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  #61  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2010, 11:42 PM
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As of September they were still selling tokens at City Hall and the booth at Powell St. but you have to ask for them--they haven't advertised their existence for many years.

I can't recall the details now but when they first started seeking local Muni riders to try out TransLink, I was enthusiastic and looked into it but concluded it would not be in any way a plus for me and I lost my enthusiasm. If things change (such as doing away with FastPass-accepting gates at metro stations), I'll reconsider, of course. I'm too old to do what so many Muni riders do and just jump the little railing and ride for free.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 4:49 AM
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The Portland fare is actually $86/month for all zones.
For 2 zones (which covers all of downtown & all inner city neighborhoods) it's $75/month.

The only mode of transportation that isn't covered under that fare is our aerial tram & even that is under the authority of TriMet.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 4:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Okstate View Post
The Portland fare is actually $86/month for all zones.
For 2 zones (which covers all of downtown & all inner city neighborhoods) it's $75/month.

The only mode of transportation that isn't covered under that fare is our aerial tram & even that is under the authority of TriMet.
The aerial tram is covered in the monthly pass cost (link). But it's not a part of TriMet.

One thing that is not included in TriMet's monthly pass is Vancouver, WA's public transit system, C-Tran. But C-Tran does offer a pass for $105 that includes all of its buses plus all of TriMet (not sure if the aerial tram is included in that).

Anyway, back to San Francisco...
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  #64  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 5:18 PM
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Construction started TODAY!

Quote:
Construction Set To Begin On Fourth Caldecott Bore

Posted: 12:38 pm PST January 8, 2010
OAKLAND -- Relief for East Bay commuters may finally be in sight as the long-awaited construction of a fourth bore for the Caldecott Tunnel is set to begin as soon as Jan. 15th, Caltrans announced Friday.

That date signals the end of the required 55-day waiting period after Caltrans awarded the construction contract to Sylmar-based construction firm Tutor-Saliba, project spokesman Jeff Weiss said.

The four-year project will add a fourth bore to the busy tunnel, which connects Oakland and Contra Costa County via state Highway 24.

The third bore was added to the Depression-era tunnel in 1964, and was the last state highway tunnel built in California until work began on the Devil's Slide tunnel project in September 2007.

Adding a two-lane, 3,390-foot bore will eliminate the need for the existing central bore to alternate between westbound and eastbound traffic for the morning and evening rush hour.

Motorists should notice changes almost immediately, according to Weiss, as crews start "clearing and grubbing" the brush in the construction areas surrounding the proposed portals.

Crews will then set up their staging areas and construct a temporary sound wall at the west portal, Weiss said.

The noise buffering is part of a settlement with a consortium of community groups known as the Caldecott Fourth Bore Coalition that sued Caltrans in 2007 over environmental concerns relating to the project. The agency agreed to a number of other measures, including using low-sulfur diesel fuel to power equipment.

The actual boring of the tunnel will cost about $215 million of the project's $420 million total cost, Weiss said.

http://www.ktvu.com/news/22186431/detail.html
Approx. 200,000 cars a day traverse the Caldecott Tunnel. This is long overdue.

Anyway, some pics.


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  #65  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 5:30 PM
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That date signals the end of the required 55-day waiting period after Caltrans awarded the construction contract to Sylmar-based construction firm Tutor-Saliba, project spokesman Jeff Weiss said.
What's the logic for a mandatory waiting period after a contract is awarded? Why can't they get going immediately after a contract is awarded?

Does anyone know if a waiting period like this is the norm, or is it a California thing?
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  #66  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 5:35 PM
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Public hearing for BART extension to Livermore

PLEASANTON — Residents can voice their opinion today on nine possible routes to extend BART service into Livermore.

A public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. today in the city council chambers, 200 Old Bernal Ave.

In a draft environmental report released in November by BART, there are nine possible routes being considered in this very early planning stage. Five of the routes would have tracks leave the median of Interstate 580 near El Charro Road and cut through the east side of Pleasanton on land that set to house the long-awaited Staples Ranch project.

