Contra Costa Air Quality

IMG_0431 Bike commuting– much safer and pleasant when there’s company. Photo credit: Walk Eagle Rock Los Angeles has been making headlines in recent years because of the region’s willingness to invest in alternatives to the automobile, particularly in bringing back an efficient and convenient train system. However, it now appears that another form of commuter train has been built… bike trains! What are bike trains? The founders of LA Bike Trains, the organization spearheading the concept, put together this concise explanation: We provide a rolling party along select routes run by Conductors – experienced urban cyclists – to harness the safety of riding in a group while kicking it up a notch by making the ride a fun social experience. ... Read the rest
Image credit: Lorraine Blanco The last BART strike occurred in 1997 and lasted 6 days. Here is a list of transportation resources during a continued BART strike. Getting Around KQED put together a great post of transportation alternatives listed by agency. Options ranging from carpooling, biking, taking the bus, ferries and trains are all covered. If you are driving, visit for traffic information. Visit for information getting to and from SFO and OAK.... Read the rest
Bike to Work Day at the Mid Market Energizer Station Bike to Work Day 2010 in San Francisco. Photo credit: Bay Area Fair Trade Coalition In an earlier post here at 511 Contra Costa we noted that commuter benefits for vanpooling and public transportation had been restored through the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (HR 8) to be on par with the qualified parking benefit For the 2013 calendar year: up to $245 per employee withholding per month for vanpool and all public transportation up to $245 per employee withholding per month for qualified parking, or up to $490 per employee withholding per month for both public transportation and qualified parking This is great news but how does one go about setting aside pre-tax income for a commute benefit?... Read the rest
Bikes on Bart Pilot Aug. 3, 2012 Bikes on BART during August’s “Bike Friday”. Photo Credit: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Remember when BART experimented with allowing bicycles on trains during Friday rush hour in August, known as “Bike Friday?” Following the mostly positive, encouraging feedback the agency received  during that test run BART is ready to try it again. A second phase of “bikes on board” testing will occur during the week of Monday, March 18 through Friday, March 22, 2012.... Read the rest
Proposed improvements would allow riders to board and exit on both sides of the train! Image via BART There’s been no shortage of BART news lately here at 511 Contra Costa– from improved signage, to new (and old) extensions under construction, to experiments with allowing bikes on during rush hour and of course BART’s 40th birthday. The latest word comes to us via the SF Gate– that BART is proposing rebuilding two of system’s busiest stations to include new tunnels, elevators and extra platforms that will accommodate projected capacity demands in the future.... Read the rest
Update: All passes have been distributed and Tri Delta Transit and 511 Contra Costa are no longer accepting applications for CommuterPass™. Do you commute from or within Eastern Contra Costa County by car? If you do, and you’d like some financial relief and a more relaxing commute, Tri Delta Transit’s CommuterPass promo may be for you! CommuterPass is a Tri Delta Transit trial program which offers free public bus passes to East Contra Costa County residents as a means of encouraging bus use for commuting.... Read the rest
Berkeley Bike Lane With S.B. 1339 passed, are you more likely to pedal as part of your commute? Photo credit:  Carrie Cizauskas In September 2012, Governor Brown passed into law S.B. 1339 – legislation that allows the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to implement a region-wide Bay Area commuter policy benefiting employees who work at least 20 hours per week for an employer with 50 or more full-time employees in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. ... Read the rest
Image credit: Prashanth dotcompals In the realm of Google Maps, there’s good news for transit users, and better news for bike users. First, the good news comes in an article by Jeremy Owens of the San Jose Mercury News titled “Google Maps mobile app’s transit offerings work great for novices, but hard-core Bay Area riders will want more”. Owens shares his experience with Google’s new transit app, finding some good in it: Google has added transit lines from hundreds of cities to Google Maps as of August, and its Bay Area offerings are extensive, including small services such as the Menlo Park Midday Shuttle.... Read the rest
a perfectly squared vision of the embarcadero Market Street, San Francisco. Photo credit: torbakhopper Head’s up! 511CC has a new commuter incentive program page! Learn how you can partake in the Drive Less Commuter Incentive Program and get a cash reward for switching from commuting in a single-occupant motor vehicle to carpooling, transit, bicycling or walking. Driving less really can help reduce environmental impacts and relieve traffic congestion for all, even if you only ditch the car once a week for your work commute.... Read the rest
Here’s the story of how biking regularly changed one Antioch man’s life. We hope it inspires you to reconsider your commute, participate in Bike to Work Day 2012, or nominate a bike commuter of the year. I was a bike rider in the 70s and then the 80s, but by 2006, like so many, I got a new job, married, a house and a collection of stress and a lack of time.... Read the rest