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    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.


    Andy Chow

    But is it enough to justify such a line. The same goes in the reverse direction. Yes there is a lot of jobs in the Silicon Valley but will riders take BART along with an additional transfer that is most likely will be needed? Could some of those riders better off taking Caltrain, Amtrak, ACE, or a bus which could take them closer and faster?


    Eric Fischer

    Marin was forced out because San Mateo County dropped out, and the Peninsula ridership was no longer available to subsidize the cost of getting to Marin.


    Richard Mlynarik

    It’s a different pocket of money


    No state funding?

    No federal funding?

    No insane monomaniacal focus of the entire “regional” MTC under executive director Steve “not yet indicted” Heminger on the profits of PBQD and allieed contractors at the expense of every single other project in the Bay Area (excluding the SF Central Subway, which is the same cast of criminals)?

    No defunding of other promised and voter-approved VTA projects and priorities? No defunding of other promised and voter-approved regional projects and priorities?

    No opportunity costs?

    We’re doomed. It is so laughably easy to line up the “enviro” “left” turkeys for Thanksgiving slaughter. Ooh, a train!



    Marin was forced out because BART passed by a narrow margin and there was a high likelihood that the citizens of Marin would vote against it and tank the project for everyone else.



    Agreed. Oakland and Fremont are the 3rd and 4th biggest cities in the Bay Area and both have multiple BART stations but lack good transit connectivity to San Jose other than Amtrak.

    I think the potential with South Bay BART isn’t so much connecting SJ with SF but in new development in the South Bay spurred by having a BART corridor, even if the route isn’t perfect. Plus it will improve connectivity and options for East Bay/San Jose commutes, assuming that BART is able to connect into downtown San Jose.



    Who says all the South Bay BART riders are headed for San Francisco? There are plenty of jobs, schools and other destinations in the East Bay.



    We have a different opinion on how attractive it will be to commute from Alum Rock to Powell. That’s over an hour just in BART time.



    I am assuming the marginal cost of operating the ferry is expensive,
    while the marginal cost of the train is less (no idea if that is true or

    Not true. It would probably be simpler and cheaper to add the Ferry capacity you describe than the train capacity you describe. Miles of the SMART line are single tracked, in places where it would be near hopeless to double track the line. That pretty much caps the frequency. Even if the service had a very strict AM/PM pattern, you’d need to buy a lot of trains and a lot of train storage area if you aren’t sending the trains back the other direction.



    That is fine but it doesn’t do any good if there is no room for all those new riders to fit into the transbay tube at rush hour.



    It’s a different pocket of money funding BART south of Fremont. South Bay residents are ponying up for their section of track via sales tax and federal money under the management of Santa Clara County’s VTA.


    Jym Dyer

    I agree about political will. In S.F. we wring our hands about the expense while L.A. goes ahead and builds a whole system. My takeaway is that we need to stop wringing our hands about expense.



    Dedicated lanes for BART on the GG bridge as originally planned. Cheap to do and with the changes to CEQA should be allowed as it will increase total person capacity.



    DUI Suspect Jumps Railing, Gets Mustang Wedged On Golden Gate Bridge Sidewalk



    The political will was there that’s why. All the political will here in SF behind big subway extensions was burned on the subway to Chinatown.



    Well, while we are talking transit dreams, rather than assuming SMART needs to get the bridge, we could assume it would tunnel under the bay (or even a tube on the bay floor). It could go underground in Sausalito rather than going up the hill to the bridge.

    While I doubt this would ever make sense financially, it would have the added benefit of a 1-seat ride. Spending $8-10 r/t on SMART and $15 r/t on the ferry isn’t very enticing for most riders, not to mention the hassle of changing transit options.

    Second, I am assuming the marginal cost of operating the ferry is expensive, while the marginal cost of the train is less (no idea if that is true or not). So perhaps the train could save on operating costs and also afford to run more frequently at off hours?

    Lastly, a big constraint on the ferry is the wetlands. The ferry is currently limited on the number of trips it can run per day due to the fragile nature of the wetlands. So to increase frequency significantly, the terminal would have to be relocated to San Quentin. I’d love to see that, but not sure it will happen in the next 50 years.

    PS – To add ferry capacity, rather than expand Larkspur, maybe we can consider a fleet of smaller/faster boats that can be added to Mill Valley & Novato? It would be cool to offer ferry service from the Shelter Bay inlet (Piattis restaurant) in Mill Valley and in Novato at either Black Point (Port Sonoma) or at Hamilton (perhaps with a deep water pier to the Bay?). Or maybe just adding fast boats and more frequency to Sausalito would help the Southern Marin crowd? Alternately, San Rafael would make sense for ferry service (either behind Trader Joes or near Terrapin Crossing?) as there is good density and connectivity to the transit center, but the downside is that is pretty close to the Larkspur where as Novato and Mill Valley would add more geographic diversity (yes, I am splitting hairs on distance).



    Marin forced out?



    Plus bus routes on Fulton, Balboa, Clement, and California all have thousands of daily riders. I only know the ridership numbers for the 5/5L and it’s around 20K, although some may still opt for the bus rather than walking down to Geary.



