April 23, 2022
To: Senator Josh Becker
Re: SB 917 (Becker) – Seamless Transit Transformation Act – Support
Friends of Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is pleased to support SB 917, your bill to bring transit agencies in the Bay Area together to work more closely to improve coordination and integration across a spectrum of rider-focused areas.
The challenges of navigating between 27 different transit operators in the Bay Area has acted as a barrier for residents and visitors, while disproportionately burdening low-income and vulnerable populations. The system requires riders to use multiple systems operated independently with little coordination, to pay multiple separate fares, experience unpredictable transfers, and to navigate different wayfinding systems.
Historically, only about 4% of all trips taken in the Bay Area involve transit, and transit has never been used by more than 12% of the population for commute trips since 1970. By contrast, cars comprise over 75% of commute trips. We must act quickly to bring riders back to transit and reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, which have remained stubbornly high as congestion and commutes have grown.