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    Caltrain says they need to raise fares to close an operational deficit. Not to add capacity. If they said “we are raising fares and increasing capacity”, I’d say “raise them more”. As it is, they have added next to no capacity over the last 5 years – they added 4 train runs per day a couple years ago, and have added a 6th car on 5 train sets. The extra runs supposedly cost ~300k per year. An extra 10,000 riders per day is on the order of 50k per day, given monthly passes/etc…

    The cost of added capacity is fuel and additional conductors.



    The last data I saw claimed that Caltrain’s marginal increase in cost for each additional rider really is greater than the revenue for an additional fare. I agree it’s hard to believe, but I think it’s plausible when you consider that peak trains are already over capacity, so any additional riders means adding capacity, for which Caltrain only has a couple options that don’t cost billions.



    I find it super annoying that Caltrain needs a fare increase given the 70% increase in ridership over 5 years. I struggle to see how their marginal increase in costs due to additional ridership is greater than the increased farebox numbers. So why the need for additional revenue? This comes on top of what has become reduced service quality for riders because of the crowding of the trains.


    City Resident





    why not just separate muni tracks or busways via a curb?



    SFCTA did consider covering rather than filling the Fillmore underpass, but the structure required would add maintenance cost and have a relatively short lifespan compared to the rest of the project. In any case, I don’t think the underpasses can be reused as BART stations, they are far too shallow and not designed for human occupancy.



    Couldn’t they cover over the Fillmore underpass and repurpose it and the Masonic tunnel for a future Geary subway? All the excavation has already been done.



    I wonder how many pedestrians are going to get nailed jaywalking to the bus stops.


    Darksoul SF

    Muni 18-46th Avenue and 57-Parkmerced has time issues (18-46th Avenue route only have 3 to 4 drivers running every 20 minutes from start of service to 10pm.) 57-Parkmerced has 5 drivers on route running every 20 minutes until 11PM (End of Service)



    It’s also worth noting that the recommended Hybrid Alternative costs $300m, which is *still* more that the FTA Small Starts funding cap. How they are going to square that circle, I don’t know.



    Check out Chapter 10 for details on how they came up with the Hybrid Alternative, specifically 10.3.3 and 10.3.4 to see how they decided on options for Fillmore and Masonic.

    For Fillmore, the official line seems to be – we think filling in the intersection is the best option, but planning to fill in Fillmore will cost more money and take more time than we have available. That’s a fatal flaw for this project, but we support doing this as a future project. That’s a reasonable assessment.

    For Masonic, I’m disappointed to see that filling in the underpass was not even considered on the grounds that it would be too expensive. I’m having a hard time believing that filling in the Masonic underpass would be significantly more expensive than filling in the Fillmore underpass, and I think this option should have been included in the alternatives analysis for a cost/benefit comparison to the other alternatives, even if it wasn’t ultimately selected.

    Without that option, the only possibility for center-running transit lanes come from locating stations in the underpass. This isn’t as desirable as filling in the underpass due to the less than ideal waiting environment and the need for passengers to change levels to get to Target and the 43-Masonic. I think it’s still preferable to the side-running alternative, but the option is not recommended due to the passenger waiting environment, and also the reduction in auto capacity.

    So that’s how we end up with only 1.7 miles of center-running transit lanes on the length of Geary. If Geary BRT really is limited to the FTA Small Starts funding cap, it’s probably the best we can do.

    I think the SFCTA should formally declare this document to be Phase 1 of a larger project. Between Palm and Laguna this Phase 1 project should include only elements that would not be made redundant by a switch to a center-running alternative, or which are low cost and easily reversible. Essentially this would mean deferring the construction of bus bulbs and bus stations, but still including lane restriping, signal priority, ped bridge removal, etc.

    Then, once Phase 1 construction is underway, start planning for Phase 2 with LRT back on the table, filling in Masonic and Fillmore back on the table, and the intention to go for New Starts rather than Small Starts funding when the environmental process is completed.


    Jamison Wieser

    I’m still working my way through the draft EIR, but major changes to Fillmore and Masonic have not been ruled out at all. They just happen to be the most expensive, and as @jonobate:disqus pointed out: there’s a cap on Small Starts so the extra funding has to come from the city or some other grant source. That new dedicated Muni funding coming from Prop B could be part of it. (maybe the new state cap-n-trade funding?)