    Shoulda done this before trying to expand south of Fremont.



    Disagree completely. With 50,000+ current transit riders, the Geary line would have far higher ridership than any of BART’s other proposed extensions.


    Upright Biker

    Sorry, should have said “Quarter Centuries” pl.



    I have wanted to see a second tube for years, but instead of focusing on SF, I think a better option would be from SFO to OAK airports and connect to existing lines. This would serve as a bypass and free up BART traffic in downtown SF and Oakland. This would also make better use of the Millbrae triangle and would have rendered the recently opened BART extension to OAK unnecessary.


    Jym Dyer

    When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way.


    Jym Dyer

    The Richmond was developed around streetcars. To see how well an area built around streetcars responds to modern light rail, look at L.A.

    The question is, how does L.A. achieve this kind of success while S.F. twiddles its thumbs over bus service for decades?



    In order to make this happen within a generation, increased revenue is needed. Now’s the time (with the price of oil being so low) to increase the gas tax and peg it to inflation. This won’t be happening on a federal level and I’m doubtful it’d happen now on the state level. How about it, MTC? The notion of a regional gas tax (increase) has been kicked around by the MTC. If not now, when?



    I’m truly curious about this “large negative effect on the community.” Please inform. Thank you.

    As I wrote on this post, I have lived in Chinatown since that time and I’m not perceiving any slowdown in business. Maybe I don’t know/understand the details*, I can tell you what i see – I see commerce, so much so that many can hardly walk down the sidewalk. Please tell me what you know. That part of Stockton is defined by SF as high-injury corridor and people have died on it this year and practically every other year. I am fighting for the resident’s actual lives.

    I also see a large development of (truly) affordable Chinese housing on the space where the freeway once was – more Chinese residents and customers. If you haven’t seen it, please take a look at it. It’s at 255 Broadway**

    *this is what i found: “What is clear is that in the years
    following demolition of the freeway, whole new
    neighborhoods were established in adjacent
    areas, major new civic amenities and tourist attractions were opened in the path of the former
    freeway, and existing tourist destinations that
    had relied on the freeway for automobile access
    remained major destinations. In 1990, a New York
    Times article described Chinatown as a district
    “in demise”; by some estimates, business had
    dropped 20% since closure of the freeway. But by 1998, the co-chair of the Chinatown Economic Development Group told AsianWeek magazine that,
    in spite of competition from new Asian shopping
    centers in the suburbs, Chinatown had recovered.
    “San Francisco’s Chinatown is still bustling,” the
    article explained, “and merchants say they haven’t lost their core customers despite the new competition and the loss of the Embarcadero Freeway nine years ago.”

    **The Broadway Sansome site was the Broadway on-ramp for the Embarcadero Freeway. The City decided to dedicate the site to affordable housing and, in June 2007, the Mayor’s Office of Housing selected Chinatown Community Development Center as the developer of the site.

    Pretty awesome!


    Andy Chow

    Another very deceptive title is “‘BART to Silicon Valley” because it raises too many unrealistic expectations of people (including those in the Alum Rock area) when this line doesn’t really go by any major Silicon Valley employer. If the line ends at a flea market, then it should be “BART to Flea Market.” Even if there’s BRT on the I-680 corridor, buses will likely have to continue south from Warm Springs to the Silicon Valley companies throughout the valley. It would be dumb to expect people to do a double transfer.



    My favorite part of the Union Square CBS piece: “I didn’t expect to see this – I thought it would be cars!”



    There would be a huge ridership increase just by enabling transfers to the 30 and 45 at Washington Square Park. Ridership on those lines out to Russian Hill and the Marina would increase if would-be passengers could avoid the slow-as-molasses slog through Chinatown.


    sebra leaves

    This is a case of wasting millions of dollars on a controversial project that no one agrees on. Haight Street is one of the slowest two-lane streets in town. So far there is no plan to remove the grand old Victorians that line it, so there is no reason to do anything to it. Residents should appeal this project. Start by contacting Supervisor Breed and the London Breed and Haight Ashbury Improvement Association.



    The article says a car was used as a weapon and that’s not the sale as “equating” a car with a weapon.

    From bulldogs to busts of Beethoven to Buicks, lots of things can be used as weapons though few consider them weapons.



    Not sure if it necessarily has to be either/or.

    Btw I’m not sure how the Richmond can be considered to not “have the density” when even “way out” in the upper Aves it’s regularly lined with 3-4 (and sometimes more) story buildings, has high transit ridership (the 38 bus is one of the busiest bus lines in the US), and even a ton of those supposed “single-family” homes are in practice very much multifamily units as the in-law units are often rented to multiple tenants.

    At the very least it’s certainly much denser than Alameda, where the second transbay tube would be heading through. Attached pic is at 32nd Ave…no buildings in sight under 3 stories and most are at 4 or above…I wouldn’t exactly call this low-density:



    It depends. Stop signs work better at lighter volume intersections, but not at higher volume intersections. (When I say volumes, I mean all modes of traffic volumes – peds, bikes, motor vehicles) I do not know how heavy the traffic is on this street, but it should be a big part of the equation of whether this corridor should be signalized.