Amanda Eaken is a transportation policy expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council, the transportation director for the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge, and vice chair of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors. She lives in San Francisco.
As a transportation advocate, it’s weird to work from home. At the beginning of this year, I would hop on the 5 Fulton bus or ride my bike down car-free Market Street to my office, where I direct transportation programs for the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. Often, I’d take the Muni Metro light rail to City Hall for meetings. Now, I do all of this from home, connecting virtually with colleagues who are sometimes just a few bus stops away.
Of course, I’m not the only one: In San Francisco, we lost 90 percent of our transit ridership, as did many of the 25 cities I work with through the Climate Challenge. The lost revenue gutted plans for growth, eliminated routes, and increased wait times for the essential workers still riding every day. According to a report by the TransitCenter foundation, service cuts hit Black and Latino reside... Read more