Originally Posted by ardecila
How is that different than BART as it currently exists? I mean, BART has wider gauge and fully-automated operation, but those don't add cost (automation has capital cost for signal systems and programming, but saves cost in the long run, since you're not paying for a skilled motorman).
The equipment is all custom and more expensive and you ARE paying for a "skilled motorman"--whether he actually does anything or not, he's there and he's union.
As for Geary, what the merchants don't like is the loss of PARKING. And they'd just love the idea of potential customers whizzing by their locations out of sight underground I'm sure.
A Geary line (leading to a Golden Gate crossing to Marin) was part of the original BART plan but got canned when Marin voted not to participate (i.e. tax itself) in BART.
The Richmond doesn't have the clout of Chinatown because they aren't organized as well and, as I said, they rarely speak with a unified voice. But, if they could find such a voice they could potentially have as much clout as Chinatown and quite possibly more--they have the population of regular voters and the economic resources. Much of Chinatown is poor with the exception of a few wealthy "community leaders" but the Richmond is decidedly middle class, even affluent (it's where many Asian immigrants move from Chinatown to when they make some money after all).