About Us

 

SF TRANSIT RIDERS

Rebuilding Muni

Our Impact

support our work

Our Story

San Francisco Transit Riders fighting for an excellent, affordable, and growing public transit system. We need excellent service that connects all neighborhoods. We need transit that provides equitable access to resources, opportunities, and each other.

Public transit is one of the most affordable ways to get around. We need to make sure it’s accessible for everyone. We need to continually grow public transit so it serves more riders, more areas, and more times of day – so it frees more people from being dependent on cars.

Public transit is essential to our sustainable future. Muni has served 750,000 trips daily while contributing less than 1% of the city’s greenhouse gases. While Muni itself is one of the greenest transit systems in the country, meeting the city’s climate goals means Muni needs to be the first transportation choice for many more San Franciscans.

Public transit also has the potential to make streets safer, improve our air quality, and reduce traffic congestion.

We’re fighting for a public transit system that can live up to its potential and serve us all. Become a member, join our community, and help us build the future of public transit in San Francisco!

Who We Are

Vinita Goyal, Executive Director

Vinita Goyal is Executive Director at San Francisco Transit Riders leading efforts presently on organizational and development strategies and providing thought partnership on programs and campaigns related to place-based planning, policy and investments centered on racial and social justice and capacity building for local communities.

Vinita has focused the last decade in the non-profit sector, in philanthropy, and in the public sector, on aligning place-based infrastructure improvements with community needs and aspirations, particularly for vulnerable populations who can be adversely affected by planning and development. Previously, Vinita was Program Officer of Housing and Transportation at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, where she supported the $100 Billion Regional Transportation Measure campaign, alongside San Francisco Transit Riders, through co-leading research, fundraising and co-convening national experts to garner support for progressive revenue mechanisms (beyond sales tax) for regional transportation infrastructure.  At SVCF, Vinita also initiated and led the foundation to prioritize investments in supporting shared equity housing models in the Peninsula-South Bay region and co-led efforts with community partners to launch the Peninsula-South Bay Preservation Lab to advance systems level efforts in addressing housing displacement. 

As Strategic Advisor at City of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development, Vinita led a film project that featured the lived experiences of residents facing displacement in the Central Area neighborhood that would be affected with the City’s proposed city-wide inclusionary housing framework. Vinita also led discussions with the Chinatown stakeholders on community stabilization strategies as part of the Chinatown International District Framework Implementation Plan. Prior to that, at the Association of Bay Area Governments, Vinita led the analysis assessing the feasibility of converting Mobile Home Communities into shared equity housing while at the City of Oakland, Vinita coordinated an inter-departmental equitable development strategy for the West Oakland Specific Plan.   ‍

Vinita currently serves on the board of the San Francisco Community Land Trust and is also an independent writer, having written for national industry publications.   

Vinita holds a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s in Architecture from Government College of Architecture, Lucknow, India.

Cat Carter, Policy & Communications Director

Currently on leave

Cat has worked with San Francisco Transit Riders variously as event organizer, Membership Manager, Communications Manager, and Interim Executive Director. Cat’s prior career was as General Manager of the Hotel Utah Saloon in South of Market – she is very familiar with the challenges small merchants face in San Francisco, including around parking, transit, and surviving infrastructure upgrades. Cat primarily rides the 14 and 14R, and wishes regional transit could better connect her with friends and family from Santa Rosa to Fremont.

Zack Deutsch-Gross, POLICY AND COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS Director

Born and raised in San Francisco, Zack grew up riding Muni. Zack is called to this work by a love of cities and a desire to address climate and equity issues in his hometown. For him, transit is not just about getting from A to B, but a fundamental way we engage with each other and form a collective identity in urban spaces. By lifting up the voices of riders and communities who have been left out of or actively harmed by past decision-making, we can improve transit in a way that creates a more equitable, connected, and sustainable city where everyone has a right to belong and thrive.

Zack brings an extensive organizing background to San Francisco Transit Riders. Prior to joining SFTR, Zack spent the past ten years organizing around environmental and climate justice, from rural New Hampshire and Iowa to urban hubs like Seattle and Detroit. Most recently, Zack directed the international field program for Global Zero, managing teams in the US, India and Pakistan to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. In his current role, Zack leads SFTR’s political advocacy and grassroots community partnerships, in addition to managing the community organizing team.

Zack holds a Masters in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and a Bachelors degree in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz. He currently serves on MTC’s Policy Advisory Council and on the board of I.T. Bookman Community Center. In his free time, he leads backpacking trips for the Sierra Club and is an avid soccer player and fan.

