Basic Organization Information
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- NTEE Category:
C Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification
C01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations
S Community Improvement, Capacity Building
S20 Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement
W Public, Society Benefit
W01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations
- Ruling Year:
- How This Organization Is Funded:
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation - $400,000
James Irvine Foundation - $300,000
Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA) - $820,000
TransForm works to create world-class public transportation and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond. We build diverse coalitions, influence policy and develop innovative programs to improve the lives of all people and protect the environment.
TransForm believes that: 1. All people deserve affordable, safe, and easy access to jobs, services, and nature on foot, bicycle, or public transportation; 2. People should play a central role in shaping and transforming the future of their communities; 3. Communities can become healthier and more vibrant while also nurturing the diversity and inclusion of existing residents, rather than causing displacement; 4. Growth should be directed towards existing developed areas, not our precious remaining open space; 5. We can only achieve our mission by working with people from a wide range of backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives.
Stuart Cohen is co-founder and Executive Director of TransForm. By combining high-quality policy analysis with coalition building and strategic media efforts, TransForm has become a powerful and effective voice for world class transit and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond.
When I helped establish TransForm back in 1997, there was no way of knowing our work would gain so much momentum over the years. Yet the reasons our mission matters more than ever are tragic ones: our climate is in crisis, we’re suffering from shocking rates of obesity-related diseases and inequities based on income and race continue to grow.
Sweeping changes are possible, though. In fact, we’ve already made incredible strides over the past decade. TransForm, working with a diverse range of partners, has won literally billions of dollars and groundbreaking policies in support of public transportation, smart growth, affordable housing and bicycle/pedestrian safety in the Bay Area. TransForm has initiated innovative programs that are involving a huge range of people in local land use decisions and embracing transportation choices. We continue to work toward world-class public transportation and walkable communities in the Bay Area, and have expanded our role at the state level, where we are bringing together a range of stakeholders to develop and work towards a vision for sustainable, equitable transportation in California. TransForm also continues to help lead ClimatePlan, a network of organizations ensuring that California’s landmark smart growth law, SB 375, ushers in an era of smarter growth. The stakes have never been higher, nor the window of opportunity wider. I’m confident that together we can make the Bay Area and California a beacon of livability, sustainability, and equity.
Board of Directors
Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation
Highest Paid Employee data is not available for this organization.
Public, Society Benefit
- Population Served:
Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) is a proven, comprehensive program to encourage more children to walk and bike to school and beyond. SR2S reduces traffic around schools, improves air quality, saves families money, fosters a stronger sense of community, and most importantly, increases physical activity. Walking and bicycling to school can provide an important part of the hour per day of exercise children need. GreenTRIP is a certification made to overcome these barriers. The GreenTRIP process creates a focused dialog on what really makes a difference in attracting and encouraging lower driving lifestyles. During its first pilot project, GreenTRIP certified five projects in the San Francisco Bay Area – and the direct and indirect impacts are exceeding expectations. GreenTRIP certification has three requirements, and in the Bay Area the thresholds for those requirements vary by six “place types”.
Great communities are walkable, bikable places with good public transportation and a mix of housing, shops, offices, community facilities, and parks.
Abundant parks and sidewalks create spaces for kids to play. Foot traffic keeps local businesses bustling. People in all phases of life and income levels can have a place to call home. Everyone is more active and engaged in their communities, bringing life to the streets and reducing congestion.
We can make great communities come to life by involving a wide range of people in local land use planning processes.
That's because when planning involves the people impacted by new development, amazing things happen. New development doesn't just build houses, condos, and apartments. It creates space for parks, libraries, childcare, and health facilities. It supports local businesses and diversity. It builds community in the truest sense of the word. And together, great communities make the entire region more sustainable and livable.
In comes the Great Communities Collaborative. Over 50 cities in the San Francisco Bay Area have identified areas where they plan to refocus growth around public transportation stations and existing downtowns. Meanwhile, dozens of new rails stations and Bus Rapid Transit corridors will open over the next decade. Together, these opportunities offer a chance to significantly shape land use planning and achieve countless local and regional benefits.
The Great Communities Collaborative was established to make the most of these opportunities by engaging people - particularly low-income people and people of color - in local land use planning so they can shape future growth and create great communities.
TransForm coordinates the Great Communities Collaborative, which includes Greenbelt Alliance, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, Reconnecting America, Urban Habitat, San Francisco Foundation and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and numerous local groups. These groups work in key locations around the Bay Area. For more information, visit http://greatcommunities.org.