Staples Ranch is a 124-acre site at the junction of I-580 and El Charro Road. Among the elements to be included in the development is a 45-acre senior continuing care facility, a 37-acre auto mall, 11 acres of retail, a 17-acre community park that would include a 141,679-square foot indoor ice skating facility and a 5-acre neighborhood park.

BART has held two previous public hearings in Livermore, but added the Pleasanton meeting at the request of City Manager Nelson Fialho. Fialho sent a e-mail to BART project manager Malcolm Quint in November after finding out about the routes that cut through Pleasanton.

Pleasanton city officials have said they support extending BART service to Livermore, but only with plans that keep it on the freeway median.

The five routes that cut through east Pleasanton all deviate from Interstate 580 just before El Charro Road and head through Pleasanton and then east at Stanley Boulevard and into downtown Livermore. Three of the routes go through downtown Livermore and end at a station near Greenville Road, while the two other alternatives end at stations at Isabel Avenue and Stanley Boulevard or in downtown Livermore.

The BART extension could take from 10 to 25 years and cost from $1.12 billion to $3.8 billion, depending on which route is chosen.

The deadline for written comments to be submitted on the plan was also extended at the request of Fialho and ends Jan. 21, the same date that BART will hold its final public hearing in Livermore.

Robert Jordan covers Dublin and Pleasanton, contact him at 925-847-2184.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/oakland...ws/ci_14127976
Im gonna have to side with Pleasanton on this one. Keep BART along 580 just like it is along 24. Its probably cheaper, will cause far less of a construction headache for residents and you wont have to chop up neighborhoods-plus many of Pleasanton's ritziest neighborhoods would fight tooth and nail and this would delay or even nix the project altogether.

Especially if BART is going to go thru Ruby Hill, which is fast becoming NorCal's version of Westlake Village.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 5:49 PM
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oops.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 5:50 PM
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Here's a map of proposed BART lines to Livermore.


You can zoom closer here...
http://barttolivermore.org/files/fil...ternatives.pdf
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  #69  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 6:02 PM
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Well, this article is from a few days ago, so its not technically 'today'

Quote:
Oakland begins BRT meetings today

Tonight, the City of Oakland will kick off a series of community meetings about AC Transit's proposed BRT system.

Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, is a often described as light rail without the rails. In BRT systems, buses run in a dedicated lane to ensure speed and reliability, so the bus does not risk getting delayed in traffic. Passengers board the buses from raised platforms level with the bus door, and purchase tickets in advance from fare machines at the station, allowing them to board and exit the bus on any door, without standing in line to pay.

AC Transit is proposing a BRT line that will run from downtown Telegraph Avenue from Berkeley, then through downtown Oakland, and then up East 14th to San Leandro. As part of the planning process, each City that will host part of the BRT line must identify their preferred street design, route, and station locations.

The meetings being held over the next few weeks give Oakland residents an opportunity to weigh in on these questions. And with seven meetings to choose from, everyone should be able to find at least one that fits into their schedule:

Monday, January 11th: 6-8 PM, Fruitvale Senior Center, 3301 E. 12th Street, Ste. 201

Tuesday, January 12th: 6-8 PM, Eastside Arts Alliance, 2277 International Boulevard

Thursday, January 21st: 6-8 PM, East Oakland Youth Development Center, 8200 International Boulevard

Tuesday, January 26th: 6-8 PM, Faith Presbyterian Church, 420 49th Street

Wednesday, January 27th: 11 AM - 1 PM, Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 2, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza

Wednesday, January 27th: 5-7 PM, Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 4, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza

Thursday, January 28th: 6-8 PM, St. Louis Bertrand Church, 1410 100th Avenue

More information on the BRT project can be found at Oakland's BRT website and from AC Transit.

Posted By: V Smoothe (Email) | January 11 2010 at 09:00 AM

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/...#ixzz0chllSKKw
some pics.






