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.
Executive Director and President
Deputy Director of Organizational Development
Jo Ann Prompongsatorn Farrant
436 14th Street Suite 600
Oakland, CA 94612 USA
transform, public transportation, bay area, walkable communities
Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)
Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)
Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)
Programs + Results
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What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
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World Class Transportation - Regional
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. This includes ensuring Plan Bay Area, our regional transportation and land use planning blueprint, brings more affordable, walkable communities to the Bay Area while reducing greenhouse gas pollution and meeting other equity, health, and safety targets.
GreenTRIP is an innovative certification program that rewards multi-family, mixed-use projects that apply comprehensive strategies to reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions. Projects meeting GreenTRIP certification criteria provide appropriate amounts of parking and incentives for new residents to drive less and own fewer vehicles. By creating less driving and using less land for parking spaces, there’s space freed up for services, shops and more affordable homes.
As people move into GreenTRIP-certified developments, we are predicting impressive environmental and social outcomes including dramatically fewer miles of driving per day than the regional average, lower car ownership rates, and a new definition of affordable living that bring families savings on car ownership, free transit and carshare memberships. The first five GreenTRIP projects led to developers voluntarily offering to provide of 80,000 years of free transit passes and 24,000 years of CarShare for residents of GreenTRIP buildings.
Our new GreenTRIP Connect initiative will provide groundbreaking tools, data, and community engagement to overcome some of the greatest obstacles to well-designed development near transit such as requirements for excessive parking. The goal is to dramatically increase the supply of homes affordable to all incomes, pair those with free transit passes, car-sharing and more to create a new paradigm of affordable, low-carbon development.
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General
Great Communities Collaborative
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.
Safe Routes to Schools Alameda County
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.
TransForm continues to lead the school-based programming for one of the largest and most successful Safe Routes to Schools programs in the country, now serving close to tens of thousands of students at 100 public schools. To learn about the Program, go to the official website at http://www.alamedacountysr2s.org/.
We offer tailor-made trainings and consulting services with experts who have successfully worked in all kinds of elementary and middle schools. We also provide ready to use materials, templates, and curriculum. Trainings and consulting are offered on a fee-for-service basis.
TransForm's Safe Routes to Schools Director Nora Cody has trained and mentored many nearby Safe Routes to Schools efforts, including in San Francisco, Contra Costa County, Humboldt County, Sonoma County, and San Mateo counties.
The Safe Routes to Schools Program is funded in part with a major grant from Measure B (Alameda County's half-cent transportation sales tax) administered by ACTC.
Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)
Where we workNew!
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TransForm's theory of change is grounded in the connections between our work at the local, regional, and state levels.
Theory of ChangeThe local level is where we can test out innovation solutions to overcome some of the most challenging barriers to creating more affordable places with abundant transportation choices. The local level is also the best place entry point for people to engage in transportation issues and community planning.
This feeds into the regional level, where we can link transit, housing, and jobs in a systemic way – and win policies and funding to bring successful innovations to scale.
At the state level, we can spread proven solutions, plus the supportive policies and sufficient funding needed for all regions to actually be able to make change.
Between all levels and often through diverse coalitions, we connect local advocates and regional leaders to work together to win!
Engaging Communities in Planning: We believe people should play a central role in shaping the future of their communities, especially disadvantaged communities who are most impacted by changes.
Whether we are directly organizing at the grassroots or working with partners at the regional level, we make sure that planning genuinely and deeply involves residents.
Bringing Innovative Programs to Life: We're developing – and spreading – new solutions to some of the most challenging barriers to creating more affordable places with abundant transportation choices.
Some highlights are GreenTRIP's innovative approach to getting new developments to reduce traffic, plus our model urban-focused program that's getting thousands of kids walking and biking to school.
Winning Policy Change: There are hundreds of decisions that together determine our transportation choices and what our communities are like.
That's why TransForm works in the Bay Area and at the state level to transform laws, funding decisions, and planning processes. Check out some of the reports that have shaped our approach.
TransForm was founded in 1997 by Bay Area environmental and social justice groups that recognized the region was at a critical point in time. Public transportation was being bled dry while more highway projects got the green light. Bulldozers were carving up remaining open spaces and farms. Huge numbers of people – especially low-income families – were moving in pursuit of affordable places to live only to have grueling, costly commutes. For those on foot, bicycle, or using a wheelchair, it was getting far too dangerous.
The time had come to turn the tide on sprawl, and redefine transportation in terms of access, health, justice, and sustainability. In the years since TransForm's founding and often working closely with the founding groups, TransForm has won literally billions of dollars and groundbreaking policies in support of public transportation, smart growth, affordable housing, and bicycle/pedestrian safety.
TransForm seeks to make the Bay Area a model region, but also works across California to spread solutions plus win big changes in state funding and policy. TransForm opened an office in Sacramento in 2009.
TransForm's work is focused on four key impact areas:
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Reducing the combined cost of housing and transportation
Increasing the rates and safety of walking and bicycling
Increasing access to jobs via public transportation
For each measure, TransForm focuses on reducing inequalities. For example, we want to see bicycle and pedestrian safety improved in all communities. But as importantly, we want to eliminate the large disparities that currently exist since people of color, youth, and senior suffer disproportionately from higher rates of injuries and fatalities.
TransForm's impact measures help us evaluate what's working and what's not, and determine when and how to shift our approach and resources to have the greatest impact. While measuring impact is difficult, this effort is central to our success.
TransForm's work is widely recognized and includes awards from Senator Barbara Boxer, the American Lung Association, the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the California Association of Nonprofits, Public Advocates as a "Voice of Conscience", the American Planning Association of California, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, Breathe California, and others.
In 2013, TransForm's Executive Director Stuart Cohen received the prestigious James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for championing innovative regional planning.
TransForm was also honored by the U.S. Green Building Council - Northern California Chapter as a 2013 Green Building Super Hero for our work to advance sustainability through transportation and community planning.
TransForm is ranked one of the top ten climate change-related nonprofits in the Bay Area by Philanthropedia's experts.
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
Board of Directors
as of 12/2/2016
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Term: Dec 2014 - Nov 2015
Year of No Flying
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy
Senior Health Policy Consultant
Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy
Kittleson and Associates
Marketing Operations Manager
Director of Policy & Planning
City of San Jose Department of Housing
Outreach and Communications Manager
Bay Area Bike Share
Council of Infill Builders; Managing Partner, Sustainable Communities Partners LLC
Chief Program Officer
International Council on Clean Transportation
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
Senior Manager for Policy, Planning, & Equity
San Mateo County Health System
Jim Joseph Foundation
Real Estate Consultant
Nor Cal Community Loan Fund
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board Leadership Practices
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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION
Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY
Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?
In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members and Volunteers.
This organization reports that it does not collect this information.