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    Where is this demonstration for the CPUC taking place? I’m sure people on here would be interested to take a look…



    Unfortunately, to my recollection, it won’t be programmed for West Portal, which is a shame (in part because the platform is too short).



    Ah yes, now I recognize where that is. At first I thought it was the end of the west sidewalk on the south end, but now I see it’s the part at the north end where the sidewalk narrows. So only about 1/4 mile, probably.



    Looks like he didn’t make it to the towers, as the path narrows before that. Still pretty far, though. I have a hard time believing that anyone would drive on the path that far unless they were mentally unbalanced, under the influence, or both.



    Ouch. Through the bollards at the parking lot at the bottom of the Headlands, I guess? How did he manage to steer around the towers? Anyway, it’s a good thing this happened so early in the morning, or people might have gotten hurt.



    Given that BART is currently building a station at this location, I don’t think the relative lack of development in Alameda will prevent them from getting funding to build a station there.

    There is no need for a BART yard in SF providing the line connects to the rest of the system. They would need to build a new yard or upgrade an existing yard to handle the extra train cars, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be in SF.



    He drove down the side walk (west side from Marin end) until he got stuck.



    At one point, Transbay Tube II was conceptualized as 4 deep bore tunnels, two for BART, two for “HSR” (standard rail). Putting streetcars under the bay doesn’t sound like a great idea.



    This could really help over here at West Portal. There is a back-up daily – sometimes all the way to Castro – because trains crawl through the bottleneck exiting at the portal.

    The practice of double berthing was once common at West Portal, where LRV drivers would switch off the automatic train control system (ATCS) and manually move their second train behind one stopped at the platform ahead.

    It was quite unfortunate when an LRV driver had a medical incident right as he was pulling manually into the station several years ago. He slammed into the train ahead, wrecking both. Fortunately no deaths, but many injuries.

    The practice of manually pulling into West Portal has ceased since. Now the train system has (hopefully successfully) been reprogrammed to allow this practice. I really hope it works.



    I agree with your hypothesis to a point. I’m pulling the numbers from a link I shared that stated they would get another $2 million for each percent increase. There is certainly a law of diminishing returns on that. The study also did not take into consideration those that pay some but aren’t paying their entire fare. They were not considered far evaders.

    Muni has such a huge debt burden that I would think they would want to get any money possible. The most logical thing to me would be to go after the money that is already there rather than finding new revenue streams or cutting service.

    Anyway, the point is moot.


    Andy Chow

    The East Bay segment should have independent utility and able to compete for funding. So that would require Alameda to pursue high rise development. The other option is to colocate a station in Alameda with a ferry terminal.

    Given the long distance, you want to tie in SF or otherwise more space is needed for at least a mini-yard if not a full yard in SF side of the Bay.



    There is common, and understandable oversight in your theory.

    When I ride MUNI, I always pay. I do so because that’s what I do, I’m honest, I have the funds, I want to pay my share, it supports transit, etc… The cost to collect my fare is near zero on the margin.

    Most MUNI riders have a pass. They always pay because they pay for all their rides in one shot.

    Most of the rest of the riders pay because they are supposed to.

    Now we’ve covered the vast majority of riders. We’ve now gotten down to a very small number of people who will opportunistically fare evade and a small number of those who try very hard to fare evade. The cost to collect the fares of these groups is very high. It requires infrastructure, fare inspectors, courts, police. And really it requires front door boarding only – which is expensive to the other riders in terms of their time.

    If it costs you $3 Million to retrieve $2 Million all you’ve done is padded the bueracracy.



    Do we really need a pedestrian tunnel? It’s not like it’ll be the same service where you don’t need another pay gate. You’ll either be taking Caltrain, HSR or a bus, so you need to transfer and pay for another service anyway. SF has such good weather (I’m being serious) that tunneling seems a bit unnecessary. I agree that the money is probably better spent elsewhere.

    The only advantage I see is just saving people from two escalator rides.


    Joe Brant

    There’s supposed to be a pedestrian tunnel to Montgomery, I believe.



    The issue wasnt with the number so much as confusing fare box recover with fare evasion. A few extra million isn’t going to change anything in this city, it can barely buy a house.



    Perhaps get over the fact that my data wasn’t correct the first time through because it was from memory years ago. It doesn’t change anything. Someone commented that they would like a clean and maintained fleet. A good way to get money to do that is to get the money that is there.

    That is all, nothing more, nothing less. There’s no hill to die on because I’m not fighting a battle with you.



    Is fare evasion the hill to die on? Over 95% is great and far better than your original goal of 80%. It’s especially good considering all door boarding enables much faster service and efficient loading/unloading. There are much bigger transportation problems than fare collection and much better ways of raising funds. Sunday meters anyone? Congestion pricing?