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  #70  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 7:06 PM
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BART Ponders Raising Transbay Surcharge
Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, January 15, 2010

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...MNEF1BIDIJ.DTL


A BART train heads into the tunnel in West Oakland that leads to the Transbay Tube. That ride might cost more when bridge tolls go up in July, under a proposal to raise the surcharge to help close the transit district's budget gap. Photo: Michael Macor / The Chronicle


With the cost of crossing the Bay Bridge during peak commute hours likely to climb by $2 on July 1, some BART directors think the time is right to add a 10-cent surcharge to each trip through the Transbay Tube to help bail out the struggling transit agency.

BART directors Tom Blalock of Fremont and James Fang of San Francisco suggested tacking on the surcharge on trips beneath the bay during a three-hour discussion Thursday on how to close a $25 million gap for the current fiscal year.

BART fares for trips beneath the bay already include an 89-cent surcharge. The additional fee would generate about $4.7 million a year, said General Manager Dorothy Dugger.

"We know tolls are going up July 1," said Blalock, arguing that it would make sense to increase BART's transbay tariff simultaneously. "What if we made a pre-emptive strike? I don't want to see us start considering it after the toll increase takes place."

...
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  #71  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 7:47 PM
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Those without cars hit hardest by Bay Area transit crisis

Part 4 of the series

Quote:
Those without cars hit hardest by Bay Area transit crisis

By Mike Rosenberg
Bay Area News Group
Posted: 01/13/2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Updated: 01/13/2010 10:22:30 AM PST

Special Section

* Running on Empty:
Bay Area Transportation in Trouble

Like many Bay Area residents who rely on public transit to get out around, Redwood City resident Trevor Irwin feels helpless when fares rise and service levels drop.

Irwin, who pays $750 monthly for rent and bills, has cut his grocery budget to $40 a week to cope with a 25-cent SamTrans bus fare hike in February 2009, while preparing for another one coming this February.

"What's more important, food or a bus pass?" said Irwin, 29. "(I) can't pay all that money."

Irwin is known as a transit-dependent rider, part of the estimated one in three Bay Area adults without access to a car, who are now being forced to pay more for less service. Because they can't simply hop in a car to cope, transit-dependent riders may be hit hardest by the trouble facing local transit.

San Jose resident Lupe Medrano, who is blind and does not work, relies on the Valley Transportation Authority's bus and paratransit service to get around. VTA raised daily paratransit fares from $3.50 to $4 recently and, like Irwin, Medrano has had to pull money from essentials or ride less often, leaving her unable to go out as often for social purposes, and she has stopped attending De Anza College in Cupertino.

"We're in a recession — a lot of people are hurting. We're on fixed income," said Medrano, 52. "It's just making it more and more difficult for people to get out there and do what they need to do for daily living."

The current service cuts and fare hikes are likely to produce significant lifestyle changes, as when AC Transit slashed service by 12 percent and upped fares 15 cents in 1996. At the time, 524 passengers surveyed by an independent research group said they took 35 percent fewer weekly bus trips for work, about half as many trips for shopping, health care and senior centers and two-thirds fewer recreation trips.

Some advocates have been critical of transit agencies for trimming off-peak service, because transit-dependent commuters often work low-income jobs during odd hours. Recently, Caltrain increased midday wait times from half-hourly to hourly, and BART reduced weeknight and weekend service from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes, while keeping commute-time schedules intact.

Transit agencies say they have little choice because their commute-time trains attract more riders and are the most economically feasible.

Some low-income riders may have little recourse but to purchase cheap cars, keep them uninsured and hope they don't break down, said Guillermo Mayer, staff attorney for San Francisco-based civil rights law firm Public Advocates.

"It pushes people deeper into poverty," Mayer said. "People are becoming, I think, desperate. This is an immediate impact that they see every single day. They don't have the option of not sending their kids to school; they don't have the option of not showing up at work."

Some advocates have also criticized transit agencies for funding costly projects that benefit mostly affluent residents.

