Accessible Public Transportation for All

Dr. Jennifer Tran for Congress CA-12 on the Issues

What’s the challenge:

Public transit is not only a more climate-friendly method of transportation, when accessible and reliable, it can be a more equitable mobility solution that connects individuals to jobs and education. The Bay Area Rapid Transit, which saw almost 400,000 riders daily pre-pandemic and is currently down to 100-150,000 riders a day, needs our help as it struggles to modernize and improve safety and reliability. We need lawmakers in office who will work to improve public transit systems, like the BART, so we can reinvest in our communities.

What our community deserves:

  • Reliable, safe, and clean public transit that is affordable and accessible to all.
  • Less fuel-dependent and car-reliant means of transportation in order to reduce carbon emissions and have more walkable communities.
  • Bolstered public transportation that serves as a proof point to the rest of the world that a sustainable and accessible society working on reducing carbon emissions is possible.

Dr Tran’s Plan for Public Transit

Get Federal Investment in Public Transportation

…currently they only funds a small portion of the public transit system across the country, and this lack of investment shows.

Address the Homelessness Epidemic

…our housing crisis has led to our public transit being utilized as makeshift shelters, by addressing this need we can improve safety and cleanliness on the BART.

Support Private + Public Partnerships

…by partnering with private companies in we can create faster, better solutions to the problems we’re facing with public transit and best serve our community.

How has Dr. Tran served here before?

  • Advocacy – Alameda Country Transit (AC Transit)
    I’ve been a community advocate at the local level with the Alameda County Transit system, so I’ve got some first-hand knowledge of the challenges of our community and of the public transit system.
  • Public-Private Collaboration for Housing Solutions
    I’ve worked to bring together private companies and public resources in order to solve problems facing our community such as in relocating unhoused communities into temporary housing
  • Wrap-Around Services for Unhoused Communities
    In my private + public partnerships, I’ve engaged with developers, realtors, and the community development not-for-profit organizations to explore innovative solutions to provide wrap-around services for unhoused communities

Accessible Public Transit For All:

Policy Details + Additional Resources

Invest in Public Transportation at the Federal Level, including supporting the Green New Deal

I will work to pass legislation in Congress that dedicates federal funding to the public transit system. I stand by the organizations that have put forward the Green New Deal for transportation and I am hopeful that during my time in Congress I can work with stakeholders such as these to advocate for an increase in funding for trains and buses. As the Green New Deal for transportation states, the federal government has a responsibility to its people to provide accessible and affordable modes of transportation.

The level of funding going toward improving our public transit system is not enough and I will work with stakeholders to ensure the government is accurately reinvesting in our infrastructure. As a lifelong resident of the East Bay, I know how important the BART is to our community.  I will be an advocate for working people like you who need public transportation in order to provide for your families. I know we cannot afford to sit around and wait for the BART to improve its conditions, instead I will actively work to revitalize it.

What informed our plan?

Address the homelessness epidemic in the public transit system

The Bay Area Rapid Transit has taken some efforts to address the increasingly harmful homelessness problem on their trains. They have released the Homeless Action Plan in order to improve riders’ experiences on the train system and to give aid to the homeless population. The plan includes, “building regional partnerships and developing internal capacity within the BART Police Department through the creation of Progressive Policing and Community Engagement Bureau, and the hiring of Crisis Intervention Specialists and Transit Ambassadors…BART will look to integrate itself in regional conversations and attempt to leverage multi-jurisdictional networks and partnerships to fill gaps in data, prevention, outreach, navigation, shelter, and housing.

BART will also lead homelessness efforts around a transit coalition to provide needed advocacy at the federal, state, and regional level to address funding for transit homelessness.”  I would work with regional stakeholders to improve the transit system for all communities of people, collaborating with anti-homeless advocacy groups. While it has been reported that a majority of people are nervous about their employees taking the BART because of public safety concerns, I do not believe that the answer to this problem is to give more funding to law enforcement. Because of the long history of police brutality toward low-income people, mentally ill people, and people of color, I am weary when it comes to over-policing areas like the BART, where a lot of these people find shelter. I would instead bolster our mental health services, employing mental health professionals to respond to incidents on the BART so that we are not responsible for an increase in police violence and over-incarceration. Finally, I would work with affordable housing advocates so that we can provide aid in helping the homeless locate and access affordable housing.

What informed our plan?

Support private/public partnerships for public transit to modernize public transportation technology, experience, and accessibility

The BART is failing Californians and investing funds alone is not an adequate solution to solve the myriad of issues facing our public transit system. We must acknowledge the lack of technical resourcing and expertise that faces the BART employees, giving them more money does not make them more equipped to use that money to drive impact. 

Instead, we should explore private/public partnerships with the wealth of technological giants in the East Bay that can support operating, modernizing, and improving our public transit systems. Public private partnerships for mass transit have a long history, and are most recently being implemented in cities like London, Helsinki, and Los Angeles. 

Private companies like Uber are already competing against our public services to offer transit options for our community. Rather than work against each other, why not enter into a mutually beneficial relationship that takes advantage of their technical knowledge and resources with the oversight and consumer protections of the local and federal government?

What informed our plan?

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