September 30, 2007

LINKS 2007 Rider Survey

LINKS logoIn response to Councilmember Diana Souza's questions at the June 18, 2007, City Council meeting, San Leandro LINKS Executive Director Gordon Galvan and Valerie Brock presented the results of the 2007 ridership survey at the September 17, 2007, City Council meeting. Galvan noted that December 2007 would mark the sixth year of the LINKS shuttle, which provides free transportation to and from BART and west San Leandro businesses during the morning and afternoon commutes. Galvan noted that LINKS provides service for less money per passenger than any other Bay Area transit agency (based on 2005-2006 fiscal year data).

In fiscal year 2005-2006, the total program cost for LINKS was $374,884 and 173,509 passengers used the service. That comes to a cost of $2.16 per passenger, and according to a table that compares these numbers to agencies like BART and AC Transit, LINKS is the most cost-effective.

According to the survey, two-thirds (67%) of LINKS passengers work for businesses in the business improvement district. The LINKS shuttle is funded by taxes paid by businesses in the business improvement district and by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Galvan previously served on the San Leandro City Council from 1994 to 2001.

The table and executive summary of the survey are included below.

San Leandro LINKS 2007 Shuttle Rider Survey Executive Summary
  • The population surveyed is different from last year. In 2007, both morning and afternoon riders were surveyed. In 2006, only morning riders were surveyed.
  • Two-thirds of shuttle riders work for employers in the BID and another 11 % work locally, presumably for small employers in West San Leandro.
  • 78% of riders use the shuttle to commute to work.
  • 52% of shuttle riders live in San Leandro or Oakland.
  • 84% ride the shuttle every day.
  • Six out of ten ride the shuttle in the morning and the afternoon.
  • Most ride BART or AC Transit before using LINKS; 12% walk from home.
  • If LINKS were unavailable, most would switch to AC Transit, but 11 % would start driving alone.
  • 84% say that losing LINKS would present a financial hardship for them.
  • For the fifth consecutive year, riders are well-satisfied with the service; 87% rated the LINKS shuttle good or excellent.
  • Driver courtesy is the strongest element of the service; the schedule is the weakest element.
  • The fact that the shuttle is free is most important to riders, followed by the schedule and frequency.
  • The best way to improve the LINKS service is to run the shuttle more frequently.
  • BART riders live throughout the Bay Area, but are concentrated in the East Bay.
  • One-third of BAR T riders live within 3 miles of their station of origin. They are most likely to take the bus to get to the BART station.
  • Most BART riders have been using the shuttle for an average of one and a half years.

LINKS - A Comparison of Transit Agencies in the Bay Area - Fiscal Year 2005-06

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September 25, 2007

Kids Events at Cherrytown Kids and Manor Library on Saturday

Cowboy Jared will be at Cherrytown Kids on Saturday, September 29, 2007, from 3pm to 4pm for a kids sing-along.

The Manor Library will have stories, songs, crafts, refreshments, parenting mini-workshops, and a free book for children ages five and under at its Ealry Learning with Families event on Saturday, September 29, 2007, from 11am to 12pm.

Cherrytown Kids is located at 579 Bancroft Ave. and the Manor Library is located at 1241 Manor Blvd.

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September 19, 2007

Indian Restaurant to Open in San Leandro in 2008

Back in June 2007, the Board of Zoning Adjustments approved a conditional use permit and parking exception for fast-food and outdoor dining at Santos, Inc. Santos is renowned for its vast assortment of spices and supplies for Indian and South Asian cooking.

Current plans are to open the restaurant in early 2008.

Santos is located at 1188 Montague Street at Teagarden and is adjacent to the Lakeshore Learning Store.

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September 18, 2007

Halcyon-Foothill Area Community Town Hall on Wednesday, September 19

The Business Association of South San Leandro, the Halcyon Foothill Neighborhood Association and Vice Mayor Surlene Grant are hosting a Community Town Hall at Jefferson Elementary on Wednesday, September 19, 2007.

Police department personnel will be on hand with reports on activities in the area, neighborhood watch tips, and code enforcement procedures. Fire department personnel will provide information on emergency preparedness. There will be reports about current projects at the Bayfair Center, the High School, and the new Ninth Grade Campus.

Bayfair Center has seen a new Staples open in January, an Old Navy open in December 2006, and a new drive-thru Starbucks. Building permits are being reviewed for Jamba Juice at Bayfair and tenant spaces near Target are nearly completed, according to the August 16, 2007, Community Development Update.

The meeting will be held from 6:30pm to 8:00pm and light refreshments will be provided.

Jefferson Elementary is located at 14300 Bancroft Avenue, but the multi-purpose room is located on Lark Street on the back side of the school.

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September 17, 2007

City Council Finalizes TOD, Nominates New Commissioners, Passes on Iraq Resolution

The September 17, 2007, meeting of the San Leandro City Council began by honoring Pat Loomes on her retirement after 30 years as Executive Director of Girls, Inc. and Bancroft P.E. teacher Jim Sorensen for his remarkable track and field accomplishments. Loomes noted that Girls, Inc. would not exist without assistance from the City of San Leandro, such as when former San Leandro Mayor Jack Maltester rented a house to Girls, Inc. in 1958 for $1 a month, including utilities.

Gordon Galvan and Valerie Brock presented information from a survey conducted of LINKS users.