Cash-strapped BART, for instance, decided in December to spend $492 million on a people-mover for fliers headed to Oakland International Airport. The board that distributes San Mateo County transit sales tax money recently moved up $15 million for a new ferry line designed for South San Francisco biotech workers coming from Oakland's Jack London Square.

"I believe we should service more who are transit-dependent, those who have no other means to get to doctors, work, school, whatever," longtime South San Francisco Councilwoman Karyl Matsumoto said. "That should be the priority."

Vallejo resident Michael Ella, who works part-time in San Francisco as a guest services usher at AT&T and Candlestick parks, can't afford to buy a car and takes Vallejo Transit and BART. With reduced bus service, Ella, 32, often has to walk home, alongside Interstate 780, from the El Cerrito del Norte BART station.

The journey takes him 3½ hours, and with BART fare hikes it costs $18.20 round trip. He often stays overnight with a friend in San Francisco.

"About 40 percent of my expenses go to commuting," Ella said. "That sometimes drives me crazy."

For seniors, the disabled and others who have trouble walking or getting rides, the service cuts endanger their ability to do basic errands such as grocery shopping.

"Obviously, the concern that I have is that people will not get out of their house. They'll be isolated," said Metropolitan Transportation Commission Vice Chairwoman Adrienne Tissier, a San Mateo County supervisor.

Others will turn to friends and family members for rides, which may be quicker and cheaper but can chip away at their pride, independence and freedom, advocates and riders say.

Those at Community Gatepath, a Burlingame-based nonprofit that serves the disabled, including Irwin, said it looks like Irwin has lost weight since he cut back on grocery bills. Irwin, who works as a landscaper there, is worried the worst is yet to come.

"If we get cuts, then we can't come to work," said Irwin, who says the job makes him happy. "It takes your goals away from you."
Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-...nclick_check=1
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  #72  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 7:48 PM
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What it will take to fix Bay Area transit crisis

Part 5

Quote:
What it will take to fix Bay Area transit crisis

By Mike Rosenberg
Bay Area News Group
Posted: 01/13/2010 01:01:56 PM PST
Updated: 01/13/2010 09:54:54 PM PST

For Bay Area transit agencies to emerge stronger from their plight, extensive changes will be required, most likely including new taxes and a shift in the way commuters travel and leaders plan cities.

Experts, politicians, commuters and others interviewed for this series offered many ideas that could spur ridership and help public transit providers crawl out of budget holes. But there is doubt that the region can muster the political will to make the solutions happen.

Several experts say land use and planning will play a key role.

Environmentalists, transit agencies and regional government bodies have lobbied for more homes, shops and amenities near train and bus centers, a concept known as transit-oriented development. The 257,000-square-foot Fruitvale Transit Village in Oakland is a shining example, but there are others in the works or standing in Pleasant Hill, Richmond and elsewhere.

The most recent government survey available, from 2000, shows those living within a half-mile of a Bay Area ferry or train station were four times more likely than others to take transit. Only 4 percent of those whose homes and jobs were more than a half-mile from a station used transit, compared with 42 percent for those with both within a half-mile.

"This is the way of the future," said Allison Brooks, chief of staff at Oakland-based Reconnecting America, which operates the Center for Transit-Oriented Development. "The trend is there, and a lot of cities want to make this happen. But the investment isn't there."

Ridership questions

There are questions, however, about whether these developments actually increase transit ridership. UC Transportation Center Director Robert Cervero, a leading transit-oriented development expert, said many transit village residents fulfill the "self-selection" process, meaning they are longtime transit riders who move near a transit hub.

There are also few opportunities left to build transit villages without cities either buying out or forcing out property owners. Of the 96,614 acres of land within a half-mile of Bay Area transit stations, only 5,488 acres are vacant or underutilized, according to a Reconnecting America land analysis.

Aside from building close to hubs, some have suggested more corporate shuttles, such as the one Genentech runs from some BART and Caltrain stations to its South San Francisco campus.