    Even so every 1% decrease in fare evasion leads to approximately $2 million extra in revenue for muni. That’s a lot of cleaning supplies and maintenance for the muni buses which is what Gary SFBCNs comment was about.



    Link is fixed, but it doesn’t really matter either way since the problem is a confusion between fare box recovery rate (how much transit riders cover operational expenses) and fare evasion rate (how many people ride transit without paying). The evasion rate is under 10% and that appears to be what you were originally concerned with.

    here’s another article about fare evasion dropping:



    Good question. I suppose it could always be added later if there is demand for it, but the cost probably isn’t justified given that the two stations are only a block away. I’d rather see those funds used on the Caltrain extension/HSR.



    How on earth did the car end up in this position, right next to the railing on the other side, without the railing appearing bent or damaged in any way? It seems to violate every law of physics.



    Sure, but ‘farebox-recovery rates’ are always kind of bogus measurements because it implies other modes of transit don’t cost anything or are revenue-neutral or whatever. Hint: Car travel has nowhere near a high ‘farebox-recovery rate’



    It sucks to forget a number and just as bad when a link no longer works.

    I was able to find a link that fare-box recovery rates are 25%. Perhaps start there and improve?



    Of course it could be implemented in phases. The only requirement created by not connecting to the existing BART line in SF is that the first phase must connect to an existing BART line in the East Bay, e.g. at downtown Oakland or Fruitvale, and that subsequent phases connect to the first phase. So you could build the Jack London Square and Alameda stations first, then the new tube to SOMA, then head to Union Square and onto Geary.

    Using a new tube for Muni Metro LRTs, or even worse buses, would greatly reduce the capacity of the tube as the vehicles would be slower and lower capacity. Running Caltrain through a new tube is a more promising idea, but given that they’re nowhere near to completing the Transbay extension, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for them to undertake a project of such magnitude.



    It’s hard to know where to start if you make up numbers, or maybe you’re confused between fare box recovery rates versus fare evasion rates. Fare evasion is less than 10%, or collection is <90%, already beating your distant goal for MUNI



    According to Central Richmond has population density ~ 11700 people/km^2 or 30500 people/sqm. That’s comparable with, for example, the denser districts of Prague, which has high subway ridership.



    WHY hasn’t BART been connected to the Transbay Station?? I always assumed that was a given. At least there should be a pedestrian tunnel.



    I don’t think you have to make muni perfect just hold it somewhat accountable for actually collecting fares. I thought I read something a few years back that muni collects something like 25-30% of fares. Set out to make that 50% and then 60% and then a final goal of 80% or whatever the number is. It’s not that difficult to have objective measurements on what need to happen.



    And probably still a lot more than San Jose


    Jamison Wieser

    From your first Muni bus to a 10-car BART train.



    Between the car wedged on the sidewalk, and the station wagon on its side in the Richmond district (not to be confused with the city north of Oakland) one is reminded of the old taunt, “Where did you get your driver’s license? In a box of cornflakes?” Indeed, we could probably cut down on the number of motor-vehicle-related casualties by tightening driver licensing standards, but the auto industry and the oil companies would see this as a threat to their profits, and someone with a suburban point of view would be saying, “Taking away a person’s car and license would be like sentencing them to house arrest.” We can’t call a car an absolute necessity, but for most Americans, any alternative to driving is impractical, or at least inconvenient, and we live in a culture that prizes convenience.



    Doesn’t have the density? The Richmond has literally ten times the density of Fremont or Livermore.



    Here is some data from 2006/7:

    All the Richmond lines combined (1,2,4,5,31,38 + Ls, AXs and BXs) have a ridership of 116105. Presumably it’s higher now. So, yeah, I would say that’s enough to make BART worthwhile.



    “Golden Gate Bridge spokeswoman Priya David Clemens took a photo of the unusual sight, adding that this has never happened before.”

    Don’t drink and drive, kids.


    Andy Chow

    Since the dominant traffic is from the East Bay to San Francisco, and that BART already provides direct service from most East Bay locations to Downtown SF. You would want to make the 2nd tube as much effective as it can to relief the main tube. So if a Muni Metro tube is to connect with BART in downtown Oakland, that may not be as effective as a reliever route since people would prefer to stay on the direct train unless they’re going somewhere that BART doesn’t go.

    From that perspective it might be better off to have a single BART station at Transbay.



    The problem with that is how to connect with BART in the East Bay, which has no such standard gauge network.

    That’s already done in Millbrae. You get off one train, go upstairs, and get on the other train.



    Tight scheduling will equal unacceptable reliability and recovery from incident


    Andy Chow

    The problem with the plan as shown on the maps above is that it cannot be implemented in phases which is the most realistic way to get it built. The Muni’s 3rd Street corridor is a 25 year project in 4 phases (MM Turnback, MMX extension down Embarcadero, 3rd Street LRT, Central Subway). Considering that there’s no possibility of track connection at Market, MMX is a required component or otherwise the 3rd Street corridor will be a separate system.

