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Public Transit and Transportation

Public Transit and Transportation

As one of the nation's premier law firms for public transit providers, we help keep buses, trains, ferries, and other means of public transportation running.

Public transportation is a critical link to work, food, medical care, and other essential services. Not surprisingly, public transit agencies are highly regulated entities. As legal counsel for many of these agencies in California, we bring more than six decades of experience navigating the changes, nuances, and practical application of the rules and regulations. This has given us invaluable credibility when stepping in to handle major complicated or controversial issues, or when agencies receiving federal grants undergo periodic audits.

We serve as both general and special counsel to transportation and transit agencies throughout California. We advise clients on all types of day-to-day functions and transactions, whether in the realm of transportation infrastructure and investments, transit service operations decisions, or board practices and procedures. We also handle litigation and labor and employment work, assisting transit agencies with negotiations, discipline, and other issues. Additionally, we help clients comply with local, state, and federal rules pertaining to contract negotiation and management, procurement of equipment and services, and reallocation of resources. 

We also assist with major infrastructure projects,  litigation, construction, accessibility and civil rights compliance, and other issues. 


  • Golden Gate Bridge seismic retrofit, moveable median barrier, suicide deterrent system, and electronic toll collection system
  • Real property acquisitions, including rail corridor acquisitions and extensions (both voluntary and eminent domain)
  • Regional and high-speed rail planning
  • Regional fare systems and integration
  • Bus rapid transit projects
  • Infrastructure projects, including transit-oriented development, joint development projects, public-private partnerships, and design-build
  • Civil rights 
  • State and federal civil rights laws compliance and litigation, including ADA, Title VI, and First Amendment
  • Electrification infrastructure and zero-emission fleet planning and acquisition
  • Express lane and other highway or road construction and project financing
  • Creation, adoption, and implementation of local and regional taxes
  • Contracts and procurement processes, including Buy America; DBE programs; cooperative procurements; technology contracts; maintenance; and rolling stock purchases for bus, train, and ferry
  • Transit service and safety regulations for buses, ferries, railroads, shuttles, vanpools, and taxis, among others
  • Employee benefits programs and tax considerations
  • Labor and employment law, including 13(c) labor protection claims, negotiations, and employee discipline
  • Environmental laws, including CEQA and NEPA
  • Ethics training and compliance
  • Federal and state funding grant administration and audits
  • Insurance and indemnity
  • Joint exercise of powers and other intergovernmental agreements
  • Protection of intellectual property and privacy
  • Legislative drafting

Representative Clients

  • Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
  • San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans)
  • Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain)
  • San Mateo County Transportation Authority
  • Central Contra Costa Transit Authority (County Connection)
  • Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink)
  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
  • Santa Cruz Metro Transit District

Key Contacts

Shayna Mittler van Hoften
Shayna van Hoften
Walnut Creek, CA

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