Not surprisingly, most agree land-use advances will do little to soothe Bay Area transit troubles if train and bus operators can't solve their financial problems and offer convenient, affordable rides. If middle-class commuters are to ditch their cars for transit, it may be up to local governments, transit agencies and taxpayers to help make that shift.

The federal government has in recent memory provided no operational support for transit agencies. The state had provided a key lift, long supplying Bay Area transit agencies with $100 million to $200 million a year until 2006. But in the past three years, the state has taken $532 million that would have gone to Bay Area transit budgets and another $189 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Despite the California Transit Association's successful lawsuit against the practice, local transit agencies expect the state to find an accounting trick to satisfy the judge's demands and keep the money in state coffers for at least the next few years.

Local taxpayers take the hit?

That leaves local taxpayers to foot the bill.

Of the 12 transportation-related tax measures put on ballots in 2008 by local agencies in California, voters passed 11. The Bay Area is aiming for a November 2012 ballot measure that would provide regional revenue for transit.

A group of transit officials, regional planners and outside experts called the Transit Sustainability Project are tasked with figuring out what type of measure it would be, and a gas tax of up to 10 cents has been gaining steam among some leaders. MTC Executive Director Steve Heminger calls the gas tax a carbon tax by another name, and says $4-a-gallon gas is the best thing that ever happened to transit ridership.

But cash flow is only half the budget picture. The Transit Sustainability Project is also aiming to cut costs, possibly by merging some of the 28 transit agencies that run similar routes and pull profits away from one another.

Experts and transit agencies are mostly divided into two camps: Those believing in the "if you build it, they will ride it" mentality say taxpayers should invest in infrastructure, such as rail extensions and new stations, while others lobby instead for more efficient service. The latter may be more realistic given recent funding problems.

Because of the economic backdrop, turning around local transit troubles is likely to prove challenging and require support from both politicians and the public, said Susan Shaheen, co-director of UC-Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center.

Although the shift would be costly and time-consuming, it would be a significant one for commuters, the economy and the environment.

As U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a recent blog post: "Our future rides on public transportation."
Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/search/ci_14181164
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  #73  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 7:53 PM
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BART getting closer to San Jose...

Luke Stangle Reporting
luke_stangel@yahoo.com

SAN JOSE - The effort to bring BART to San Jose took another step forward Wednesday as the State Transportation Commission voted to release the next $50-million dollars for the Warm Springs extension.

The money would be spent to stretch BART another 5-and-a-half miles from it's current end-point in Fremont out to the Warm Springs District, even closer to the Santa Clara County line.

A big part of this latest round of funding will be spent to tunnel under Fremont's Lake Elizabeth.

The Warm Springs extension will be the next leg of an extension that will eventually lead to Milpitas, Berryessa and on into downtown San Jose.

http://kliv.com/BART-getting-closer-...ose---/6119529
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  #74  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 9:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dimondpark View Post
Im gonna have to side with Pleasanton on this one. Keep BART along 580 just like it is along 24. Its probably cheaper, will cause far less of a construction headache for residents and you wont have to chop up neighborhoods-plus many of Pleasanton's ritziest neighborhoods would fight tooth and nail and this would delay or even nix the project altogether.

Especially if BART is going to go thru Ruby Hill, which is fast becoming NorCal's version of Westlake Village.
The question is really whether downtown Livermore should be a destination. If so, leaving the 580 median will be necessary, and there could potentially be some good traffic heading out to Livermore, from Pleasanton/Dublin especially. If not, I question the need to extend the line any further. Just build a bigger parking garage in Dublin. It's not like any of the capacity problems on 580 are between Livermore and Pleasanton - they're all east of Livermore or west of Pleasanton. I'm not big on spending billions just to give a few thousand people in Livermore a ten minute drive to the parking garage rather than a 20 minute drive. Without a station in a walkable area of some type (meaning that station is a destination), the extension is merely adding a couple more park and rides.

