Transportation

“A transportation network that gets people where they need to go as efficiently and safely as possible is vital for a healthy community and a vibrant economy. We must continue to wisely invest in our public transit network to give people a realistic opportunity to get out of their cars and into trains and buses. At the same time, we need to continue to invest in our road maintenance and pedestrian and bicycle safety for the safe movement of all of our residents throughout our valley.”

Ash's Record

Ash served on the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board of Directors for over six years, including serving as Chair in 2014. Simultaneously, Ash served on the Caltrain Board of Directors and he is recognized as a leader in regional transit public policy. Ash is currently the Chair of the Transportation and Environment Committee for the City of San Jose. He has earned the endorsement of Senator Jim Beall, the current Chair of the State Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, from their work together on solving regional transportation problems to benefit all commuters.

Ash helped both VTA and Caltrain weather the rocky storms of the Great Recession, preparing them to take advantage of the expansion period of today’s economy.

As member of the VTA Board of Directors, Ash was a champion for ensuring access to public transportation for everyone and led the way on many projects, including:

  • Setting up permanent reserves, including a $35 million sales tax stabilization reserve to ensure that VTA could continue to serve the public even during economic downturns
  • As Chair, leading the creation of a Governance Committee to oversee management as well as critical financial audit functions
  • As Chair, leading the way to form the Levi’s Stadium Transit Operations Committee, including directing staff to create a mobile app specifically for fans to use while attending stadium events
  • Supporting efforts to ensure transit passes for disabled and low-income riders as well as a focus on access for seniors and youth
  • Overseeing the creation of an express light rail from south San Jose that achieved a dramatic increase in usage by dramatically shortening the transit time to downtown and beyond
  • Breaking ground on the first Bus Rapid Transit system in the Bay Area in 2014, helping connect east San Jose with downtown San Jose
  • Demanding reparations for impacted small businesses when issues arose involving a contractor who had delayed the project, disrupting life along the corridor
  • Heading efforts to bring BART to Silicon Valley
    • Consistently lobbying for adequate funding to complete all four remaining stations as part of the second phase of the project
    • Leading a delegation to express the needs of the community to ensure funding for BART and other transit priorities to leaders in Washington, D.C.
    • Breaking ground on the Berryessa station
    • Working to see that the opening of the first BART station in San Jose is ahead of schedule and under budget

Ash’s work for increased public transportation opportunities does not stop there. Ash has also made a difference for local transportation on the Caltrain Board of Directors. Under the leadership of Ash and his colleagues on the Board, Caltrain boasts the highest ridership in its history with over 63,000 daily riders and well over a million vehicle miles taken off our roads every day. His good work with Caltrain includes:

  • Leading the Board’s efforts to maintain the same level of service rather than making dramatic cuts that would have crippled the system during the difficult days of the recession
  • Tightening the budget belt, seeking cost savings in every department possible and deferring work that was not of an urgent nature until Caltrain made it through the recession, while maintaining Baby Bullet and local service
  • Launching the Bay Area Bike Share Program that is currently expanding its services both in numbers and stations
  • Expanding access for bicycles on Caltrain by voting in favor of making the new electrified train cars more bicycle friendly

As a San Jose Council Member, Ash has been a passionate supporter of expanded transit networks and working with VTA on critical infrastructure projects by:

  • Making the request that the city set aside dedicated funds every budget cycle specifically designed to improve traffic safety in our neighborhoods. Prior to Ash's efforts, years had gone by without funding for neighborhood traffic calming measures
  • Supporting recent efforts to allow ride share companies to operate at our airport while simultaneously reducing burdens on our taxicabs
  • Supporting Vision Zero to reduce traffic fatalities throughour our city
  • Supporting bicycle advocacy by working with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition as well as promoting rides like the San Jose Bike Party to raise awareness and encourage bicycle safety throughout our city

 

Ash's Vision

A transportation network that considers and supports all modes of transit, from buses and trains, to bicyclists and cars, in a manner that provides a safe environment that is efficient and supportive of our community.

Ash supports:

  • Continuing BART to Silicon Valley until all four stations are completed, including stops in downtown and at Diridon Station
  • Funding for more frequent and available bus routes to connect working families and students to light rail, bus rapid transit and BART
  • Increased resources for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in our downtown core, neighborhood business districts, and to provide better connections to transit
  • Increased access to transit for youth, disabled individuals and seniors
  • Congestion relief on our freeways through funding for upgraded and improved expressways and freeways to allow for smooth flow of traffic, more public transit options, and safe pedestrian/bicycle passage
  • Dedicated funding for Caltrain rather than a reliance on county funding year-after-year
  • Working with tech companies and other large employers to effectively move their workforce throughout the valley in a manner that relieves congestion and improves workforce efficiency
  • Expanding the Bike Share Program and other last mile solutions, including public on-demand ride solutions
  • Increasing electric vehicle infrastructure, including ownership incentives and charging station distribution
  • Implementing policies for the safe operation of driverless vehicles
  • Increasing local funding to repair damaged roads and repave our streets