Surveys seek input on transit needs

Think your neighborhood could use expanded bus service, an intercommunity shuttle or improvements to transportation shelters?

One Peninsula community could get all those upgrades and more.

San Mateo and SamTrans are seeking community input from residents in the north-central neighborhood of the city to share the potential transportation improvements that could be brought to the area.

Jean Higaki of federal aid project delivery for the County/City Association of Governments said regional improvements in low-income neighborhoods is one goal of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the agency funding the projects.

Improvements could range from increased bus service to more bike paths or better stops, benches and shelters for transportation.

San Mateo’s north-central neighborhood is bordered to the north by Poplar Avenue, to the east by U.S. Highway 101, to the south by Fifth Avenue and to the west by Caltrain tracks, according to the SamTrans Web site.

In Daly City, a shuttle that would take residents from the Bayshore neighborhood to Muni or BART stations was set up as a result of the survey.

SamTrans spokeswoman Christine Dunn said the Peninsula Transportation Authority received a three-year grant to fund the shuttle, but did not know when the shuttle would begin running or how much it would cost.

Dunn said residents of the area did point out that they are surrounded by transportation from SamTrans, BART and Muni, but it’s difficult to get to.

“It’s a very hilly neighborhood,” she said. “They are surrounded by transportation, it’s just not in the neighborhoods.”

Higaki said cases such as the Daly City shuttle are reasons for the survey. She said C/CAG gathers the potential projects and presents them to the MTC for prioritization and funding when it becomes available.

“It identifies the needs and things that work to satisfy those needs so when funding does become available the needs are identified and we’re not coming up with wonky projects out of the blue,” Higaki said.

A similar study in East Palo Alto also was conducted. There, Higaki said, the community identified a need for new bus stops near schools and to increase frequency, among dozens of other suggestions.

She said once San Mateo’s survey is completed, C/CAG will look to San Bruno and South San Francisco to cover any transportation needs.

San Mateo surveys will be collected until April 13.

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