These are my renderings of the “Seamless Transit Principles”, as developed by a coalition of Northern California Regional and San Francisco Bay Area non-profit groups so as to encourage and guide local, regional, and state decision-makers to pursue a seamlessly integrated, world-class transit system that works for all people.
These principles were formulated using the analysis and strategies identified in the SPUR 2015 report Seamless Transit: How to Make Bay Area Public Transit Function Like One Rational, Easy-to-Use System. I hope I can be forgiven the few editorial liberties taken in my copy of these basic principles authored by Seamless Bay Area.
#1: Run all Bay Area Transit as One Easy-to-Use System
Public transit must work as one seamless, connected, and convenient network across the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Getting around on the transit system must be as fast and easy as driving a car. Coordinated bus, rail, and ferry routes and schedules should encourage effortless transfers. Personally relevant, clear, cogent information, branding, and maps should make using transit simple and dignified.
#2: Put Travelers First
Travelers should feel comfortable when using transit and be treated like valued patrons. Public transit agencies must do more to listen to riders and continuously improve service. They must prioritize riders’ needs above all else, and overcome all operational, political and bureaucratic barriers to provide an excellent and seamless customer experience.
#3: Make Public Transportation Equitable and Accessible to All
People of all income levels, ages, abilities, genders, and backgrounds should have access to world-class public transit. People who are the most reliant on transit are best served by a universal, inclusive, regionally integrated, connected system that is used by all. People with limited means to pay for transit should be provided discounted fare with accountability.
#4: Commit to Simple, Fair, and AffordableTransit Pricing
Transit should provide good value for money. Fares across the region’s 27 public transit agencies must be aligned into a consistent, fair, and affordable system that encourages using transit for all types of travel and doesn’t punish riders for transferring. Passes offered should work across all transit agencies, and be made available to individuals, employers, and schools to promote transit use.
#5: Seamless Intermodal Connectivity
A person’s journey does not end when they get off a bus or exit a station. Excellent pedestrian, bicycle, and other pollution-free transportation options should seamlessly connect public transit to communities and destinations, supporting door-to-door trips that don’t require a car.
#6: Integrated Community and Transportation Service Planning
High-quality public transit should be at the heart of communities across the Bay Area. Transportation should be closely aligned with our region’s land use, promoting a connected network of transit-oriented, walkable communities that expands access to affordable housing and job opportunities, while reducing car travel and greenhouse gas emissions.
#7: Elevate the Priority of Need-based Reforms
A regionally integrated, world-class transit system won’t happen on its own — it will take leadership, unprecedented levels of cooperation, and changes to existing local, regional, and state policies. The cities, counties, public transit agencies, regional authorities, business leaders, advocacy groups and elected representatives of the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California “megaregion” must prioritize the broad public interest and urgently work together collaboratively to advance critical reforms. Our future depends on it!
Related Organization and Businesses . . .
Seamless Bay Area, SPUR, San Francisco Transit Riders, TransForm, Urban Habitat, Friends of CalTrain, Working Partnerships USA, Transport Oakland, TechEquity, TransitScreen