Using a blend of community engagement, policy development and coalition building, TransForm has helped shape and pass funding measures that have allocated literally billions of dollars in support of public transportation, smart growth, affordable housing and bicycle/pedestrian safety. These included transportation measures in Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties, as well as a leading role in developing and helping to pass Regional Measure 2, a one-dollar bridge toll increase to fund public transit that was ultimately approved by voters in 2004.
To realize our vision, TransForm is focused on achieving world-class public transportation in the Bay Area and providing state-level leadership on transportation and land use. By achieving world-class transportation in the Bay Area, we can realize the following outcomes by 2035:
Transit ridership will double to 12% (3.5 million daily trips);
Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation will drop below 1990 levels and our air will be healthier to breathe with 45% fewer coarse particulates thanks to reduced per capita driving, cleaner cars and better fuels;
Low-income families will be able to reach over 80% more jobs within a 30-minute transit trip, and reduce their combined transportation and housing costs by 10%.
Through state-level leadership on transportation and land use, we can realize the following outcomes by 2035:
Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation have been reduced by almost 50%, allowing California to meet its overall reduction goals and putting the state on track for an 80% reduction by 2050.
State policies creating a healthier state, including expanded funding for public transportation, walking and bicycling
California’s working families spend 10% less of their household income on transportation and housing costs.
For more information abour our regional and state world class transit work and strategies, visit www.TransFormCA.org(http://www.transformca.org/) .
From the climate crisis to the economic crisis, California stands at a pivotal moment in our history. These challenges make it clear that California must change how we plan for future growth. The passage of SB 375 in 2008 created an opportunity for California communities to provide a better range of housing and transportation choices while reducing harmful emissions.ClimatePlan, a network of leading non-profit organizations in California, is committed to taking advantage of this window of opportunity.
Program Long-Term Success:
1) Served Served over 25,000 students at public schools in Alameda County. 2) Brought educational assemblies on pedestrian and bicycle safety to over 20,000 students at more than 25 schools in Alameda County. 3) Provided bicycle safety trainings to over 1,000 students. 4) Conducted audits of the areas surrounding 10 schools in order to determine what types of safety improvements were needed for children. 5) Led the way as an urban SRS2 model and spurred the MTC to allocate $17 million to bring Safe Routes programs to each Bay Area County.
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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit
By combining high-quality policy analysis with coalition building and strategic media efforts, TransForm has become a powerful voice for world class transit and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond. TransForm is based in Oakland, California and has two satellite offices in Sacramento and San Jose to focus on reforming state transportation policy and implementing several key South Bay transportation programs, respectively.
TransForm co-founded and fiscally sponsors the Great Communities Collaborative. Made up of five regional non-profits, two community foundations, and over 20 community organizations, the Collaborative is engaging Bay Area communities in planning for sustainable, equitable development near transit. In 2007, TransForm co-founded ClimatePlan, a statewide network promoting smart land use and transportation as critical components of California's climate strategy. TransForm is now hosting Transportation for America’s (T4A) California Coordinator (T4A is a national coalition to transform and reform federal transportation policy.)
TransForm also coordinates the Safe Routes to Schools Alameda County Partnership, which is now in 70 schools in the county. Its proven approach to getting more kids walking and biking safely to school is leading the way as an urban SR2S model. TravelChoice provides residents with tailored transportation information about their transit, walking and bicycling options, and TravelChoice New Residents is expanding this approach by creating a more intensive program focused on residents of new transit-oriented developments. In addition, TransForm launched GreenTRIP: the Traffic Reduction and Innovative Parking Program in 2008, which certifies and promotes new transit-oriented developments with exemplary programs promoting the use of alternative transportation and reducing excessive parking. Given the transformative nature of GreenTRIP, TransForm and its Executive Director were honored to receive a prestigious Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
TransForm is recognized nationally, with awards from Senator Barbara Boxer, former State Senator Don Perata, the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the California Association of Nonprofits, and others. TransForm was named a top Bay Area nonprofit organization working on climate change by Philantropedia in April 2010.
Expert Reviews and Comments
Evidence of Impact
TransForm has advanced more sustainable land use and transportation policies in the Bay Area. They took on the Bay Area's transportation funding blueprint, and won millions of dollars for public transportation. They helped pass the $1 bridge toll increase to fund transit. They played an influential role in AB32 and SB375, and their GreenTRIP and Safe Routes to School programs has demonstrated quantified, impressive results.
Experts agree that TransForm has a truly outstanding Executive Director and equally impressive staff working for the organization. The organization is able to translate complicated policy issues into language that everyone can understand. They are great advocates and successful coalition builders.
Areas for Improvement
Some experts believe TransForm should stay focused on their main efforts while others believe they should be bolder and more ambitious in their work, expanding regionally and trying to impact state policy, as well as think more about social justice goals. In order to accomplish this, they will have to develop their staff more.