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Transit Task Force Focuses on Reliability, Fares, Safety

MTC hosts state panel
Mark Prado

The state’s Transit Transformation Task Force met today in San Francisco, discussing ways to improve ridership on buses, ferries and trains across California. 

Established by Senate Bill 125 and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in the transit recovery package as part of the 2023-24 state budget, the Task Force kicked off with a virtual meeting in December 2023 and meets in person every two months around the state. Today's meeting was hosted by MTC.

The Task Force is charged with developing policy recommendations to grow transit ridership, improve the transit experience for riders and address long-term operational funding needs throughout California.

"It is fitting that today's meeting is here in San Francisco in the Bay Area. Three of the main items today on the agenda: transit priority, fare integration, and mapping and wayfinding are three of the important accelerated elements that came out of the work that the Bay Area did through its Blue Ribbon Transit Task Force," said Alix Bockelman, MTC Chief Deputy Executive Director and member of the State Task Force. "Those are key ingredients of the Transformation Action Plan."

Increasing frequency and reliability through transit prioritization, fare coordination between agencies, service improvements related to coordinated scheduling, and safety and cleanliness on and around transit were among other topics discussed today by the Task Force.

"All those items are important to the ridership experience," said Mark Tollefson, Undersecretary of the California State Transportation Agency, who chaired the meeting.

The California State Transportation Agency will prepare a report of findings and policy recommendations based on the Task Force’s efforts and submit it to the Legislature by October 2025.

The 25-member panel represents state government, local agencies, academic institutions and advocacy organizations. Task Force members include:

  • Kome Ajise, Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments 
  • Rashidi Barnes, Chief Executive Officer, Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority Small Urban Transit Operator
  • Alix Bockelman, Chief Deputy Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Sharon Cooney, Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Large Urban Transit Operator, Multimodal Service
  • Ian Griffiths, Policy Director, Seamless Bay Area Transportation Advocacy Organization 
  • Amy Hance Deputy Director General Services, City of Clovis Local Government & Small Urban Transit Operator, Bus-only Service
  • James Lindsay, International Vice President, Amalgamated Transit Union Labor Organization 
  • Eli Lipmen, Executive Director, Move LA Transportation Advocacy Organization
  • Juan Matute, Deputy Director, UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies Academic Institution 
  • Kate Miller, Executive Director, Napa Valley Transportation Authority/Vine Transit Small Urban & Rural Transit Operator
  • Lorelle Moe-Luna, Multimodal Services Director, Riverside County Transportation Commission
  • Seamus Murphy, Executive Director, SF Bay Water Emergency Transportation Authority 
  • Laurel Paget-Seekins, Senior Policy Advocate for Transportation Justice, Public Advocates 
  • Michael Pimentel, Executive Director, California Transit Association Transportation Advocacy Organization
  • Robert Powers, General Manager, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) 
  • Carl Sedoryk, CEO, Monterey-Salinas Transit District Small Urban & Rural Transit Operator
  • David Sforza, Principal Consultant, Assembly Transportation Committee Tony Tavares Director, Caltrans
  • Laura Tolkoff, Transportation Policy Director & Interim Chief Policy Officer, SPUR Transportation Advocacy Organization
  • Mark Tollefson, Undersecretary, CalSTA 
  • Michael Turner, Executive Officer - Government Relations, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority 
  • Kari Watkins, Associate Professor, University of California at Davis
  • Mark Watts, Advocate, Transportation CA 
  •  Melissa White Principal Consultant, Senate Transportation Committee
  •  Jim Wunderman, President and CEO, Bay Area Council 

Agendas, meeting materials and other task force information are available on the CalSTA website's Senate Bill 125 Transit Program page.

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