August 16, 2017

Dumbarton Corridor Study Released

SamTrans has concluded their feasibility study of the Dumbarton Corridor to identify short-and long-term strategies that reduce traffic congestion and improve mobility between Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The study examines potential solutions to address both congestion on the Dumbarton Bridge (Highway 84) and connecting roadways, as well as the rehabilitation and repurposing of the Dumbarton rail bridge to the south.

The study, community meeting dates and other important information can be found here.

August 15, 2017

Dumbarton Rail Project Gains Momentum

The Dumbarton Rail Corridor is the missing link in a mega-regional transportation system. Imagine getting from Sacramento to the Silicon Valley in 60 minutes. Is that possible? Check out the video below to learn more about this project that's got people talking.

August 14, 2017

Proposed Dumbarton Rail Bridge Could Be the First Transbay Rail Crossing Since BART Tube

FOR ROUGHLY TWO decades, transportation planners and local leaders have advocated for a rail crossing along the Dumbarton Bridge corridor that would connect Caltrain in the South Bay to the Altamont Corridor Express and Capitol Corridor in the East Bay.

And for roughly two decades, the idea has gathered dust.

But a Facebook-funded and SamTrans-led study set to be released Tuesday is again floating the idea of a southern rail crossing, and local leaders are hopeful that this time, the project's fate will be different.

Read the entire article in the Mercury News authored by Erin Baldassari.

August 5, 2017

Transforming Cities and Regions into Livable Places

For over 20 years, Rail-Volution has been the place to engage in thoughtful discussions with change makers and influencers, the place to share ideas and breakthroughs frustrations and inspiration, about building livable communities with transit.

The annual conference, place-based events and online resource library showcase how land use, transportation and development can transform communities into livable places - healthy, economically vibrant, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable.

Why should you attend this conference? Watch the short video below.

August 4, 2017

New Rail Across The Bay

SamTrans officials in San Mateo County released recommendations for improvements to the Dumbarton Corridor - both the auto bridge as well as the rail crossing. (The detailed analysis of this proposal won't be released until August 15).

The three phased project will not only address the access issues and congestion on both sides of the bridge, but it also serves as the missing link in connecting residents in the East Bay, Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley to jobs right here in the heart of Silicon Valley,

I want to make it abundantly clear to the residents of the 4th District, many of whom will be impacted by this project that I will listen to your concerns and work to make this a win win for my constituents and people in the larger region.

We can do this - the improvements to the auto and rail bridges are vitally important for the economic and environmental health of our region.

Think big and embrace this bold vision for our future.

Read the article in the San Mateo Daily Journal by Samantha Weigel.

August 2, 2017

Exciting Job Opportunity

The San Mateo County Transit District has an exciting employment opportunity. If you love transportation issues, this might be the perfect assignment for you.

The opening is for a Deputy Chief Executive Officer. SamTrans is looking for a dynamic and strategic individual to work to provide highly responsible and complex assistance and support to the General Manager/CEO in the direction and day-to-day management for all three agencies, SamTrans, Caltrain and the Transit Authority and leadership of the Executive Team.

The first review cut-off is Friday, August 18, 2017. Apply immediately.

Take a closer look at the recruitment information.

August 1, 2017

We're Talking Affordable Housing on Peninsula Television

The Game - 242 - Supervisors Slocum and Horsley from Peninsula TV on Vimeo.

The Lack of 
affordable housing on the Peninsula has reached a crisis point. More and more of our teachers, service workers and others are leaving the area due to the high cost of renting and owning a place to call home.

Consistently, Peninsula residents rank as their two greatest concerns, the shortage of housing and the abundance of traffic. For years, housing development in San Mateo County has not kept up with the thousands of new jobs added, and the problem has gotten worse in recent years. This job-housing gap drives up the cost of housing for homebuyers and renters alike, produces congestion and long commutes for workers, and forces our friends and family members to move away because they can no longer afford to live here.

Between 2010 and 2014, 54,600 new jobs were created in San Mateo County, while only 2,100 new housing unites were built.

While San Mateo County has allocated $42 million over the next two years to fund affordable housing projects, we won't build our way out of the housing crises with that investment. Rather we should view that money as a incremental step in addressing our dire situation.