    Section 2.2.5 explains it in more detail, but the gist is alternatives 3 and 3-Consolidated (meaning there’d just be a rapid line, not a rapid and local) would fill in the Fillmore underpass and make a continuous boulevard with but busses continuing down middle. For Masonic the center running bus lanes would use the tunnel with San Francisco’s first subway station for a bus line. Exits and elevators could be strategically placed near the 43 stops on the surface above. Traffic would be routed over the top.

    So here’s where I believe there’s still hope for fixing the Fillmore underpass: the SFMTA and TA are only tentatively recommending the “Hybrid” option, but waiting for public comment and feedback before making a final recommendation.

    Those meetings, surveys, and polls should be coming soon.

    I’m including the cost charts from the EIR showing the capitol construction costs vs. the ongoing operating costs because I think there’s a solid case to be made that in the long run, saving $5 million/year might be worth the extra $130 million in upfront construction costs. That means the costs will have paid themselves off in 26 years.

    I’m not saying that’s the only case to be made for fixing the Fillmore underpass, but I think it’s a good one. Thoughts?


    Nicasio Nakamine

    I don’t know the answer to this.






    Well, it’s obviously trolling, I just wish they’d up their game.



    And Muni Metro service broke down during the evening rush hour last night.


    Andy Chow

    Moving violation requires citing the driver directly, rather than ticketing the vehicle and send the ticket to the registered owner. The original plan was to make certain moving violations into civil violations so that it could be enforced under this program, but the auto clubs were against it because it not only would lower the threshold but also would make it harder to defend. A live officer would have the opportunities to see actual circumstance or talk to driver before making decision whether to issue citation, but camera only offers a single view.



    Probably. But they would also rather have clean air to breathe and and environment that wasn’t spoiled by CO^2 pollution. Hopefully, they can both.



    Your kids would probably rather have their father than the money.



    p_chazz’s goal is that no-one ever calls drivers out on their bad behavior. (Either casually or in terms of legal penalties.) Hence his consistent concern trolling on this site.



    Muni Central Subway and BART to Berryessa are pretty terrible projects. Geary LRT would have been better. Sigh.



    Actually, “four way yields” are perfectly possible. They’re called “uncontrolled intersections” — I learned about them when I first learned to drive. First person to the intersection has the right of way — everyone else back off and wait for them.



    It’s very important to develop a procedure for arresting and charging scofflaw cops. Scofflaw cops are one of our nation’s biggest problems.

    We need to work out a solid political system for this. Traditionally, grand juries did this — they’re still allowed to — they can prosecute any case they want and any incident which comes to their attention, including prosecuting the DA — but nobody tells the grand jurors that.



    Only in the UK.



    I wonder if Muni could turn over the video footage to SFPD and have the police issue a citation that way. However, that would require SFPD to enforce traffic laws.


    Andy Chow

    There are only few New Starts opportunities available. So if you want a big project to get New Starts you better have to get in line. Muni Central Subway and BART to Berryessa are getting New Starts funding in the Bay Area now, and will be so for the next few years. I think the Caltrain Downtown Extension is next after Central Subway.



    It seems like they’ve crippled the project by their intention to go for an FTA Small Starts grant, which limits the total project cost to $250m. This rules out major changes to the Masonic and Fillmore underpasses, and in turn eliminates center-running transit lanes from a large section of the corridor.

    Geary needs whatever it can get in the near term, but it’s pretty clear that this project won’t be enough in the long term. Hopefully SFCTA will initiate a Geary Light Rail study as soon as implementation of Geary BRT is underway, with a budget appropriate for a project of this magnitude. Waiting for the BART fairy to build a subway under Geary is not a realistic option.



    I think I’m going to invest in a helmet mounted GoPro and keep it switched on at all times in case of future incidents like that. Even if the cops aren’t interested in prosecuting it would make for some good YouTube material.



    I learned in the 82nd Airborne another saying “Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.”

    I have a $2M life insurance policy, if some jerk runs me over my kids will be wealthy.


    Jamison Wieser

    There’s a long, complicated history to the project that took light-rail off the table a while back, and the fact is the money just isn’t there. At least not without a magic pot of money or imposing new taxes to cover the higher costs.

