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    How you can pontificate on anything with your utter lack of intellectual rigor is disturbing.

    Had you decided to at least look at what I was pointing out, you would have figured out that San Francisco has two representatives on the MTC – David Campos and Scott Wiener. As such, 9 out of every 11 citizens of San Francisco has no ability to vote anyone out from the MTC board.



    They can and do kill pedestrians. Try running down the sidewalk at fifteen miles an hour and slamming your two hundred pounds into a 100 pound person. Try it on your grandmother. She will surely enjoy it.


    Donovan Lacy


    Takings are always a tricky situation. Folks get very upset when they perceive that the government is “taking” something from them. Often the “taking” is something that they never had rights to begin with, something that was given them, like free street parking.

    Limited access to one’s driveway could reasonably be construed as a “taking”, however compensation is generally quite modest unless you can prove significant hardship and a specific loss in value of your real estate. This might be difficult to show if the changes to the street that led to reduced access also led to a reduction in noise, injuries or deaths from automobile collisions, an increase in public space including pedestrian and bicycle paths , as these may increase the value of the property.

    There is a lot of great information out there regarding givings and takings, I think you may have been reading too much of the Bundy’s perspective or possibly the Sagebrush Rebellion in developing your ideas on takings.


    Alden Wilner

    “…what you are suggesting is a taking.”


    Who owns the roads, now?

    OK, wait. I see your point. Completely “removing access to private vehicles” is not the same thing as restricting access.

    I withdraw my ROFL, and reduce it to a knowing smile and a semantic quibble. Government certainly can, has, and will restrict access, from even/odd parking to meters to resident-only parking. Hie thee to a library and pick up a copy of Donald Shoup’s “The High Cost of Free Parking.”



    Wait, you want to ban air travel because it is not environmentally hip and groovy green?

    I guess the 800,000 miles I have flown makes me the anti-Christ then, right?

    Want my old sandals?



    An airport station is a place to go to when you’re going somewhere else, thus generating additional long-distance travel as if reducing combustion of fossil fuels isn’t necessary to avert the worst effects of climate change – flood, drought, fire, class warfare. I am for electrifying Caltrans, but against 200mph HSR. Travel between LA-SF is more a luxury than a necessity. As Einstein said, “Faster is slower and slower is faster. If you want to go faster, go slower. If you do not want to go slower, do not go faster.”



    HSR going to within a couple of miles of your eventual destination isn’t at all bad. But if I was designing HSR I wouldn’t bother with a Milbrae stop at all but instead build a SFO station – many European capitals have high speed train right at the airport.

    BART would continue to work well for passengers to SFO coming from SF and the East Bay, for whom having to go to Milbrae and then change is a far worse option



    You’re obfuscating. In everyday language a transport network means a number of routes with interchanges between them. By that common sense definition, BART is a network but CalTrain is a route. Muni is a network but SMART is not. And so on.

    Even where CalTrain does inter-connect with another different transportation system, such as with BART in Milbrae or with Muni under Market Street, you still have to leave one system, and then enter and pay again for the other.

    And of course CalTrain stops a mile from downtown in SF, which may or may not ever be fixed.


    Norma Gerry

    <<o. ✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:::::::!bq350p:….,….


    Norma Gerry

    <<o. ✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:::::::!bq350p:….,…


    Norma Gerry

    <<o. ✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:::::::!bq350p:….,..


    Norma Gerry

    <<o. ✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:✸✸✸✸✸:::::::!bq350p:….,.



    Isn’t the main reason people in Atherton are opposed because they believe electrification will lead to HSR and they’re really opposed to that? I’m not sure what a PR firm can do to counter people who want absolutely no changes whatsoever, especially when those people live in what is literally the highest earning zip code in the country.



    I assume that’s one of the reasons why Balfour Beatty got the contract, a prominent UK company that, oddly enough, has been doing electrification work in England.


