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News Release

Rail~Volution 2016 Conference Comes to San Francisco Bay Area in October

75 sessions and 22 mobile workshops focus on building livable communities with transit
Dan Bartholomay, Chief Executive Officer, Rail~Volution,, 612-486-5610 (office), 612-419-3305 (mobile)

Local Contact: Brenda Kahn, Senior Public Information Officer,, 415-778-6773 office, 510-207-4294 cell

Note to Media: Conference sessions are open free of charge to members of the media; limited space in mobile workshops will be available to the media on a first-come, first-served basis. To request entry, fill out the online media application at:

SAN FRANCISCO — Calling all city planners, elected officials, transportation wonks, housing advocates, environmentalists and urban enthusiasts: A Rail~Volution is coming to the San Francisco Bay Area next month, in the form of a conference on building livable communities with transit. Rail~Volution 2016 will be held October 9-12, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, located in S.F. at 5 Embarcadero, with additional workshops and events around the region.

This pathbreaking conference brings together thought leaders and innovators to discuss the relationship between public transit and land-use, examine best practices in transit-oriented development, and look at how to maintain diversity and inclusion in the face of a changing urban landscape. With 22 mobile workshops and over 75 thought-provoking presentation and discussion sessions, the conference goes beyond the traditional sit-and-listen experience. Workshops will focus on such topics as “Anti-Displacement: Tools for Preserving Affordability Near Transit,” “Hot Topics in Streetcar Systems” and “All Hail Car Sharing! Shared Use Mobility From an Environmental Perspective.” Other sessions include “Two Wheels Are Better Than Four: Expanding Your Network Through Bicycle Connectivity” and “Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Smorgasbord: Three Cities Dish on Their BRT Experiences.”

Conference goers will have the opportunity to tour new projects such as San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center — billed as the Grand Central Station of the West and rising in the heart of the city’s SoMa neighborhood — as well as the newest BART regional rail extensions, San Francisco’s under-construction Central Subway and the soon-to-open Sonoma Marin Area Transit system (SMART). This year’s Rail~Volution conference also provides the opportunity to explore a variety of successful transit-centric land-use projects and hear from noted French experts regarding high-speed rail (HSR) station-area planning. With some of the Mobile Workshops already selling out, potential attendees are encouraged to sign up for the conference soon.

Conference goers will also hear from a number of Bay Area government officials, including San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; Metropolitan Transportation Commission Executive Director Steve Heminger; Ed Reiskin, director of transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees Muni; and BART General Manager Grace Crunican. Other local speakers include Kim Mai Cutler, a technology journalist and columnist for TechCrunch, known for her work covering the intersection of the technology industry with broader Bay Area cultural and political issues; Carole Galante, professor and faculty director at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley; Amie Fishman, executive director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California; and Nancy Andrews, president of the Low Income Investment Fund. U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (3rd District-Oregon), considered Congress’ chief spokesperson for livable communities, will also be on hand. See below for a list of other nationally prominent speakers.

There will be numerous networking opportunities throughout the conference, including a welcome reception at the historic Fox Theater in Oakland, and Rail~Volution’s popular and fast-moving 20x20 Pecha Kucha Slam, in which each presenter dishes up 20 slides in rapid succession, giving each slide a 20-second explanation.

This year, Rail~Volution will wrap up on Wednesday, October 12, with a “California Day” focused on the California High-Speed Rail project. Open to the public for a fee, the interactive session will look at the project from an international perspective, and feature HSR experts from France who will offer their insights on how U.S. communities might think bigger and more holistically about their investments in large-scale transportation projects.

With a motto of “Building Livable Communities With Transit,” the Rail~Volution organization has been in existence for over 20 years and has become a well-respected resource for public, private and non-profit leaders interested in promoting transit, smart land-use and transit-oriented development. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

For more information and to register, visit:

For those interested in only registering for the Wednesday, October 12, California Day plenary, visit:




National figures appearing at the Rail~Volution conference:

  • U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (3rd District-Oregon), considered Congress’ chief spokesperson for livable communities
  • Richard White, acting president and CEO of the American Public Transit Association
  • Lindy Hahn, executive director of Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley in New York
  • Scot Spencer, associate director of advocacy and influence at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization dedicated to building better futures for disadvantaged children
  • Phillip Washington, CEO of Los Angeles Metro
  • Shelley Poticha, director of Urban Solutions at the Natural Resources Defense Council