Today’s Headlines

  • Caltrain to Increase Service Amid Record Ridership (SF Examiner)
  • Central Subway Critics Enlist Reinforcements (City InsiderSF Weekly)
  • Sunday Streets Seeks Input for Possible Monthly Mission Event (Bay Bikers Blog)
  • DMV Workers Arrested for Taking Bribes to License Unfit Drivers (SFGate)
  • Teen Transit Rider Receives Anonymous Fare Donation, Generous BART Agent Still Fired (SFGate)
  • Driver Sought In Hit-And-Run That Injured Antioch Cyclist (CBS 5)
  • SMART Bond Sale Closes, Rail Construction Underway (Press Democrat)
  • Napa City Council Approves Two-Way Streets (Napa Valley Register)
  • Bike Parking Booms in East Bay (East Bay Express)
  • SFGate‘s Bike About Town Offers Safety Tips as Bike to Work Day Approaches
  • Transit Fare Honor Systems Only Cost-Effective in Some Cities (Atlantic Cities)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    Re: Caltrain to Increase Service Amid Record Ridership

    This is great news. Anybody know which trains exactly they are adding?

    Unfortunately, Caltrain just put out a post on their website
    http://www.caltrain.com/about/news/Caltrain_Operations_Dependent_on_One-time_Funds_-_Again.html

    saying that they will be back to a financial crises in 2013. Whatever happened to putting an item on the ballot for this fall’s election to give Caltrain a dedicated revenue source via a tax increase?

  • mikesonn

    Won’t make on the ballot ’til 2013 or 2014 which means hopefully FY 2014-2015 will see some relief. But then you have to figure in the 2/3 hurdle for the 1/8 percent sales tax increase. Not a guarantee.

  • Anonymous

    I briefly toyed with going to the JPB meeting today, but decided to save my sanity.

    I’m not sure where they can “insert” trains into the schedule – it might be an overhaul. But I really hope they do some customer research before a proposal. The current schedule has 3 reverse peak bullets to Menlo and only 2 to Palo Alto. Makes no sense.

  • Per twitter it sounds like reinstating the last four trains that were deleted and adding limited trains in each direction in the 2 PM hour. Perhaps they didn’t really figure out how to add more capacity on-peak. Adding train 236 back will be very useful anyway, but I really wish they’d man up and move 332 from Menlo Park to PA.

  • Andy Chow

    Caltrain isn’t going to overhaul its schedule (the schedule is a relative success anyway, which the peak hour pattern hasn’t changed for 7 years). The staff however does plan to tweak stopping pattern of some trains to increase productivity.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s something I don’t understand and, to me anyway, seems like a no-brainer: why doesn’t Caltrain just add an extra car on peak-hour trains?

    I can think of a few things preventing this, yet they seem easy to resolve especially given the alternative involves electrification which is a massive amount of money and at least a decade away:

    1) Some platforms aren’t long enough. Okay, but it seems like a trivial cost to make them longer. And I suspect that many are already long enough, especially if the engine pulls past/stops before the platform. For example, I’m pretty sure the Palo Alto station can easily support another car.

    2) The train will take a little longer because of the extra mass. But this will only affect trains when accelerating, so for bullets the effect seems like it wouldn’t be more than a few minutes, which seems totally worth it. For locals, it would be more, but I don’t think any locals need an extra car anyway.

    3) Caltrain would presumably have to purchase these cars (since I don’t think they have many spares during peak hours). Okay, but since it’s old technology, seems like they could get these for a relatively modest price, and given that it will let the system grow for the next decade until electrification is complete, it seems worth it. They will re-coop their costs quickly.

    So sure, adding an extra car costs money, but it keeps the system expanding and taking advantage of the huge ridership growth at a relatively modest cost. Why isn’t Caltrain looking into this? Why don’t they at least do a trade study and see if it’s worth it? We are a decade away from electrification and hence allowing for any real growth, and they will have completely squandered all the inertia demonstrated by the huge increases in ridership in the past few years. I think the Google/Facebook/whatever buses are actually partially a response to Caltrain not taking advantage of the untapped market and not making enough effort to reach out to many commuters. Sure, they need to do other (relatively) minor things like adding wi-fi, providing real-time schedule updates, etc., but I think they are making a mistake if they are hedging all their bets on electrification which is at least a decade away (and maybe more if it gets tangled up in HSR, which it sounds like it already is).

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