Climate Action Santa Monica (CASM) will be holding its fifth public forum on Sunday, Nov. 22, with this year’s topic being one that is on the minds of most Santa Monica’s every day: transportation.
“What a Way to Go – Bike, Bus, Expo,” will focus on Santa Monica’s “transportation revolution,” according to a CASM press release. The day will include several presentations, including a “Grand Overview of Santa Monica’s Transit Vision,” hosted by Santa Monica’s new City Manager, Rick Cole; “El Nino and Hot Climate News,” presented by William Selby, Santa Monica College geography and earth sciences professor; a talk on Santa Monica’s new Breeze Bike Share system given by Cynthia Rose, chair of Santa Monica Spoke; a presentation by Aimee Wyatt of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus system; a talk by Tom Jasmin and Stacy Yamato, Metro Rail Start Up manager and Metro Community Safety director, and Denny Zane from MOVE LA on “Expo’s Safe and Far-Reaching System.”
Mayor Kevin McKeown and councilmember Pam O’Connor will also be in attendance to share their thoughts before heading to Paris for the COP21 Climate Summit.
CASM, a program of The Church in Ocean Park, looks to empower people to, learn about climate change, locally and beyond, and bring Santa Monica to climate neutrality and community resiliency.
Co-chair of CASM, Cris Gutierrez, said that the group always thinks very seriously about the choice of programming for each forum.”
“One of our conversations is always to identify big things that people need to understand better, to value what’s happening in the City,” Gutierrez said. “So we’re always trying to identify the most prominent activities, or policies and practices that we as a community, and I mean that beyond Santa Monica too, can do together and are very immediate. They’re already coming upon us or they are new opportunities. … And obviously the transportation issue is so salient right now.”
Co-chair of CASM, Katarine King, is very excited for this year’s forum, specifically the chosen topic.
“This will be the first public opportunity for people to come and see where the City and the whole area is going transportation wise,” King said. “There are people who don’t know how to put their bikes on the bus, there are people who need to learn how the bike share program works. … This will not only help people learn about public transportation in their community, but public transportation in general.”
King said that everybody who comes will get a TAP (Transit Access Pass) card – a reusable pass that lets you load money for travel across 24 transit agencies in Los Angeles County – and be taught how to use it. “That is important because a lot of people don’t even know what the TAP card is.”
“You can just hang out for a couple hours and see how these new bike share bikes work, see that you can use a TAP card for the bikes and bus services. And that you will be able to use it on the Light Rail, which we hope will arrive somewhere around April. It’s pretty much a 101 class about getting around without your car.”
The program will take place at The Church in Ocean Park (235 Hill St.) from 12 – 4 p.m. The day will begin with an interactive Transportation Festival between 12 and 1 p.m., featuring a parked Big Blue Bus, the new Breeze Bike Share bikes and music. Admission is free but guests should RSVP at www.CasmTransitForum.Eventbrite.com.
CASM is also urging attendees to use public and active transportation. For more information about forum, contact CASM at ClimateActionSantaMonica@gmail.com or call (424) 259-3194.
King said there is a paradigm shift beginning in the world of public transportation and she believes this forum will assist in teaching people about that shift.
“This is the beginning of a shift that’s not going to happen over night, but sort of the grand kick off of the shift, brought to you hopefully in an entertaining and informative way that’s easy to come to and easy to access.”