Solutions (10)

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Zero-emission school buses to reduce costs and clean up the air

The Electric Vehicle (EV) School Bus project is an ambitious, innovative project currently underway in California. It is the largest EV school bus demonstration in the nation that to deploys Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology. The school buses are currently being repowered in Poway, CA by Transpower, USA and will be deployed in Torrance, Kings Canyon and

Commute Shuttles Help San Mateo County Use Transit

Bottom Line: The Alliance’s commuter shuttle service offers conveniently scheduled vehicles to carry commuters in comfort from BART and Caltrain stations to within easy walking distance of many major San Mateo County employers..


Lots of people would like to take transit to work, but for many, the distance between their work and the nearest Caltrain or SamTrans station is too far to walk. A recent survey by the Alliance found that distance from work to transit station was the second most cited reason for not taking transit for a commute.

New 511 RideMatch Service

Bottom Line: The Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance runs the NEW 511 RideMatch service – an interactive, on-demand system that helps you find carpools and vanpools. And they’ll pay you to join one.


Carpooling saves money, saves resources, and can save the air. But where do you go to find carpool partners to share rides to work? Just visit where you can quickly create a profile and find commuters who have similar travel routes and schedules with whom you can share a ride. The system lets you easily send potential rideshare partners an e-mail or give them a call.

Get help with your commute from Ways to Work

Bottom Line: The Ways to Work Family Loan program, administered by Family Service Agency of San Mateo County, provides short-term, low interest loans to assist low-income parents in solving transportation problems.

family service

The Ways to Work Family Loan Program is a proven, innovative program that provides small, short-term, low-interest loans to assist low-income parents with challenging credit histories to cope with transportation barriers which may interfere with their ability to maintain self-sufficiency. The purpose of the loan is to assist low-income families through affordable car ownership as a solution to employment stability.

Bicycle Boulevards Create Greener Streets

Bottom Line: Green streets are low emission streets. Bicycle boulevards allow for safe (and emission-free) bicycle travel along important routes within the county.

Bicycle BoulevardOn bicycle boulevards such as the one in Palo Alto along Bryant Street, the use of traffic calming devices like chokers and diverters eliminates most auto traffic while permitting bicycle and pedestrian through traffic. The result is significantly reduced auto traffic and much higher bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

Visit Your Local Biodiesel Filling Station

Bottom Line: Fill your car with high quality biodiesel at Autpoia Biofuels, a Biodiesel Filling Station and Eco Store located in downtown San Mateo.

Austin Mader-Clark, an avid walker, cyclist, airplane pilot and passionate advocate for alternative, non-petroleum-based fuels, challenges others to “fill their tank and save the world” with her innovative new approach to making alternative fuel available in a centralized and convenient location. On Earth Day 2008 she opened Autopia Biofuels located at 1025 South Railroad Avenue in downtown San Mateo.

Employers and Employees Can Take Public Transportation to the Bank

Bottom Line: Commuter tax benefit program saves employees on federal income taxes and saves employers on payroll related taxes.

Transit Tax BenefitsAs of February 2009, the Federal tax code allows employers and employees to set aside pre-tax income to pay for transit commuting and parking costs. The tax code allows tax-free transportation fringe benefits of up to $230 per month per employee for transit expenses and up to $230 per month for qualified parking (includes BART stations). Qualified parking must be near an employer’s worksite or at a facility from which an employee commutes. Commuters can receive both the transit and parking benefits – up to $460 per month.

Great Communities Collaborate to Promote Transit Oriented Development

Bottom Line: Through the Great Communities Collaborative, nonprofits and foundations team up to fund Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) that promote diversity in residents, incomes, and businesses.

collaborativeThe Great Communities Collaborative is a unique cooperative relationship between four Bay Area nonprofit organizations – Greenbelt Alliance, the Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California, TransForm, and Urban Habitat – and the national nonprofit Reconnecting America. The East Bay Community Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, and The Silicon Valley Community Foundation are also part of the collaborative.

Resources to Promote Infill Development / Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

Bottom Line: Transit Oriented Development is a smart approach to accommodate future growth in San Mateo County, and reduce our communities’ environmental impact.

TODTransit Oriented Development (TOD), sometimes called “Smart Growth” or the “New Urbanism” is an approach to planning communities which concentrates more dense, mixed-use development along transit corridors and near transit hubs. Mixed-use is usually interpreted as developing housing above commercial/retail space, but can also include residential/office use or offices combined with retail shops. On the peninsula, TOD is most appropriate when built near CalTrain stations, but TOD can also be included along major bus routes such as El Camino Real.

Regional Planners Aim to Make El Camino Real a TOD “Grand Boulevard”

Bottom Line: The new vision of El Camino Real will be a transit oriented thoroughfare with high density mixed use buildings in close proximity.

grandbOriginally, El Camino Real linked the Spanish Missions from San Diego to Sonoma. Now, cities from Daly City to San Jose want to make the road a “Grand Boulevard” that models transit oriented development (TOD). A collaboration of cities, counties, and local agencies created the Grand

Boulevard Initiative in 2008 to improve the performance, safety, and aesthetics of El Camino Real.