B-Rod, Community Organizer

B-Rod is a queer, undocumented, Salvadoran immigrant currently residing in the Inner Parkside Neighborhood of San Francisco, CA. They immigrated to the United States with their family at the age of 6 and grew up in various neighborhoods of Los Angeles. From a very young age, B-Rod was politically conscious given their parents are both survivors of El Salvador’s civil war.   

B-Rod became engaged with community organizing through immigrant rights organizing in 2013 as a WiseUp! High School Summer Intern for CHIRLA, a nonprofit coalition of self-advocating immigrant communities. Since then, B-Rod has continued to organize, advocate, and educate on issues related and relevant to immigrants and their wellbeing. More recently as a DreamSF Fellow, B-Rod collaborated with the San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs, helping the city’s partners within the San Francisco Pathways Citizenship Initiative to build the infrastructure to carry out their online citywide citizenship workshops during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic.

B-Rod now works as a community organizer with San Francisco Transit Riders, attempting to bring diverse voices into transportation decision-making spaces. They became interested in the intersection of public health, transportation, and improving poor folk’s daily lived experiences after having the privilege to work on multimodal transportation infrastructure research in the City of Richmond through their Health Career Connection summer internship, an experience that allowed them to work directly with community members and their expressed needs. Their projects at SFTR include the Youth Transit Action program, an educational and practice-based high-school leadership development curriculum focused around youth mode shift, community organizing outreach and programming around SFTR’s transit improvement campaigns, as well as technical support outreach to community partners and SFTR members.  

Outside of SF Transit Riders, B-Rod is also an experienced flute player of 16 years, a talent learned since childhood as a student of The Harmony Project.=. B-Rod holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from University of California, Berkeley.

 

AMY VAN DOREN, LOCAL POLICY ADVISOR

Amy Van Doren is a transportation planner and policy analyst with extensive experience in local public transit operations and management. She grew up in auto-oriented Southern California and came to appreciate how awareness of our environment and our sense of community is influenced by our travel choices. Amy started her career with a focus on the impact of government investment decisions on inequality and access to opportunity. After stints on the East Coast and in Chicago, she returned to San Francisco in 1999. 
 
As SFTR’s Local Policy Advisor,  Amy works with SFMTA on our priorities for planning, operations, and capital projects. She currently leads our Transit Planning Working Group and pursues opportunities to work with the business community in support of our membership drive and Transit Month. 
 
Prior to joining SFTR, Amy developed Marin County Transit District from one staff position into an independent agency responsible for all local public transit programs and services. She led the county’s first short range transit plan to reflect local needs and priorities and worked to develop local sales tax and vehicle license fee measures to fund public transit and innovative mobility services. Amy served as Marin Transit’s first Policy and Legislative Director and developed the District’s programs related to federal requirements, including Title VI Civil Rights and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. She was also very engaged in the County’s emergency transportation planning. 
 
Amy holds a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and an A.B. in History from Bowdoin College. She completed a six-year term as chair of the Transportation Research Board Standing Committee on Transit Management and Performance in 2020. Amy has been a Scottish country dancer for 20+ years and is hatching long overdue adventures. 
  • REBECCA GIBIAN, COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT
  • Rebecca Gibian is an international freelance journalist and author. Her work has appeared in The Associated Press, The Atlantic, VICE, PRI’s The World, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, among others. Her reporting focuses on women nationally and internationally and she has reported from countries including Iraq, South Africa, and Indonesia. 
  • Her first book, The RBG Way: The Secrets of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Success, was published November 12, 2019. It looks at tangible lessons we can all learn from Justice Ginsburg and apply to our own lives. She holds a Masters of Science in Journalism from the University of Southern California. 
  • Rebecca has lived in and utilized transit in cities across the United States, and believes strongly in SFTR’s mission to make transit more equitable and accessible for all. She is excited to work within a grassroots organization that focuses on the people at the center of transit: the riders. After growing up in rural Pennsylvania without access to public transit and then moving to multiple cities with varying degrees of accessible and equitable transit, Rebecca is excited to help SF build a better system for all. 

SF Transit Riders Board of Directors

Dominique Monie

Co-Chair

Dominique Monié (she/her) moved to San Francisco in early 2017 and immediately fell in love with public transit and never needing to drive (bonus that it’s better for the planet too!) She has a family member who relies on public transit to get around due to a disability and understands the critical role equitable public transit plays in giving people access to opportunity. In pre-pandemic times, Dominique was a regular N Judah rider, except when the 7X could get her to work faster.

Dominique manages the team of Technical Program Managers supporting LinkedIn Talent Solutions. She is also the San Francisco office lead for the employee green team, a group of employees interested in environmental sustainability. She has always been passionate about conservation, the environment and sustainability and has a Master’s of Environmental Science and Management from UC Santa Barbara. 

