Will California Get SMART About Mass Transit?

A New Train Could Help Battle Climate Change, Serve Expanding Metro Areas, and Create a Northern California Mega-Region

If this train is so SMART, why can’t I find it?

That’s the question I asked myself in Larkspur, in Marin County, after arriving on the ferry from San Francisco one morning earlier this summer.

I was on my way up to Petaluma to do some reporting, and had been looking forward to experiencing what promises to be California’s newest and most spectacular ferry-to-train connection: the Golden Gate Ferry to the SMART train, the light rail line running for 49 miles through Marin and Sonoma counties.

SMART may be little known statewide, but …

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 …

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 …