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  #81  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
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.
Seems to me that taking BART over the Altamont Pass and into Tracy would be a much better part of their plan for expansion. The number one destination of drivers on 580 is the Tri Valley anyway and most large office parks have free shuttles to and from BART stations.
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  #82  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 11:48 PM
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Rush-hour Muni service cuts; no extension of parking meter hours. Another brilliant expression of MTA's "Transit Last" policy.

I'll say it again: get a bicycle and save the $70 monthly cost of rapidly declining transit 'service.'
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  #83  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 11:58 PM
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If they just eliminate Muni entirely, they'll save a lot more money . . . and San Francisco will become unlivable.

This is idiocy. Raise the sales tax 1/4 cent or something. Or as I've repeatedly said, find a way to make everybody who rides pay.
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  #84  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sf_eddo View Post
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.
even petaluma has a transit agency, and im pretty sure theres one in sonoma too.

anyway, the mtc should become the regional transit authority (like tri-met in portland, which covers three counties) with members from each county represented and funds released based on population.
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  #85  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 12:01 AM
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I'll say it again: get a bicycle and save the $70 monthly cost of rapidly declining transit 'service.'
Unfortunately, that doesn't work for everyone. Some people are disabled or just old.

I'm in the latter category but, alas, not yet old enough for a senior fare.

For some time now, my solution has been a 2-wheeled vehicle but a motorized one.
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  #86  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 12:18 AM
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When I address forumers I'm assuming they aren't senior citizens, because forum demographics skew young. Obviously old people aren't going to bike. If younger people do, however, there will be more room on the bus and train for those who have no alternatives. As frequency declines and lines are cut, believe me--you're going to need all the space you can get on Muni.
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Unfortunately, that doesn't work for everyone. Some people are disabled or just old.

I'm in the latter category but, alas, not yet old enough for a senior fare.

For some time now, my solution has been a 2-wheeled vehicle but a motorized one.
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  #87  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fflint View Post
When I address forumers I'm assuming they aren't senior citizens, because forum demographics skew young. Obviously old people aren't going to bike. If younger people do, however, there will be more room on the bus and train for those who have no alternatives. As frequency declines and lines are cut, believe me--you're going to need all the space you can get on Muni.
Of course more room on the bus and train means fewer people paying fares means less revenue means service gets even worse.
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  #88  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 12:30 AM
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Of course more room on the bus and train means fewer people paying fares means less revenue means service gets even worse.
We get service cuts even when Muni ridership increases--ours was one of the only agencies to actually gain victims, er, riders this past year. Yet lines are shut and even rush-hour service is being culled.

If you want to encourage everyone to continue to suffer Muni's degraded system and spiraling costs, be my guest. I will continue to point out a viable alternative for many current Muni victims who have had enough.
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  #89  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 12:45 AM
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Design ideas begin to form for SMART trains
By Mark Prado
Posted: 01/13/2010 06:13:04 PM PST

Decisions, decisions.

Officials with Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit are trying to figure out just how the inside of their trains will look, and they held a workshop in San Rafael Wednesday to hear from the public.

Among the design issues pondered: Cloth seats or leather-like seats? A permanent snack bar or rolling cart? Face-to-face or row seating? Are work tables needed? Where to put bike racks - should they be hanging or at floor level? Should rows of seats be two-by-two or two-by-three?

"This is the fun part, we get to go shopping," said Debora Fudge, who headed SMART's Operation Committee that met at the San Rafael Corporate Center.

The agency will have little say on the design of the exterior, although it will request a sleek "aerodynamic" front end, versus a box shape.

What the agency will have a say on is the interior of the trains, and it wanted to get the public's thoughts. Committee members made no final decisions at Wednesday's meeting.

Steve Birdlebough, of the group Friends of SMART, wants to see the trains with rows of seats two-by-two, instead of two-by-three, to allow for more aisle space.

"Otherwise it's just too cramped a feeling, like an airplane," he said. "We need to have sufficient space for bicycles, too. There are going to be a lot of people riding to the train and then riding from the train to their work."

Mill Valley resident Walter Strakosch wondered if it was better not to have restrooms on the trains and instead have them at stations in order to create more seating on board.

"It will take up at least six seats on board and perhaps more to have a restroom," he said. "That is a lot of seats to lose, especially when the service becomes more popular."

SMART has set aside $88 million for the design, construction and delivery of the cars for the system. Unlike traditional trains with huge locomotives pulling long lines of passenger cars, the SMART vehicles will be self-propelled units with the engines placed underneath passenger compartments.

That allows for compact trains, generally two cars operating together in a "married pair" that seats about 150 passengers and is about 150 to 170 feet long. SMART's specifications likely will require manufacturers to provide a third car that can be added, increasing the seating capacity to 225. The agency will order a maximum of 22 cars.

Development of vehicle specifications, which will include public comment, is expected to be complete by the end of March. Bids will be due around Oct. 1, 2010. The first vehicles should arrive in the North Bay for testing on the SMART corridor in fall 2013.

SMART is expecting to start rail service in 2014 on a 70-mile route between Cloverdale and Larkspur. Voters in Sonoma and Marin counties approved a quarter-cent sales tax to fund the project in November 2008.

