Contra Costa Air Quality

Bay Area Bike Share launch in San Jose CA Will the streets of the Bay Area soon be full with a sea of bike-share commuters cycling that last mile from BART to the workplace? Only time will tell. Photo credit: Richard Masoner The Bay Area is not new to transportation innovations. Last year, we celebrated four successful decades of the visionary commuter rail known as BART, which stills sees climbing ridership  and continues be seen as a model of sustainable transportation for the rest of the nation.... Read the rest
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
Gillig Suburban Inaugural 11.7.13 New AC Transit bus, the “Gillig Suburban,” offers riders free wifi. Photo credit: AC Transit In March AC Transit began phasing in a new line of buses built by Bay Area based company Gillig to replace some of the fleet’s older models. In August, AC Transit introduced the New Flyer 60’ articulated buses, which feature 52 seats (and additional room for standing) to handle demand along its most heavily traveled routes (click here to check out the specs of the bus).... Read the rest
A major update is in the works for Google’s Maps relative to transit directions could be very exciting. As noted on Human Transit, key changes are being made to Google’s transit directions, including: Offering alternatives based on frequency of transit lines Mapping other transit lines in the area along one’s route Accounting for lines whose paths duplicate service over a section of a trip Imagine using Google Maps for transit to map your transit trip.... Read the rest
Melbourne Bike Share - first day A bike-share dock in Melbourne, Australia. Photo credit: Gavin Anderson This past month you may have heard about New York City’s historic bike-share launch. New York’s bike-share program continues to incite enthusiasm and excitement, not just for the locals using the system, but for other cities interested in similar bike-share schemes. Here in California one can’t help but to wonder– when will the bike-friendly Bay Area get to enjoy bike-sharing?... 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
105 The new normal? A family bicycling on downtown Los Angeles’s green bike lane. Photo credit: Walk Eagle Rock The day is coming when we will no longer be able to pick on Los Angeles for its addiction to the automobile; the city known for its traffic jams and hostile streets has been reversing this image in its shifting transportation priorities. Take for example the video below released by the Mayor’s Office– “LA Back on Track“.... Read the rest
(If in doubt, check the DMV website.) With so many fuel efficient motor vehicles on the market these days it’s difficult to keep track of which has what special technology to help you save gas. However with notorious Bay Area traffic, perhaps more important to keep track of here– which ones qualify for use of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes by single occupant vehicles ? California law allows single-occupant use of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOVs) lanes by certain qualifying clean alternative fuel vehicles however  they require a Clean Air Vehicle Sticker issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.... Read the rest