Skip to main content



Overview of Services

Hanson Bridgett is one of the nation's premier law firms for public transit providers, providing the full complement of legal services across the state. No other California law firm can match our expertise in helping to keep buses, trains, ferries, and other means of public transportation in operation.

Public transportation serves as an essential link for people to get to work, buy groceries, receive medical help, and attain other basic services. Hanson Bridgett holds a unique status as legal counsel for many of the Bay Area's public transit agencies and transportation authorities. We serve as general counsel for many of the region's transit providers and support in-house legal offices in the Bay Area and beyond, stepping in to handle major, complicated, or controversial issues.

Our Services

As general counsel, we advise clients on their day-to-day functions and transactions, from the operations of a board to service decisions and the development of policies. We also do litigation and labor and employment work for transit agencies, assisting them with negotiations, discipline, and other issues.

Public transit agencies are highly regulated, and we assist our clients in complying with local, state, and federal rules that arise in an array of scenarios, including contract negotiation and management, procurement of equipment and services, and reallocation of resources. With our decades of experience, we know the changes, nuances, and practical applications of the rules and regulations, enabling us to work swiftly and efficiently. Over the years, we have gained invaluable credibility, especially when agencies receiving federal grants undergo periodic audits.

As special counsel to transit providers with in-house counsel, we assist clients with major infrastructure projects, labor, litigation, investigations, civil rights compliance, and other issues. We supplement our services with Hanson Bridgett lawyers who focus primarily on labor, construction, and other areas and lend their expertise when needed.

Our firm has a national reputation as an authority on public transit, and our lawyers often are asked to speak about compliance with federal regulations.

Public Transportation Initiatives

Here are examples of projects with which we've assisted our clients.

  • Golden Gate Bridge seismic retrofit, moveable median barrier, suicide deterrent system, and electronic toll collection system
  • Rail corridor acquisitions and BART extensions
  • Regional and high-speed rail planning
  • Regional fare systems
  • Bus rapid transit projects
  • Design-build and transit-oriented development projects
  • Civil rights and transportation funding litigation
  • Electrification infrastructure and zero-emission fleet acquisition
  • Express lane construction and project financing
  • Creation, adoption, and implementation of local and regional taxes

Areas of Expertise

We advise our clients on the full spectrum of legal areas, including the following:

  • State and federal civil rights laws compliance and litigation, including ADA, Title VI, and First Amendment
  • 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
  • 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
  • Labor and Employment Law, including 13(c) labor protection claims, negotiations, and employee discipline
  • Infrastructure projects, including transit-oriented development, joint development projects, public-private partnerships, and design-build

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 Contact

Shayna Mittler van Hoften
Shayna van Hoften
Walnut Creek, CA
Public Transit & Transportation

News & Resources