    So a part of the discussion is how a 2nd Tube/SF expansion could be phased, and that such phase is small enough to be financed/funded, that can be tied on with the existing system (so you don’t need a separate rail yard in the Richmond District for example), and that has independent utility. Also such line should not duplicate existing rail lines. I think whatever BART expansion in SF will need to have a track connection to the existing line in SF. The most suitable location to tie in is along Mission Street.

    I can think of 2 expansion opportunities in SF that can meet those requirements. (one to Geary through Hayes Valley, another one to Bayshore Caltrain through Bernal Heights)
    It is however still difficult to plan for a 2nd tube because there’s no opportunity to tie-in to the existing system in Downtown.

    Another question is that should the 2nd tube use a non-BART technology. There’s plenty of standard gauge track network to tie-in in Downtown SF, whether the 2nd tube is built for Muni Metro LRT or Caltrain. If the 2nd tube is to be a Muni Metro extension, then it could tie both to the Embarcadero line and the 3rd Street line in SOMA, with direct service under Market, to Chinatown, and to Bay View. The problem with that is how to connect with BART in the East Bay, which has no such standard gauge network, but leaves a possibility of less costly surface rail which can serve the Oakland inner core better than BART.

    If there’s to be a transit tube, could that also allow buses. Seattle has a downtown tunnel shared between bus and LRT, and a new bridge is being built a in portland that would allow LRT and buses.



    Speaking of tunneling, and well off topic, it would fantastic to add a bike lane to the Puerto Suello tunnel! That hill is a big barrier for the casual bike commuter.



    I was strictly talking about the marginal cost of operations. Adding tracks is a capital cost and not an operating cost. i.e. What are the staffing, energy and wear & tear costs of the train vs the ferry? Perhaps (albeit unlikely) the long term operating cost savings would justify the upfront capital costs.

    Also, not that I said this, but when I wrote this, I was just thinking about the hypothetical line from the current southern terminus of SMART into SF; I hadn’t thought of the entire SMART line. But yes, sounds like you & Octa brought up good points on SMART capacity limitations.



    One thing I don’t see mentioned here – and what ought to be the first question for this new transbay line – is should it be build it to the non-standard wide BART gauge or should it be built to the standard 4ft 8 1/2 in that’s used for virtually every other rail line in this country? Sticking with 5 ft 6 in preserves compatibility but narrow gauge opens up lots of other possibilities plus would end up costing a lot less.



    BART was to go under the road deck, not on it.



    Come to think of it, another less-expensive option is an HOV lane conversion on the Bridge and 101 south of Marin City hooking up to BRT on Lombard and Van Ness. More expensive would be island BRT stations, with 24/7 HOV-3 lanes.

    GGT Route 101′s average speed is already equal to BART north of the Bridge; allowing the 101 corridor’s buses to center-run might allow even the locals (like Route 70) to hit that average.



    Prop L lost, big time. Time to find a cause other than stopping transit improvements.



    I’ve only calculated as far south as San Rafael, but with tight scheduling SMART could get up to 8 trains per hour with passing tracks. Above that and they’d need to add a second Puerto Suello tunnel. The other constraint – Cal Park Tunnel – was built for two tracks but now has a bike path where the second track would be.



    I think the station near the flea market is perfect as it’s a great opportunity to create a new, dense walkable neighborhood that will feed BART ridership.

    As someone who lives in Oakland and works in northern SJ/Milpitas my commute this morning was almost two hours. 880 south is a nightmare and I’m confident that the ridership on this extension is going to be much greater than expected. Even the extension to Warm Springs with a shuttle to work is going to be a new world for me.



    Yep. As @ericfischer:disqus said, after San Mateo dropped there wasn’t enough money to pay for the Marin expansion, and the Board forced the county out.



    There is probably no corridor outside of New York more worthy of a subway than the Geary corridor, certainly nowhere else on the West Coast. The conditions are almost perfect – a strong downtown with transfer to intercity rail at one end, then higher density residential areas directly to the west, followed by academic and medical institutions, and finally a long strip of medium density residential/commercial neighborhoods which is narrow enough to place almost all residents within walking distance of potential station locations.

    I’m very pleased to see this line move forward. My only quibble is that the Alameda side of the line should route through Jack London Square, not along Alameda island to Fruitvale, in order to avoid degrading service to downtown Oakland and to provide a connection to Amtrak.



    For 35 years, the State density bonus law has exempted developers from “Measure A” – the rules you refer to – when they include the requisite number of affordable housing units. Although this law has been on the books for decades, no developer every applied for the bonus in Alameda until just in the past few years.



    We wring our hands about the expense because traffic in the Bay Area has not yet reached LA levels of gridlock. Hopefully we won’t sit back and let things get that bad before investing in transit capacity.