Thea Selby

Co-Chair

Thea Selby (she/her) has developed an expertise in and philosophy of “people-centered outreach” as chair and co-chair of the largest transit advocacy organization in the Bay Area, San Francisco Transit Riders. Co-founder of regional coalition Voices for Public Transportation, Thea has been working closely with CBOs and organized labor across nine counties in pursuit of a transformational, equity-infused transportation measure now slated for 2024. Thea is co-founder and principal at Next Steps Marketing, where she combines her expertise in communications and logistics, deep relationships with people in government and transportation, and passion for infrastructure to help make things work better for people.

In addition to Thea’s communications, outreach and engagement work with clients like MTC, BART, SFCTA, and Alameda CTC, she has governed large infrastructure projects as CA High Speed Rail Authority Board member, overseeing the Fresno-Bakersfield EIR/EIS process, and as CCSF Trustee, oversees their $845M multi-campus bond projects. Thea’s combined professional and community work allow her to see issues and challenges from agency, advocacy and public viewpoints.

Steve Pepple

Vice Chair

Steve Pepple (he/they) is a long-time advocate for equitable, livable, sustainable cities, especially fostering creative ways to engage people in inclusive, participatory methods of envisioning better cities and communities.

Steve is the co-founder of Vibemap and a designer and technologist working at the intersection of people, data, and civic life. He consults for governments, startups, and nonprofits to design, prototype, and connect people with better city experiences.

His writing and portfolio are at stevepepple.info

Mike Artukovich

Treasurer

Mike (he/him) grew up in Los Angeles County when your transit options were either a car or a long ride in traffic on the Metro bus network. Rail in LA was a dream at that time. It wasn’t until he moved to the Bay Area almost three decades ago that he discovered the magic of truly effective public transit. As a result, Mike believes the value of public transit should never be underestimated. This has driven him to be an advocate for equitable transit access along with increased transit availability, affordability, efficiency, and safety in San Francisco and across the Bay.
 
Mike brings over 20 years of finance and accounting experience to the organization. He’s dedicated the last half dozen years of his career to the world of non-profits and cherishes his role as the Treasure for San Francisco Transit Riders. He also serves as the Finance and Operations Manager with the Value Reporting Foundation. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science from Santa Clara University, where he was very thankful for Caltrain and VTA service.

Peter STraus

Secretary 

Peter Straus had a long career at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, primarily as Manager of Service Planning, retiring in 2009.  At SFMTA he worked extensively with community organizations and residents, helping guide SFMTA and its predecessors through two rounds of service restructuring that significantly increased crosstown service, expansion of the electric trolley coach network, the opening of the Market Street subway, and the planning and development of the F-Market Street streetcar, the T-Third rail line, the Central Subway, and the Van Ness BRT projects, among numerous other endeavors. 

After leaving SFMTA, he has been mostly involved in efforts to secure adequate funding for transit in San Francisco, and worked with Dave Snyder when he founded San Francisco Transit Riders; he has served on its Board ever since. He co-founded what became the San Francisco Transit Justice Coalition that supported numerous ballot campaigns, and whose efforts led SFMTA to establish its Transit Equity Strategy.  He also co-founded Voices for Public Transportation, a coalition that is now 50-organizations strong and is committed to securing a regional transit funding measure based on progressive revenue sources for the 2024 ballot. 

Peter grew up in New York City, largely on the New York subway.  He has lived (and raised a family) in the Duboce Triangle/Lower Haight area of San Francisco, coming west after receiving his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1971. He is also an avid Giants fan, and founded San Francisco Little League’s Challenger program for kids with disabilities.

Camille Guiriba

Director

As a Bay Area native, Camille Guiriba (she/her) is enthusiastic to work towards a more equitable transportation system and region through her day job and in serving on the SFTR board. In her current role at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, Camille works on long-range and neighborhood-based transportation plans and coordinates the staff Racial Equity Working Group. Camille is a senior transportation planner with over 12 years of experience in the nonprofit and public sectors. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from UC Berkeley and Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA.

Serena Wales

Director

Serena Wales is a lifelong transit rider, and having lived in cities across the world, has seen how convenient, affordable, and sustainable transit enables great, inclusive cities. In their day job, Serena is a civic technologist with a focus on tools that enable communication. They are currently a senior engineering manager at Twilio.

Previously, they were a cofounder and CTO of Textizen, a platform for connecting public institutions with the people they serve, and a fellow at Code for America, where they worked with the city of New Orleans to help provide residents with accurate and up-to-date information about their neighborhoods. Serena graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Media Arts & Sciences and History.

Contact us

San Francisco Transit Riders

P.O. Box 193341, San Francisco, CA 94119

© 2018 San Francisco Transit Riders, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit