Public Transit & Transportation

Hanson Bridgett is unmatched in the depth and breadth of our legal expertise in the public transit and transportation industry, reflecting 45 years of experience in the field. Our attorneys represent many key players in public transit and transportation, serving as general and special counsel to well over a dozen public transit agencies and transportation authorities. Our attorneys are recognized experts nationwide and hold leadership roles in the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Our attorneys regularly present on current legal topics for the transit community before organizations such as APTA, the Transportation Research Board, the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, and the California Transit Association.

Hanson Bridgett understands the specialized world of public transit and transportation, and has the experience that allows us to be efficient, creative, and innovative to achieve our clients' objectives. Public transit and transportation is a highly regulated industry, and public transit agencies face an unusually wide, yet interconnected, series of challenges that require the broad experience, perspective, and adaptability that are the hallmark of Hanson Bridgett's public transportation attorneys. Because of our deep knowledge, we are able to serve as trusted advisors to governing boards and management teams, who look to us for solutions for a wide spectrum of public transportation issues. We advise on and facilitate compliance with a host of federal regulatory programs such as Buy America, accessible service under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Programs, charter and school bus rules, elderly and disabled fares, Title VI programs, drug and alcohol testing, and procurement best practices. We advise on complex infrastructure and capital projects, such as the Caltrain Modernization Program and the suicide deterrent system for the Golden Gate Bridge. We help transit clients develop public access, advertising, and social media policies and regulations that balance public safety, privacy and First Amendment principles. We negotiate public employee collective bargaining agreements in the context of interrelated state and federal labor and employment laws. And, when necessary, we represent our transit clients in complex litigation involving hundreds of millions of dollars on such issues as transit funding equity, multi-party construction contract delay claims, and dangerous condition of public property tort litigation.

Examples of public transportation initiatives that Hanson Bridgett has helped guide:

  • Moveable median barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Extension of BART to the San Francisco International Airport
  • Seismic Retrofit of the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Acquisition of the Caltrain and SMART rail corridors
  • All-electronic toll collection system for the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Procurement of a positive train control system for the Caltrain and Metrolink rail systems
  • Advance planning to integrate high-speed rail service onto the Caltrain line
  • Complex technology procurements, such as advanced communication systems, and financial and asset inventory systems
  • Intergovernmental Agreements for over 20 Bay Area transit systems to implement the Clipper® interoperable regional transit fare collection system
  • Design and construction of bus rapid transit project from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory to Dublin-Pleasanton BART
  • Design-Build Bus Fuel and Wash project for LAVTA
  • Darensburg v. MTC

Areas of Expertise

  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Buy America
  • Charter and School Bus Regulations
  • Civil Rights (state and federal)
  • Cooperative Procurements
  • Design Build Projects
  • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Programs
  • Employee Benefits
  • Environmental Law, including CEQA and NEPA
  • Ethics Advice and Training, including AB 1234
  • Federal and State Audits, including FTA Triennial reviews
  • Federal Funding and Grant  Administration
  • First Amendment, including expressive activities
  • Insurance and Indemnity
  • Intergovernmental Agreements
  • Intellectual Property
  • Joint Powers Agreements
  • Legislative Drafting (state and federal)
  • Public Contracts and Procurement
  • Public Entity Litigation
  • Public Private Partnership Agreements
  • Public Transit Labor and Employment Law, including 13(c) labor protection claims
  • Public Works Contracts and Claims
  • Railroad Operating Law
  • Rolling Stock Procurements (bus, ferry and rail)
  • Safety Regulation of Rail and Bus Transit Operations
  • Technology Procurements
  • Transit Oriented Development and Joint Development Projects
  • Title VI Regulations, including Environmental Justice and Limited English Proficiency
  • Transportation Development Act Regulations
  • Vanpools, Shuttles and Taxi Regulation

Representative Clients

  • Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
  • San Mateo County Transit District
  • 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




Primary Contact

Shayna Mittler van Hoften Partner
San Francisco
415-995-5880 Direct Phone
415-995-3515 Fax

Related Practices

Employee Benefits

Environmental Law


Insurance Recovery

Intellectual Property

Labor & Employment

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Political & Election Law

Real Estate



Alexandra V. Atencio

Joan L. Cassman

Madeline Chun

Michael N. Conneran

David S. Gehrig

Catherine J. Groves

Simran K. Mahal

Kimon Manolius

David J. Miller

Steven D. Miller

Patrick T. Miyaki

Julie A. Sherman

Shayna Mittler van Hoften

Nicole S. Witt