Connect the World? The Bay Area Can’t Even Connect Its Trains

A New Light Rail System Underscores the Frustrations of California's Richest Region

The northern terminus of SMART, the new light rail system officially opening this weekend in the North Bay, is the Sonoma County Airport Station in Santa Rosa. But after my 8-year-old son and I disembarked from an Alaska Airlines flight, we learned that the airport is more than a mile away from the train.

We didn’t know how to bridge this transportation gap. My son wasn’t up for a long walk. There is as yet no shuttle from plane to train. The public bus that would take us in the train’s …

Golden Gate Bridge Train Service? It’s Time to Get on Board

California's Iconic Span Needs Rail Transit, Both for Symbolism and for Sonoma's Sake

If California is as serious about public transit as its urban leaders claim, why isn’t there a commuter rail service running over the Golden Gate Bridge?

There’s no good reason why …

L.A. to Vote on Whether It’s a Metropolis

I Appreciate an L.A. Where I Can Rely on Transit and Walking, but a Backlash Threatens

Will Los Angeles finally admit it’s a metropolis? And if so, what kind of metropolis does it want to be?

That may seem a strange question, given the size of the …

When You Ride the Bus, You Ride With Big Data

Will Public Transit Apps Create Customers or Citizens?

When I first arrived in San Francisco in 1988, I often took a bus called the 22 Fillmore, which ran from Potrero Hill, made a right turn near the Castro, …

The Downsizing of the City of Outsized Dreams

L.A.'s Ambitions Have Given Way to Trepidation

Has Los Angeles downsized its dreams?

In the last century, Southern Californians dreamed so big and global that the size of our aspirations came to define this place. We created a …