To submit ideas on train design, send e-mail to info@sonomamarintrain.org or write to SMART, 750 Lindaro St., Suite 200, San Rafael 94901.

http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_14183455

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Map from tunneltalk.com


An old rendering from the North Bay Council.
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  #90  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dimondpark View Post
Seems to me that taking BART over the Altamont Pass and into Tracy would be a much better part of their plan for expansion. The number one destination of drivers on 580 is the Tri Valley anyway and most large office parks have free shuttles to and from BART stations.
That idea has some merit, though I think that the best solution would be to have conventional rail of some type (DMU's perhaps, like those for SMART) run from Tracy to Dublin. BART tech is just too expensive (billions and billions and billions) to run all the way to Tracy for the amount of riders that it would generate - especially since the ridership would likely be overwhelmingly at commute times. Also, a conventional rail upgrade would have the option of running service from Tracy to Dublin, as well as Tracy to SJ (current ACE service). A BART connection from Tracy to San Jose would be too long and basically useless, unless top speeds could be increased or trains made more comfortable (like the ACE trains) with tables, electrical outlets, restrooms, etc (unless a BART 680 line was built connecting the Tri-Valley area with SJ, but you're talking $15 billion+ for that).

It would probably be cheaper to just build an additional lane in each direction over Altamont, make it HOV, and run buses every 5 minutes to Dublin BART than to build full-fledged BART.
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  #91  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2010, 12:37 AM
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Hold on there, BART...

Quote:
Oakland airport connector could lose $70 million
Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 20, 2010


BART and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission could lose $70 million in federal stimulus funds to build the Oakland Airport Connector unless the agencies quickly complete an analysis of whether the project adversely affects minority communities.

Transit advocates and social justice groups have argued for the past year that BART needs to do such an analysis, and consider less-costly alternatives to the 3.2-mile automated rail link between the Oakland Coliseum BART Station and Oakland International Airport. But BART and the commission said it was not necessary to do an analysis, and that similar studies had been done as part of the environmental review for the project.

...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BAQH1BKTTM.DTL
I assume the study they want to perform is on the economic impact (higher fares) this new extension would have on minority communities? Because I don't believe this would run through any residential areas.
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  #92  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2010, 8:45 PM
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Friday, January 22, 2010
S.F. requesting pitches for fleet of water taxis
San Francisco Business Times - by Eric Young

Water taxis could shuttle passengers between Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ferry Building, AT&T Park and elsewhere on the San Francisco waterfront as soon as this spring under a plan being advanced by port officials.

The Port of San Francisco is preparing to issue a request for qualifications within 30 days, seeking companies interested in operating the service.

Water taxis are a popular mode of transportation in several cities, including New York, Chicago, Long Beach and San Diego. San Francisco port officials said they think a similar service might work here.

They envision a taxi, operating most likely during the spring and summer, that would zip along the waterfront at specified times . . . .

Port officials, who are the primary landlord along the waterline between Fisherman’s Wharf and India Basin, said the service would need at least three vessels. The boats would need to carry 25 to 49 people each, according to a study conducted for the port . . . .
Source: http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/...25/story7.html
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  #93  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2010, 10:43 PM
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The first sections of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge arrived yesterday.

Quote:
Bay Bridge: 1st eastern span sections arrive
Michael Cabanatuan
Friday, January 22, 2010

New met old early Thursday afternoon as the first steel deck pieces of the Bay Bridge's new eastern suspension span passed beneath the 73-year-old western span, ending a 22-day journey from Shanghai aboard the Zhen Hua 17. Delivery of the wing-shaped deck pieces was delayed for about 15 months by troubles with welding, drawings and other parts of the steel fabrication process. Caltrans officials say those problems, including inadequate welds, have been corrected, but the delays threaten to push the eastern span past its scheduled opening in late 2013 as well as its $6.3 billion budget. The first eight segments of bridge deck - there are 28 total - will be inspected to make sure they survived the journey, loaded aboard barges, then - in about three weeks - lifted by a huge crane barge named the Left Coast Lifter onto temporary trestles just north of the existing bridge, and slid into place over Yerba Buena Island. "It's a historic day for us," said Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney. "The first Bay Bridge steel has arrived."
From the San Francisco Chronicle. Check the link for a photo of them going under the western span.
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  #94  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2010, 10:45 PM
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^^I've always wondered why we didn't have water taxis years ago. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
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  #95  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2010, 4:04 AM
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I rather enjoyed (and agreed with) the comments appended to that article.

Considering all the delays and quality issues, you gotta wonder if getting the bridge steel fabricated in China was the right decision--other considerations aside (which they probably shouldn't be with tax money).
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  #96  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2010, 8:28 AM
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"They envision a taxi, operating most likely during the spring and summer, that would zip along the waterfront at specified times . . . ."


Yeah, that's not a watertaxi, thats a ferry.

Water taxi = call dispatcher for boat to pick you up.
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  #97  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2010, 9:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesinclair View Post
"They envision a taxi, operating most likely during the spring and summer, that would zip along the waterfront at specified times . . . ."


Yeah, that's not a watertaxi, thats a ferry.

Water taxi = call dispatcher for boat to pick you up.
I suspect in the minds of the SF Port people, a "ferry" crosses the Bay while a "water taxi" takes people from one point on the shore to another point on the same shore. Your view of it makes more sense, however (nobody ever accused the SF Port management of having good sense).
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  #98  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2010, 2:14 PM
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What is the point of having a water ferry in those areas? Seems pretty ridiculous if you ask me.
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  #99  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2010, 4:43 PM
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What is the point of having a water ferry in those areas? Seems pretty ridiculous if you ask me.
the point is transportation, duh.

get people out of their cars, relieve overcrowding on the historic trolley/muni lines, and for tourists to view the spectacular sf skyline from the water
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  #100  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2010, 5:24 PM
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the point is transportation, duh.

get people out of their cars, relieve overcrowding on the historic trolley/muni lines, and for tourists to view the spectacular sf skyline from the water
Also, depending on where they go, substitute for the E-Embarcadero streetcar service (from South Beach/Mission Bay to Fisherman's Wharf) that Muni has still been unable to get going (money and equipment they claim, and those factors have only gotten worse). Right now, somebody wanting to go between those points has to take 2 crowded (one especially crowded with tourists) streetcars and walk a block to make the connection.
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