Frustrated by your commute? Have you abandoned weekend trips because of traffic and crowding? If so, you are not alone!
According to the Bay Area Council, bad traffic ranks as the region’s second largest problem behind high housing costs. In 2014, only 24% of us complained about traffic. As of June of this year, 64% of us complained of daily commutes that are taking longer and producing more frustration. This frustration is cumulative and with astronomic housing prices, homelessness, gentrification, and salaries lagging the cost of living, more people are preparing to leave. A BACPOLL conducted on June 3rd, found that 46 percent of voters are ready to leave the area in the next few years, up from 40 percent last year and 34 percent in 2016.
Millennials are leading the charge for the doors with 52 percent saying they will be seeking greener pastures in the next few years, up from 46 percent in 2017. Renters, people without college degrees and those spending 50 percent and more of their income on housing also want out. Consequences for the region could be catastrophic; the loss of teachers, laborers, police and firefighters are the most obvious. It would seem that the influx of huge numbers of tech workers has overburdened all public systems and infrastructure, in a very short time.
Public transportation projects take years if not decades to fund and build, yet the problem is NOW. What is being proposed by both the public and private sectors in the short term to mitigate the frustration of commuters? What would the easing of this frustration accomplish in terms of the threatened exodus of essential human resources? Our panel of experts will tackle these questions and offer concrete solutions.
Chuck Reed, Esq., Special Counsel at Hopkins Carley and past mayor of San Jose, CA
Winsome Bowen, Transportation and Mobility Manager at Facebook
Tim Chan, Group Manager Planning at BART
Jim Hartnett, CEO of CalTrain
Marlo Sandler, Senior Government Relations Manager at Bird