem in downtown Palo Alto, that city’s councilmembers are pondering how to expand parking supply in the short and long-term. Unfortunately, the city is addressing the wrong problem. Rather than address issues of parking supply, the city needs to start to work on […]