Take the ACE Train

A Small but Successful Commuter Line Between Stockton and San Jose Points a Way Forward for California Transportation

As the ACE Train pulls into the Santa Clara station, the conductor pops out—and begins apologizing for his train.

“I’m sorry, but this is not the Amtrak!” he bellows, loud enough to be heard by all boarding passengers on the long platform

“And this is not Caltrain! If you want the Caltrain to San Francisco, do not board this train!” he yells.

You may opt out or contact us anytime.

This warning is useful: The ACE Train uses some of the same tracks but doesn’t go the same places as Amtrak …

If You Can’t Beat the Bay Area, Join It

Solving Northern California's Toughest Problems Requires a New Megaregion, from San Francisco and Tahoe to the San Joaquin and Salinas Valleys

Welcome to the Bay Area, Merced!

Further north, welcome as well to Modesto, Sacramento, Placerville, and Yuba City. And, to the south, you’re invited, too, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, and …

Could the “Edge City” of Santa Rosa Become a Center of California?

A Budding Cannabis Industry, New Housing, and Better Transportation Are Expanding Its Clout

Adjust your California maps: The little dot marking Santa Rosa needs to be a lot bigger.

Dramatic changes in housing, aging, transportation, and criminal justice are altering the Golden State’s …

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 …

Why Building More Freeways Makes Traffic Worse, Not Better

To Ease L.A. Gridlock, We Need Improved Mass Transit and Smart Urban Planning

In 1865, British economist William Stanley Jevons wrote an influential essay entitled “The Coal Question.” Today his insights are interesting to me not as they relate to coal, but rather …

The Next Great California Bridge Should Span the High Desert

Infrastructure Linking Palmdale and Victorville Could Boost L.A.—and All of North America

What’s the fastest way to change California?

Assuming you don’t have the power to set off a major earthquake, your best bet would be to connect the two small desert cities …