During public comments, Craig Williams, Rev Kathy Huff, Brenda Salgado and others encouraged the City Council to pass a resolution seeking a diplomatic solution to the war in Iraq. Similar resolutions have been passed by City Councils in Alameda, Emeryville, and, of course, Berkeley.

San Leandro High School track coach Dave Ellington was one of two coaches that encouraged the City Council to work together with the school district to make invest in Burrell Field and make it a state-of-the-art facility.

The City Council unanimously approved ordinances implementing the Downtown Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategy and approved a resolution supporting efforts by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi to obtain permanent resident status for Jacqueline Coats, whose husband died helping to save two boys from drowning. The Daily Review article is here.

Debra Vandiver was nominated to replace Kimberly Wilson as the District 3 representative to the Recreation and Parks Commission. Wilson had been appointed less than six months ago. Wilson also served on the San Leandro School Board until November 2004 when she was removed from office. Vandiver was appointed to the Human Services Commission six months ago.

Kati Knox was nominated to replace Vandiver as the District 3 representative on the Human Services Commission. Knox is the owner of KMJ Associates, which operates the Rose Gate and Mori Manor assisted living facilities. Knox is a former member of The Sentinels and contributed $250 to Marcene Nardine's mayoral campaign in 2006. Rose Gate and Mori Manor contributed $250 to Mayor Tony Santos' campaign in April 2007.

During Councilmember comments, Vice Mayor Surlene Grant, Councilmember Joyce Starosciak, and Councilmember Bill Stephens noted that Burrell Field was the responsibility of the School District. Councilmember Jim Prola tried and failed to get consensus to refer an Iraq resolution to committee.

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September 16, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards to visit San Leandro's George Mark Children's House

Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards, will be the featured speaker at the Fourth Annual Autumn Celebration at George Mark Children's House on September 29, 2007. Edwards lost her son when was 16 years old.

The celebration features a cocktail reception, tours of the House, a three-course meal from Napa’s Melissa Teaff, and a silent auction.

According to its website, George Mark Children's House is the "First children's hospice house in the US providing medical, emotional and practical support to families with children that have life-threatening and terminal illnesses."

The Fourth Annual Autumn Celebration will be held from 5pm to 9pm on September 29, 2007. George Mark Children's House is located at 2121 George Mark Lane in San Leandro.

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September 13, 2007

Drawings of the Ninth Grade Campus

Less than a year after passage of a $109 million bond, drawings of the proposed ninth grade campus were presented at the September 5, 2007, meeting of the San Leandro School Board. The design phase of the ninth grade campus was accelerated in order for the school district to have the greatest chance of obtaining nearly $11.5 million in grants available from the state.

The drawings are subject to change, but the Design Review Committee unanimously selected this design, so any changes are likely to be relatively minor. The full presentation to the School Board is available here.

SLUSD Master plan ninth grade campus

SLUSD Bancroft view of ninth grade campus

SLUSD Courtyard view of ninth grade campus

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September 11, 2007

Englander Owner Shot During Robbery

Jot Mangat in 2005According to an article in the Daily Review, Jot Mangat, owner of the Englander Pub, was shot during a robbery on Saturday night, September 8, 2007.

Mangat was shot in the face after he was confronted by a man with a gun and gave up his laptop bag immediately, which only contained papers and keys to the pub. Mangat was able to provide police with a description of the gunman and his accomplice. Witnesses reported that the two suspects left in a gold-colored van.

Mangat was able to leave the hospital after only an hour as the bullet went through his cheek.

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September 6, 2007

City Council Approves Downtown Transit-Oriented Development Strategy

At the September 4, 2007, meeting of the San Leandro City Council, the Downtown Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategy was unanimously approved. Despite a recommendation by the Planning Commission to omit the former Albertsons property at 1550 E. 14th St., the property was included as one of the "opportunity sites."

Click here for Daily Review coverage.

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September 3, 2007

City Council Set to Approve Changes to Implement TOD

Back from its August break, the San Leandro City Council will vote on whether to implement zoning and code changes to enact the Downtown Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategy at its next meeting on September 4, 2007.

The City Council will vote on the certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report, adopting the downtown TOD Strategy, zoning changes, and special review criteria for specific properties within the TOD Strategy area.

The City Council meets at 7pm in the City Council Chambers at 835 E. 14th Street.

Click here for coverage in the Daily Review.

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Free Screening of Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price on Thursday, September 6, 2007

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price DVD coverThe San Leandro Community Action Network (SLCAN) continues it monthly film series with a screening of Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price at 7:00pm on Thursday, September 6, 2007.

According to the movie web site, "The film dives into the deeply personal stories and everyday lives of families and communities struggling to fight a goliath. A working mother is forced to turn to public assistance to provide healthcare for her two small children. A Missouri family loses its business after Wal-Mart is given over $2 million to open its doors down the road. A mayor struggles to equip his first responders after Wal-Mart pulls out and relocates just outside the city limits. A community in California unites, takes on the giant, and wins!" The movie received numerous positive reviews, including "Two Thumbs Up" from Ebert and Roeper.

Wal-Mart will be opening a second San Leandro store later this year at 15555 Hesperian Blvd, the location of a former Target store.

Admission is free and the movie will be shown at Zocalo Coffeehouse.

Zocalo Coffeehouse is located at 645 Bancroft Avenue in San Leandro.

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