    Clem Tillier

    The option can be exercised to lengthen the sixteen 6-car trains to 8 cars, and purchase additional trains to phase out all diesel service north of Tamien. Interestingly, the RFP specified that the 6-car train be software-limited to perform like an 8-car train.



    It might not be by 2020, but I’m happy to see the ball finally rolling.



    I read somewhere that they are purchasing 8 car trains as well.


    Jeffrey Baker

    Electrifying 56 miles of railway could probably be done by a competent and well-prepared crew in a month. But we’re not talking about that. We are talking about Caltrain.


    Andy Chow

    Kind of a stupid comparison because unless the place you want to go already has BART, the chances of having BART there instead of a better Caltrain, or anything at all, is equal at best.

    Secondly people like certain qualities associated with BART (high frequency, electric trains, etc). Such qualities can be offered through non-BART technologies for a lot less money and faster implementation. Frankly I don’t think that people cares whether the train has a BART sticker on it or has a BART sticker on it but not compatible with the legacy BART system. (I don’t think that most NYC subway commuters know that NYC subway is consisted of two physically incompatible systems), yet they have a single fare and cross platform transfers.


    Andy Chow

    BART is not simply a rail system, but a government entity and employer. BART is a 3 county agency and service in two non-BART counties are done with special arrangements with funding from local county agencies. If the idea is to annex the two counties into the BART district, there will be issues about taxation and representation.

    BART may be a rail operator with various job titles, but other than internal office functions there’s not much overlap with those at Caltrain. Even the internal admin functions will have to be expanded.

    If somehow the systems are merged does it mean that all the decisions regarding Caltrain would be decided by an agency dominated in the East Bay? Will that agency pays enough attention to the needs on the Peninsula? A single system may be very desirable from the branding aspect but such a single agency may not work well to address the different needs.

    For example, we had a single bike sharing system in the Bay Area, but the vendor has decided that their system is not cost effective for some communities, and these communities have to opt out and pick a different system. So now we have two bike sharing systems in the Bay Area.



    It’s actually not a “done deal” at all since they completely screwed up any future HSR connection as Ted King says above. It’s one thing to thumb your nose at the few Caltrain riders wanting to get to the airport, but the same won’t be possible for the large number of expected HSR riders. A real solution has to be found and making people transfer from HSR to a one station BART ride to the airport peoplemover ain’t gonna cut it.


    Ziggy Tomcich

    Caltrain please fire your PR firm! They’ve done such a lousy job at promoting caltrain electrification that Atherton is sueing to stop. The only people that could possibly be against Caltrain electrification are the uninformed. That Caltrain video below is a joke, and it doesn’t come close to communicating the problems with diesel and how much cleaner and quieter electric train service is.

    The loud filthy and slow diesel locomotives together put out more sut and exhaust than a coal power station. Electrification pays for itself in a very short time because it costs a fraction to operate. The entire trans-Siberian railroad is electric, and we can’t even get a less than a few hundred miles in the tech center of the world?

    At least steam locomotives have some charm. Diesel locomotives are just as obsolete minus the nostalgia. It’s past time to retire these filthy monstrosities for the health of our community!


    Donovan Lacy

    Bicycles are prohibited from 3000 of 4000 miles of highway in the state of California. I am not sure how they could be helping to congest these highways if they are not actually riding on them.

    Which raises an interesting question, how much more use of these highways are automobile drivers getting than bicyclists, given that the majority of these roads are paid for by property tax?



    .If you don’t think that we do things better here

    Hard to engage with a vague statement about “things”, but if we’re talking about transportation, then don’t think we do transportation anywhere near as good, no.



    Nice attempt to deflect from the reality of how the roads are funded. Whether the cost is “incremental” or up front doesn’t matter – I’m still paying my share.


    Patrick Devine

    To get to SFO I will actually get off Caltrain at Millbrae and use Lyft. It only costs a little more than riding BART and doesn’t require me riding BART to San Bruno and making yet another transfer.


