Posted 1/14/17: Summary of 1/10 Community Meeting on East Rafael Public Transit Options

The Point San Pedro Road Coalition held a community meeting on January 10 at San Pedro School. to explore with Marin Transit implementation of public transit options to serve East San Rafael. Unfortunately, that night, San Rafael had experienced a severe winter storm, thus making it difficult for many area residents to attend.

I did want to commend the 15 residents who did attend and were able to participate in the meeting. I also want to thank and acknowledge Marin County Supervisor Damon Connolly, San Rafael City Council Member Maribeth Bushey, Marin Transit General Manager Nancy Whelan, Marin Transit Director of Operations and Planning, Robert Betts, Whistlestop Executive Director Joe O’Hare and San Pedro School Principle Mimi Melodia for attending the meeting. Their presence at the meeting is important because they all recognize that this is an important issue of those who live and work in East San Rafael. I also believe their attendance greatly increases our chances of getting some transit service implemented.

For those who were not able to attend the meeting, I wanted to provide a brief summary of the key items presented and discussed. The meeting had two parts.

The first part was a presentation and discussion of the results of the East San Rafael transit assessment survey that was conducted in 2016. The results of the survey found that there was a need for:

  • Senior transportation service for residents
  • San Francisco commuter services for residents
  • Transit options for employees and parents to and from destinations within the study Area

The second part of the meeting focused on the types of public transit options that are available to address these service needs. There are two basic options that under consideration: They include:

  • Fixed route bus service
  • Demand related subsidized response Services

Using the first option, fixed route bus service to the area could be re-implemented. The bus would operate on a time schedule with fixed stops. This would be similar to the service Golden Gate Transit operated in East San Rafael fifteen years ago.

The second option could be the use of transit agency subsidized services such Lift or Uber. Under this option, individuals would make an advanced reservation and then be picked up and /or dropped off in front their residence.

Another possible action under the second option would be for Marin Transit to extend full Paratransit services to the East Rafael Area. Because there is not fixed transit service serving East San Rafael, Paratransit service is not mandated for our Area. To their credit, Marin Transit, through its Whistlestop Paratransit Program does try to accommodate requests from East San Rafael residents when they have the capacity to do so. However, under these circumstances their ability to accommodate East San Rafael residents is not now consistent and/or reliable.

In order for Marin Transit to move forward on any of these options or other options people want to suggest they need to better understand:

  • Who they are trying to serve (Origins, designations and demographics)
  • Where are, they trying to serve (topography/ land use/ density)
  • Where should the service be provided (Is demand concentrated and/or dispersed)
  • What are the other options available for travel? (competitiveness/ attractiveness of service)

At the end of the meeting it was agreed that Marin Transit needed more information from residents, employers, employees and those individuals connected with the schools in the area on their specific transit needs.

The Point San Pedro Road Coalition will be working closely with Marin Transit on how best to gather this information, whether it through additional meetings, workshops, on-line or phone surveys. I will keep you informed as we go through this process.

 

Kevin Hagerty
Chairman, Roadway Committee
Point San Pedro Road Coalition