President Don Horsley and I, as co-chairs of the "Closing the Jobs Housing Task Force" and more recently the county's "Home for All" initiative, sat down with Mark Simon and Kevin Mullin, to talk about San Mateo County's affordable housing crises.

July 31, 2017

Kids Need to Learn Coding

The Fair Oaks Library plays a vital role in the education of neighborhood children. Here they are having fun which learning how to do computer coding by making their own video games. Seems like all kids should have an introduction to programming at an early age.

Bill Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg agree that kids today should learn to code. Take a look at the testimonials on, a computer education nonprofit, that support the idea of kid coding. Basically, every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.

As important as computer coding is today in the job world, these kinds of learning experiences should be expanded at the Fair Oaks Library - and to all libraries for that matter.

July 30, 2017

Important Dumbarton Study To Be Released August 2

With Bay Area residents eager to address regional traffic problems, the San Mateo County Transit District is releasing a study about how to improve the oft-congested Dumbarton corridor.

The report funded by a $1.2 million donation from Menlo Park tech-giant Facebook will be released next week just as a negotiations over a regional transportation funding measure trickle through the Legislature.

SamTrans' Dumbarton Transportation Corridor Study considered a variety of short-,medium-and long-term improvements for the South Bay corridor spanning San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties. Ideas range from improving traffic signals to increasing express bus service and rehabilitating the unused rail bridge for a new train system.

"We looked at a myriad of possibilities and really compared them by looking at how much ridership we can potentially generate, which translates to them getting out of their cars," said April Chan, chief officer of planning and grants with the Transportation Authority.

The thrust of the study was driven in part by efforts to make use of the Dumbarton Rail Bridge, an aged structure owned by SamTrans immediately south of the car bridge Highway 84. It's a rare opportunity to create another east-west route in the environmentally-sensitive San Francisco Bay.

Continue reading the "Dumbarton Study Slated for Release" story by Samantha Weigel in the San Mateo Daily Journal >>

July 29, 2017

The Case for Dumbarton Rail

In early July, a poll of voters in the nine Bay Area Counties was released showing a solid majority would support up to a $3 increase in bridge tolls to pay for significant upgrades to our transportation system.

It is clear that voter's frustration with traffic has reached a breaking point. With the passage of Senate Bill 1 ($52 billion in state dollars), the potential for Regional Measure 3 (the bridge toll increase), a potential half-cent sales tax plan in San Mateo County, along with federal dollars, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a transportation network that will significantly ease our current traffic congestion and develop a long-range vision for the future.

Historically, our task here in San Mateo County was to figure out how to move people to San Francisco, which used to be the job center of the Bay Area. But patterns have changed over the last several decades and we have grown to the point of having close to 500,000 jobs on the Peninsula and South Bay. This reality forces us to seriously rethink the entire equation. With BART being extended in the East Bay to San Jose and a connection with Caltrain, we will effectively have rail around the bay. With the growing concentration of new jobs in southern San Mateo and Northern Santa Clara County, we need to expand our thinking and ambitions.

"Sacramento to Silicon Valley in one hour" is the vision I would like to promote. While this may be many years away from reality, I am convinced that with new technology and faster speeds it will be possible at some point. The reality today is that we must embrace the concept of a "mega-region" that includes the Bay Area, Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley. How do we connect these areas by rail and enable people to find more affordable housing and be able to get to work in a timely fashion?

The idea of Dumbarton Rail has been around for decades. It gained steam when SamTrans purchased the Dumbarton right of way, from Redwood City to the East Bay, an 11.5 mile stretch. This includes an abandoned rail bridge that has deteriorated over the years. The sticking point for rail has always been insufficient riders to justify this project. Currently, however, SamTrans is finalizing a study of the Dumbarton highway and rail corridor, scheduled to be released later this summer. I anticipate that new ridership numbers will begin to reflect the enormous job growth in the Peninsula and South Bay and the value of potential connections to BART, Capitol Corridor and ACE rail. Taken together, these connections could create the groundwork for the emerging mega-region.

Under this scenario, Dumbarton rail is the key missing link to seizing an historic opportunity to address our two most complex issues, traffic and access to affordable housing. In the months ahead, it is critical you stay tuned to this debate and make your voices heard. We need to get this right.