Mountain View provides new incentives to use transit, shift mode share

In recent weeks, in individual new developments and plans for districts, Mountain View is moving forward with a variety of ways to incent transit use and shift mode share away from driving alone.

Nonprofit Transportation Management Association

In a new development on Clyde Avenue, close to Caltrain and light rail in the Whisman area, the developer agreed to provide a transit shuttle and set up a nonprofit Transportation Management Association to run it.  The shuttle route will be designed for employees at the office building being built for Samsung, and will also be open to the public, along the lines of Stanford’s highly successful Marguerite shuttles.  The TMA will also ofter programs such as bicycle parking, car sharing vehicles, and transit pass subsidies.

The developer, TMG, has experience with this approach, starting about 15 years ago in Emeryville.  A shuttle to BART was set up for their first client.  Over time, the shuttle program grew to carry 1.4 million passengers to BART and other local destinations.

The TMA will start with a single client, Samsung, but plans to reach out to other developments in the area. At the City Council meeting on March 19, a TMG representatives said that they were eyeing the opportunities in North Bayshore across the freeway, where a Transportation Management Association is being considered as part of the transportation plan to achieve agressive new mode share Goals.

Update: on Tuesday April 2, at an Environmental Planning Commission study session, developer Merlone Geier announced that they were working with TMG to bring the new Transportation Management Association to the San Antonio area as well, where city council has prioritized TDM as one of the top public benefits (see below).

Mode Share goals in North Bay Shore Precise Plan

In the North Bayshore area, where Google is headquartered, the City Council moved on March 26 toward setting a goal to slash the drivealone rate from 62% to 45% by 2030, in a study session last Tuesday.

To achieve the goal, the City Council wants to see a Transportation Management Association to coordinate programs and incentives, improved ride share programs, and greater capacity on the Highway 101 Shoreline Boulevard Offramp.

With this goal, the area would still see an increase in vehicle traffic from 13,800 vehicles in the peak morning commute to 16,400, if an expected 3.4 million new square feet of development takes place.

Transit passes for residential developments

In two new 4-story apartment complexes on El Camino Real, Mountain View is requiring transit passes as part of approving the developments on March 26.  A 162-unit development by Prometheus at the site of the former Tropicana Lodge hotel at 1720 El Camino Real will be required to provide a transit subsidy via Clipper Card or receipt reimbursement for 15 years.  Another 150 unit development at 865/881 El Camino Real will provide residents with VTA Eco Passes without a Caltrain option.  The city will collect data to evaluate the success of the different approaches.

Mountain View is also considering transit pass subsidies for a new development at 100 Moffett Boulevard, at the intersection of Moffett and Central, across the street from the downtown Mountain View transit center with Caltrain, light rail, and buses.   The final program hasn’t yet been set, but the Environmental Planning Commission has recommended a 3-year cash value subsidy for all new residents.

Standards for transit incentives are expected to be included in a precise plan being developed for El Camino in Mountain View, according to planning director Randal Tsuda as reported by the Mountain View Voice.

Bike and Pedestrian improvements and TDM for San Antonio area

Along related lines, on April 19, the City Council identified bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and Transportation Demand Management programs, as key areas for public benefit in the San Antonio area, where developments are moving forward, getting Council approval on a one-off basis, while the City works on a precise plan for the area.

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5 Responses to Mountain View provides new incentives to use transit, shift mode share

  1. Pingback: Today’s Headlines | Streetsblog San Francisco

  2. anonymouse says:

    Meanwhile, Mountain View also provides old, and much larger, incentives for everyone to keep driving, by requiring that offices and housing have free parking, and providing big wide roads all over the place. And also by making sure that nobody lives within walking distance of work by separating office and residential areas. At least they’re finally increasing density around the downtown train station, which would at least make transit more cost-effective to provide. Those TMA shuttles would be able to serve both commuters coming from Caltrain and Mountain View residents living in downtown.

    • Adina Levin says:

      The new general plan has a number of areas slated for mixed use (though North Bayshore where Google is will remain an office park, because there were environmental concerns about the impact of pets on endangered birds). Over the last year, there has been a lot of community organizing following pedestrian deaths, and the Council is moving forward on street safety investments in the upcoming capital plan. Things won’t change overnight, but it looks like change is happening.

  3. Jeff H. says:

    Good to hear about the transit passes and shuttle. And yes, Emery-Go-Round is very successful. All of these shuttles would be much more successful if their schedules & routes were available through common trip-planning services such as Google maps’ Transit feature. Unfortunately, Emery-Go-Round doesn’t seem to show up there, so hard for newbies to discover it.

    • Adina Levin says:

      The Stanford Marguerite shuttles are on Google Transit, and that integrates them into the transit system. They are by far the most heavily used Caltrain shuttles.

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