    Ted King

    1) I’m a retired computer engineer who’s supported both 3270 and Ethernet networks.
    2) I’ve been a railfan and transit geek since childhood.
    3) It’s the connections that make the network.

    The equivalent to Caltrain in mainframe terms is a polling table. Each stopping pattern is one set of drops (aka stops) within that polling table. And the same location can be in multiple drop lists due to multi-port controllers (e.g. Bunker Ramo PCU’s) or multiple controllers (aka double-track vs. quad-track).

    P.S. And there are such things as simplex networks where just two stations are “wired” together.



    The real decision was to blow off Millbrae, connect at San Bruno, and terminate at the airport. The stub to Millbrae itself adds very little.



    Honestly, MTC’s elected representation? Does not exist. It’s a smoke & mirrors pretext.



    And people really like the non-functioning escalators too!


    Patrick Devine

    We don’t want it past Diridon, however the VTA has lumped it together with funding increases for Caltrain and widening Highway 85. As someone who rides Caltrain every day I can assure you I would much rather ride Caltrain than BART.



    I’ve no idea. but if enough voters are the same then that indicates that the voters don’t really care about such topics, which was kinda my point



    Quick – who are your elected official representatives on the MTC board? No googling…



    But an elected official appointed him. Was that elected official voted out?



    Steve Hemenger is not an elected official.



    Maybe, but personally I much prefer going right to the heart of SFO by BART. The check-in desks for international are maybe 200 feet from the BART exit. Can’t beat that with a stick.

    Anyway, it’s a done deal at this point. You lost that battle 15-20 years ago



    Balfour Beatty is the company that is doing the TransBay Terminal, if I remember right.



    Ted King

    I’ve used the extension a bunch of times. But that convenience comes at a brutal price : per ride surcharges, awkward service patterns, an un-needed terminal station (SFO), and a bloated joke of an intermodal station (Millbrae).

    Had they NOT gone into the airport and, instead, extended the airport’s people mover to Millbrae they would have saved money and opened up possibilities for ECR corridor patrons who use SamTrans or Caltrain. Also, the Millbrae Station’s design is de facto SABOTAGE of both Caltrain and CHSRA.



    Snobbery aside, I think that far more people rely on BART than CalTrain

    And given a choice, people seem to want BART extended to their community



    But they could have voted out the folks who did that. Did they?



    And you even admit that right now BART is perceived as superior?

    Caltrain – civilized people drink craft beer legally.
    BART – people who haven’t showered in months drink ripple illegally.



    Well, two, in the sense that some trains terminate at SFO and some at Milbrae.

    But I was really thinking of routes to Pleasanton, Fremont, Pittsburg, Richmond and SFO, with interchange points between them. That’s what I would call a “network”



    No doubt you are right. But from a San Francisco perspective, and anyone taking BART from the East Bay, that doesn’t matter, and it works fine



    The taxpayers didn’t specifically sanction the theft of money allocated to Dumbarton rail into BARTs coffers



    BART only has one route in SF.



    If you disagree that CalTrain isn’t a “network” then you have a very strange idea of what the word “network” means. I’m not arguing about how good or bad CalTrain is, which is a matter of opinion. I’m arguing about the meaning of a word, which most certainly is not a matter of opinion.



    I like the fact it goes to SFO. I don’t like the way they did it.

    San Mateo County has kicked a lot of money into it, and San Mateo residents transfering from Caltrain – a key part of the buildout given there is a (shitty as hell) transfer point – have to transfer to a second train just to get across 101 to the airport.



    You mean you don’t know anyone who lives and works along the CalTrain route who prefers BART?

    I suspect the entire population of the East Bay probably disagrees with you.


    Ted King

    Then we must agree to disagree.



    I never said BART was perfect. What I said it is that it is perceived by the voters as better than the other local rail systems, and better funded, and more extensive, which is undeniable.

    And you don’t like the SFO extension? WTF. I love it – I used to have to take a bus or ended up paying $40 for a cab.