Weekly Roundup: SPUR looking to create transitable cities

By Will Reisman, @WillReisman 

Take Caltrain to Life Orchestra in Mountain View: The 16th annual Life Orchestra, presented by the Silicon Valley Alliance Church, will take place this Sunday at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts. The orchestra will perform a combination of symphonic works by classical and contemporary composers, featuring modern sacred songs, jazz, and Chinese compositions. The orchestra, comprised of local young musicians, will take the stage at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Located in downtown Mountain View, the performing arts center is a short walk from the Mountain View Caltrain Station. Caltrain’s weekend schedule offers hourly service to the station. 

SPUR looks at creating “transitable” cities: Establishing a seamless public transportation network throughout the Bay Area has been a longtime goal of SPUR, a local think-tank. On Thursday, the organization will host a lunchtime forum at its San Jose offices to discuss ways of making cities in the region more “transitable.” Taking place at 12:30 p.m., the meeting will feature Cathleen Sullivan, a consultant with Nelson/Nygaard, a national transportation planning firm. SPUR’s office is located next to several Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light-rail lines and is a few blocks away from the San Jose Diridon Caltrain Station

City Lab story details the funding challenges facing mass transit: Even though public transportation systems receive just 20 percent of the nation’s Highway Tax funds, there are two separate bills circulating in Congress that would phase out that relatively meager allocation. Although the bills are unlikely to be enacted, they highlight the federal funding challenges that public transportation agencies must contend with. Earlier this month, the American Public Transportation Association staged rallies across the country as part of Stand up For Transportation Day, an advocacy effort aimed at urging leaders in Washington to provide long term and sustainable funding solutions for transit agencies. City Lab, an online website affiliated with The Atlantic, posted a story last week about the state of federal transit funding, and how each agency must vie for a small piece of the funding pie.

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