I have many problems with the San Jose extension, but at least it is adding some actual destinations.
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  #75  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 9:27 PM
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The question is really whether downtown Livermore should be a destination. If so, leaving the 580 median will be necessary, and there could potentially be some good traffic heading out to Livermore, from Pleasanton/Dublin especially. If not, I question the need to extend the line any further. Just build a bigger parking garage in Dublin. It's not like any of the capacity problems on 580 are between Livermore and Pleasanton - they're all east of Livermore or west of Pleasanton.
I've never been to or seen "beautiful downtown Livermore". Anybody got any pictures so we can understand this issue? What do the neighborhoods to be served look like? Are they just typical suburbia or is there any density (or possibility of transit-related development) to them?

I do disagree that there are no congestion problems on 580 between Livermore and Pleasanton. When I travel that stretch, usually early on a Saturday evening, it's darned heavy traffic though not heavy enough to go bumper to bumper. I can only imagine during rush hour on weekdays though.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 9:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
I've never been to or seen "beautiful downtown Livermore". Anybody got any pictures so we can understand this issue? What do the neighborhoods to be served look like? Are they just typical suburbia or is there any density (or possibility of transit-related development) to them?
I can see the lawsuits now. The proposed path if BART were to actually go into Livermore crosses near several very expensive housing developments. Think faux tuscany complete with vineyards. Not to mention Lawrence Livermore Labs is right there too.

As for Downtown Livermore,
its actually become a bit trendy.




They really are trying.

Quote:
I do disagree that there are no congestion problems on 580 between Livermore and Pleasanton. When I travel that stretch, usually early on a Saturday evening, it's darned heavy traffic though not heavy enough to go bumper to bumper. I can only imagine during rush hour on weekdays though.
Its really bad. 580 congestion has been written about in the NYT its so bad.

I personally would rather see BART ring the bay and go out to surrounding counties than an HSR from NorCal and SoCal.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 10:03 PM
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Has anyone looked into the amount of money wasted, the inefficiency, and the logistical problems associated with having so many separate transit agencies in the Bay Area? I can't imagine that they communicate much with each other leading to scheduling conflicts. Further, they probably duplicate resources unnecessarily such as routes, equipment, down to administrative personnel. Then there's the problems of branding and the public's familiarity with the varying systems (Muni, BART, AC Transit, SamTrans, Golden Gate Transit, etc...) Not everyone is as enthusiastic or comfortable figuring out how to use these systems as many people on this forum. I'd really be curious to see how much could be saved and how much more comfortable people would feel if at least all of the light rail and buses were operated under one company?
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 11:13 PM
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I do disagree that there are no congestion problems on 580 between Livermore and Pleasanton. When I travel that stretch, usually early on a Saturday evening, it's darned heavy traffic though not heavy enough to go bumper to bumper. I can only imagine during rush hour on weekdays though.
Oh, I didn't mean that it was free-flowing. However, there are no bottlenecks between Livermore and Pleasanton. Unless you're taking people off from going over Altamont Pass (which this doesn't do) or from going between Dublin and Oakland (which this does not do, since anyone can currently jump off the freeway in Dublin and park there) or going north/south on 680 (which this does not do), you're not really doing much to quell congestion.

If there is a valid destination station being built, the argument can be that you're linking places that need to be linked. If you're simply building another park and ride station, I think you need either A. an argument that it will decrease congestion at a current bottleneck or B. an argument that current stations/parking structures are at or near capacity, or will be soon. Neither is even remotely the case, and I find it hard to believe that there is any amount of ridership looking to go between a freeway median station in Pleasanton or Dublin and a freeway median station in Livermore OR that there is a large amount of potential ridership from people in Livermore who WON'T use BART now with the drive to the parking structure in Pleasanton/Dublin, but WILL with a parking structure in Livermore.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CityKid View Post
Has anyone looked into the amount of money wasted, the inefficiency, and the logistical problems associated with having so many separate transit agencies in the Bay Area? I can't imagine that they communicate much with each other leading to scheduling conflicts. Further, they probably duplicate resources unnecessarily such as routes, equipment, down to administrative personnel. Then there's the problems of branding and the public's familiarity with the varying systems (Muni, BART, AC Transit, SamTrans, Golden Gate Transit, etc...) Not everyone is as enthusiastic or comfortable figuring out how to use these systems as many people on this forum. I'd really be curious to see how much could be saved and how much more comfortable people would feel if at least all of the light rail and buses were operated under one company?
There's always the question of "what if" we had a real regional agency. We probably had the most chance when BART was formed in the 50s but even as a region, we couldn't agree on BART. The MTC serves as our regional planning and funding agency but operates no service.

