By Will Reisman, @WillReisman

Happy New Year!: We hope that everyone enjoyed a festive New Year’s Eve and welcomed in 2016 surrounded by friends and family. Caltrain, SamTrans and other Bay Area transit agencies were working overtime and providing free rides on New Year’s Eve to make sure that everyone could get around in a safe and reliable manner for the big night. Here’s hoping that 2016 is a year to remember!

SPUR Hosts Transit Planning Forum on Super Bowl City: As the site of Super Bowl 50, the San Francisco Bay Area is expected to play host to as many as 1 million visitors, only a fraction of whom will actually make it to the big game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The rest of the crowds will be travelling around the Bay Area to attend various events leading up to the Super Bowl, including thousands of fans who will visit Super Bowl City—an interactive event center being held at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco. Transit agencies like Caltrain are already gearing up for the anticipated increase in ridership, as many fans will be using public transportation to get from one event to the next. On Tuesday, SPUR,  a local think-tank, will host a forum to discuss the role that transit will play in the lead-up to the big game. The gathering, which will include officials from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and will take place at SPUR’s San Francisco headquarters, which is located just a short walk away from the Montgomery Street BART Station.

Bay Area Pet Expo Taking Place This Weekend in San Jose: Agility demonstrations, costume contests, opportunities to adopt, and talent displays will be part of this weekend’s Bay Area Pet Expo at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose. The 6th annual event will run from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday and  11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday. Families are encouraged to bring their four-legged friends to the free gathering, which will also feature discounted vaccinations, prize giveaways, book signings from pet experts and obedience demonstrations. For families travelling to the event (sans pets), the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s Route 26 provides direct service to the fairgrounds.

Wet Weather Heading to the Bay Area: It might be a wise time to invest in umbrellas and rain slickers, as weather forecasts are calling for a wet week in the Bay Area. Parts of the region could get as much as 4 – 6 inches of rain as result of the stormy conditions, with the North Bay expected to bear the brunt of the early stages of the storm. A second wave is expected to hit tonight, further soaking the region.  The heavy rains are good news for the state, which is still reeling from a historic drought, although the extreme weather could result in mudslides, according to NASA climatologist Josh Willis. It might be a little treacherous for travelling, but the wet weather should be a boon for skiers and snowboarders, as heavy snows are forecast for the Sierra Nevada region.

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