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Caltrain Plan, Estuary Park, Solano Mobility, Franzen’s Birds

Welcome to Monitor Notes, a weekly roundup of news items, event announcements, and updates on past Bay Area Monitor articles.


Train for More Growth

Read about Caltrain’s business plan and vision in 2040 and then take a survey to help inform how the busy commuter rail system invests in services and infrastructure. Anyone interested in more details also can attend an event on Tuesday, January 22 at SPUR in San Jose where Caltrain officials will explain more about electrified service, integration with other transit operators, and plans for more trains. In other topics affecting commuters, Richmond ferry service to San Francisco began last week, with the maiden voyage marking further regional ferry system expansion.


Park That Thought

Attend a meeting on Thursday, January 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. about Oakland’s Estuary Park and give feedback about the final layout. This waterfront park, next to the Oakland Estuary and Lake Merritt Channel opening, is being designed so it “improves and sustains the quality of city life socially and ecologically,” according to the park website, where slide presentations show how the park is being reimagined. Separately, but also in Oakland, the East Bay Regional Park District and Save the Redwoods League have opened a new exhibit honoring an old-growth redwood forest. It’s open to the public daily and includes an observation deck.


Need a Lyft?

The Solano Transportation Authority board of directors has approved an Amtrak + Lyft pilot project, said Katelyn Costa, program coordinator for the agency. For $20 a person, up to 50 participants will be given a 10-ride Amtrak pass, plus 10 free First Last Mile Lyft rides, to connect the train station and work sites, according to a January 9 STA board packet memo. Goals of the pilot, supported by funding from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, include easing first-and-last-mile connections and encouraging public transit usage. Incentives have been used by agencies like BART to nudge commute pattern shifts as part of bigger air quality and traffic reduction policy goals.


For the Birds

Want a bird’s eye view of climate change? Author and Santa Cruz resident Jonathan Franzen talked with Sierra magazine recently about his relationship to the outdoors and how it’s influenced by birds, which play a starring role in his new essay collection. Franzen shares perspective on the local environment and how to find meaning in conservation when big-picture concerns about the climate feel overwhelming. Fly into the interview. Then read a Monitor piece from Aleta George on restoring wetlands to help migrating, habitat-seeking shorebirds.


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