And the public transportation that we have is exactly the public transportation that we as the 9-county have voted for - fractured and not willing to give up one area's independence for fear of favor over another. Even AC Transit is not Alameda County specific - it represents a special district which includes both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. And for the life of me, I have NO idea why Tri Delta and County Connection and WestCAT don't merge into one agency.

Did you also know the Santa Rosa, Hayward, Vacaville, and other random cities in the Bay Area also operate their own transit systems. Even Rio Vista operates the Rio Vista Delta Breeze, which carries a massive average of 4 riders a day.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 11:28 PM
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Worse and worser

from http://sf.streetsblog.org/2010/01/15...-9-budget-gap/

MTA Proposes Cuts to Every Muni Line to Close $16.9 Budget Gap

by Michael Rhodes on January 15, 2010
4254526368_18462e94ef.jpgFlickr photo: Justin.Beck

The MTA is proposing broad-ranging service cuts to Muni in order to close a $16.9 projected budget gap through the end of the fiscal year. The cuts - far greater in scope than the service changes implemented in December - will reduce frequencies on every Muni line and, if they're approved by the agency's Board, will be coupled with fare increases on services including the F-line, express routes, and cable cars. Numerous additional changes are proposed, including charging MTA employees for parking.

After alluding to possible further service changes on several occasions, the MTA made the proposal for cuts official with the release of a budget document (PDF) that will be presented at Tuesday's MTA Board meeting. Under the proposal, peak service headways would increase by somewhere in the range of one to two minutes on rapid and express bus lines, one to five minutes on local bus lines, and five to ten minutes on community bus lines, with rapid rail frequencies unchanged. Midday and late evening headways would increase by anywhere from one to five minutes on rapid and express bus lines, one to five minutes on rapid rail lines, two to ten minutes on local bus lines, and five to ten minutes on community bus lines.

MTA spokesperson Judson True said the cuts would go in place as soon as May 1 if the agency's Board approves them at their March 2 meeting. All told, the cuts would save the agency $4.8 million in the current fiscal year, and $28.5 million annually, by eliminating 313,000 service hours each year.

The rest of the $16.9 million gap would be made up with a package of changes that includes a $3 increase to F-Line historic streetcar cash fares, new requirements for express bus and cable car riders to use a premium $70 monthly pass instead of the cheaper $60 pass, increases in discount pass prices to $30, and an increase in the residential parking permit fee from $96 from $76. The agency is also hoping for labor concessions that could save $10 million annually and $700,000 this budget year, which would also include changes to work rules.

MTA employees would start paying for parking at work, bringing in $200,000 for the agency this fiscal year, and Muni customers would pay an credit card fee for online transactions, while customers visiting the MTA's customer service center would pay transaction fees for services that are also available online. Citation costs would also increase by $1.50 across the board, and the MTA will seek $7 million in Prop K sales tax funds from the SFCTA "maintenance and state of good repair to ensure FTA compliance and system performance," according to the budget presentation.

The glaring omission from the proposals was an extension of parking meter hours, something MTA staff presented on last year, and which a staff study said could bring in millions to the agency while improving the city's parking management. "It's not part of the staff recommendation for Tuesday," said MTA spokesperson Judson True.

Many of the proposed changes require Board of Supervisor approval, and none are a done deal, so there should be a significant amount of debate in the coming months on how the Board will proceed. Some further details of how each line will be affected should be available on Tuesday, said True.
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