    It just so happens that BART is looking at a new line under Geary as part of the Core Capacity/Second Transbay Tube study. That could well be the best chance for a Geary Subway, but @onesf:disqus already noted the time and cost.

    In the meantime there are three options on the table to significantly improve (not saying great, but look where Geary is now) bus service on Geary and the City is going to be gathering feedback before making a decision.

    Option 1 is side-run bus lanes the entire length.
    Option 2 include 3.4 miles of center-running bus lanes, protected with medians separating the busses more like a light-rail corridor.
    Option 3 is a hybrid, with 1.7 miles in the center, but most side-running.

    The SFMTA and TA are tentatively recommending the hybrid option, but will be holding outreach meetings and gathering feedback before making a final recommendation to the city.



    Take a picture of his license plate. There is all sorts of mischief you can do with that info. You seem like a nicer person than me though.



    Car drivers always have some excuse why they think their time is more important than everyone elses.



    Mine doesn’t have that feature. If I try to take a picture of a blocked sidewalk it tells me “To report a vehicle that is parked illegally or blocking a driveway, please call Parking Enforcement at 415-553-1200”

    And doing that puts me on hold for at least five minutes.

    I want your nifty app, how did you get it? Are you running Android or IOS?



    True, but allowing someone to get away with something like that without any repercussions also carries the risk that he’ll keep on doing it and eventually kill someone. After his initial statement he did seem to realize that he had done something incredibly stupid, and I’m glad that I confronted him about it. The risk to me personally was fairly low as there were plenty of witnesses around who were also appalled by his behavior.


    old mission

    Must the driver be absent for a ticket to be issued?


    old mission

    I know–the transgression would have to be redefined (my sidewalk does not move, yet it gets tickets, as does my house when it gets graffiti) or one could forward photos to DPT.



    You have no authority to write tickets unless you work for SFMTA or SFPD.



    Confronting people over their behavior and calling them an asshole in public is not without its risks. You might have gotten shot for your efforts. As my dad used to say, “You may be right, but you’ll be dead right.”



    This is pretty much the best they can do given what they have to work with. Although building a Geary subway would be the most ideal thing to do, it would probably require decades of planning and requests for funding for the billions of dollars that it would cost to build.



    BRT saving 15 minutes on geary is absolute joke. we are the most technologically advanced city in the world, our transportation is 3rd world and our hope to fix it is a barely faster (2.7mph faster) bus. this should be scrapped and the money invested towards a subway.


    Nicasio Nakamine

    They can issue tickets for parked/stopped cars in the transit only lanes but not moving vehicles.



    Great idea! Because there’s absolutely no harm that can come from citizens ticketing each other at will. And we all know that photos are always perfectly clear and are never misleading, no matter what angle you take them from or what moment in time you snap the shutter. This way, the instant you pull into the driveway to help get grandpa out of the car in his wheelchair, your neighbor who hates you can snap a pic and get you ticket. Nothing could go wrong there.



    Wait, so if Muni can’t ticket drivers based on camera evidence, then what exactly are the cameras used for? How do they keep the lanes clear?



    Every time there is a collision reported on Streetsblog, ‘Darksoul’ pops up to claim that actually the collision did not occur as described; the photo of the cyclist on the hood of the car was staged, or the tree hit the truck rather than the other way round. It’s either an incredible level of self-delusion, or trolling.


    old mission

    I want the app to write the ticket, based on a photo! People know they can park with impunity in car lanes, bike lanes, driveways, because it usually takes DPT an hour to respond to complaints.


    Andy Chow

    BART determined that 15 minute headway on nights and weekends didn’t produce corresponding ridership they were expecting, and that changing the base frequency impacts connections to buses. I think the most effective is to extend service about 30 min to 1 hour on Friday and Saturday nights.



    “Gov. Brown Signs Legislation Requiring Muni Buses to Be Equipped With Cameras”
    Requiring = Allowing the continued use in issuing tickets. This doesn’t require buses to have cameras, it allows the pilot to become permanent.


    SF Guest

    Wait a minute. I never made an argument nor mentioned that a 3 foot wide 180 cyclist . . . is equivalent . . . to a 2000 lb. 6 foot-wide car . . .



    It’s an open thread. You don’t want murphastoe or anyone else responding to your comments, then the way to make that happen is to stop posting your idiotic comments.