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Public Transit Ridership Declines in Bay Area, ITS Study Finds

A study by the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA Luskin was featured in a Mercury News article on declining public transportation ridership in the Bay Area. Researchers found that transit ridership in the area fell 5.2% between 2016 and 2018. “Compared to the rest of the country, the Bay Area is doing better, but it is on the decline,” senior research manager Jacob Wasserman noted. The study found that ridership has declined on transit lines that do not serve major job hubs but remains strong in locations such as downtown San Francisco. Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing apps may be contributing to the decline, but the impact is difficult to determine because these companies do not share detailed ridership data, the researchers found. The forthcoming study, which was also featured on ABC and NBC television affiliates in the Bay Area, proposes lowering ticket prices during off-peak hours and building more housing near transit hubs to increase ridership.


 

Monkkonen on Affordable Housing in the Bay Area

Paavo Monkkonen, associate professor of urban planning and public policy, spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle about a new housing development in a wealthy Bay Area suburb. A multi-family housing development will be built in the city of Danville, creating 144 new units, 11 of which are to be set aside for affordable housing. The apartment building will accommodate lower-income people in the local workforce as well as middle-class residents priced out of most Bay Area real estate. Some cities say this type of multi-unit development is not feasible because they are built-out, with no more land available to develop. Monkkonen argued that suburbs use that as an excuse to not create more housing. “What they don’t tell you is that up to 90% of their land is zoned for single-family homes,” he said. If changing that “is not on the table, things aren’t going to change.”


 

Diaz on Fruitvale Village’s Socioeconomic Development

Founding Director of UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (LPPI) Sonja Diaz spoke to Block Club Chicago about the socioeconomic changes in Fruitvale Village in Oakland, Calif. Diaz said Fruitvale Village made economic gains without losing the majority-Latino population. Meaningful community engagement, development projects and strong social services will likely result in economic gains, she said. Diaz pointed to Fruitvale’s social services — La Clinica, the public library and the senior center — as crucial to upward mobility. “There is evidence to show that this type of development works and that you get a high return of investment while ensuring that people are able to stay in their communities [where] they likely spent generations,” Diaz explained.


 

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