Today’s Headlines

  • 72-Year-Old Man Struck by Driver at Pacific and Hyde, Suffers Serious Head Trauma (ABC)
  • Driver Crashes Into Pole at Haight and Webster After Fleeing Altercation (Hoodline)
  • Company Maps SF Streets Where Bicyclists Most Often at Risk From Distracted Drivers (ChronKQED)
  • Stanley Roberts is On the Case
  • SPUR Study Recommends Steps Toward More “Seamless” Transit in the Bay Area (SFGate)
  • New MTC “Vital Signs” Data Shows Bay Area Failing to Build Enough Housing Near Jobs (Reporter)
  • Ethics Concerns Raised Over Muni Security Guard Contract (SF Examiner)
  • Aaron Peskin to Challenge D3 Supervisor Julie Christensen to Reclaim His Old Seat (SFGate, Examiner)
  • Man Recovers Stolen “Smart Bike” Using Built-In Tracking Technology (SF Weekly)
  • VTA Retains Frequent Service on One Airport Bus Line, But a New Line Would Run Every 30 Min (GC)
  • BART Track Repairs to Halt Service Between Fruitvale and Coliseum This Weekend (KRON)
  • Alameda Poised to Allow car2go, the One-Way On-Street Car-Sharing Service (Alamedan)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • twinpeaks_sf

    (Should’ve been wearing a helmet…)

  • gneiss

    And a safety vest. Maybe even waving a neon flag while he crossed the street.

  • thielges

    SPUR has it right in pointing out the low hanging fruit to make transit more seamless. First up is to improve connections so that a more frequent service like BART or a bus does not arrive at a rail station just in time to see an infrequent connecting train depart. Next is to make the Clipper card work as more than just another e-cash card. Lets have a zoned system. It is silly that someone traveling from Cupertino to Redwood Shores needs to buy a VTA and a Samtrans bus ticket in addition to the Caltrain fare. Just thrown in the last mile connections along with the long haul.

    Cross-agency connection information is fairly good if you use google maps. It is each agency’s website that could be improved. The Amtrak site is particularly bad in one case. If someone asks for routing from the San Jose station to SF, they’re offered an expensive infrequent and slow 3 hour itinerary connecting to a bus in Emeryville. As many locals know you can get there 3 times faster at half the price just by taking Caltrain, but the Amtrak website won’t guide you that way. I asked Amtrak to at least place a note on their results for this particular itinerary to point users towards caltrain.com but so far nothing has changed.

    12:20pm – 1:33pm

    1 hr, 13 min

    532 Capitol Corridor

    No Checked Baggage

    TRANSFER – EMY (0 hr, 17 min)

    1:50pm – 3:10pm

    1 hr, 20 min

    6637 Thruway Bus

  • Roland

    POLK STREET BICYCLE BATTLE…Julie Christensen’s past positions on tenant protections and waterfront development appear to be an obstacle to her convincing D3 voters she is on their side in the November election. But she might get somewhere if she does the right thing for Polk Street.

  • murphstahoe

    Similarly they put you on that bus if you are coming from Sacramento – instead of the trival connection to BART in Richmond.

  • Ken

    Glad they’re not reducing the VTA 10. 15 minutes is a bare minimum for a flyer — half an hour is just painful. The new VTA 11 is good for people flying in to stay in a hotel in downtown, but it’s sad that diridon connection continues to be an afterthought.

  • murphstahoe

    Your comment neglects the fact that the frequency for Caltrain to Santa Clara is 30 minutes peak, 1 hour off peak. And it’s not even “every 30 minutes” – it’s 2 trains an hour that are 20 minutes apart and for the closest origins – Lawrence/Sunnyvale/MV/San Antonio/Cal Ave the frequency is hourly even on peak. Frankly if I am from Redwood City, I’m probably using SFO.

    If it’s going to be an airport connection from Caltrain, it should be an airport connection from Caltrain, and run from Diridon, only from Diridon, only to the airport, and be timed to Caltrain. They can save money by running it hourly midday I guess – modulo if they need to meet the one capitol corridor train.

    As it is, it seems like it’s just sort of a hybrid that gives marginal service to everyone.

    If it’s supposed to serve random areas of Santa Clara and downtown San Jose, why isn’t it a regular route (and not free)?

  • theqin

    If Caltrain and BART are nearing capacity then presumably some day we will need disincentives to ride public transit.

  • murphstahoe

    Interesting. US-101 is at capacity. Do we need disincentives to drive on US-101?

  • p_chazz

    Although the Capitol Corridor does sell BART tickets at a discount.

  • p_chazz

    Why would the Amtrak website send fare paying customers to another transit agency? They would lose revenue if they did that. It would be like the Safeway website referring customers to Lucky’s because Lucky’s had the same item for a cheaper price.

  • thielges

    Because when a vendor promotes an inferior product (a 3X longer journey) for a greater price customers eventually find out they have been ripped off and lose confidence. I could understand keeping customers on your system if your product was fairly close, maybe +- 50% in quality. But here Amtrak’s product is 600% worse on price/performance.

    Compare this to how Germany’s Die Bahn (http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/e) openly and fairly reports routing on competing networks.

    I doubt that Amtrak is concerned about Caltran stealing customers on SJ-SF runs. More likely the HQ is either apathetic or unwilling to make the website changes. I’ll bet if you went up to the Amtrak counter in San Jose and asked for a ticket to SF, they would point you to the Caltrain ticket machine and discourage you from using Amtrak for that journey. In fact I’ll give it a try next time I’m there.

  • twinpeaks_sf

    This! Not too far a stretch from the exterior pedestrian air bags Google is talking up for their (supposedly safe) self-driving cars.

  • jonobate

    Well, the actual solution to this problem is for a state agency such as Caltrans or CalSTA to create a ticket purchasing website that combines HSR, Capital Corridor, San Joaquins, Pacific Surfliner, ACE, Caltrain, Metrolink, and Coaster all together under one ticketing system. (Arguably you could include BART as well, though as a metro system it’s something of a different animal.) This agency would also regulate the fares, coordinate schedules, and provide a coherent branding for all California rail services. This sort of arrangement is pretty common in Europe.

  • murphstahoe

    The HQ probably doesn’t know Caltrain exists.

  • p_chazz

    Amtrak doesn’t really promote travel from SJ-SF so I doubt there is anyone who feels ripped off. Those making that trip are locals who know to take Caltrain, and those who make the connection at Emeryville to San Francisco are generally coming from a much greater distance than San Jose.

  • theqin

    Yes, presumably we need disincentives to ride during peak hours if we want the transit systems in general to be more evenly utilized rather than always planning for a very high peak demand.

  • Andy Chow

    I think Amtrak would only be interested in something that is implemented on a nation scale rather than the state.

    Generally a carrier does not provide information about other carriers unless there’s a partnership. Amtrak for example don’t include intercity buses (which is its biggest competitor and feeder) except those designated as a Thruway feeder. Greyhound shows non-Greyhound routes that connect with its system but not those competing with the company. Airlines only show what they operate and what they have partnered with (codeshare routes).

    Private companies (including major travel sites) can combine and integrate different information to provide a more complete picture. At the same time, there are many smaller companies that can provide intercity transportation (including train and airport access) that run on an on-demand basis.

  • jonobate

    I think what Amtrak is interested in doing has very little relevance to the situation, given that all three “Amtrak” services mentioned are funded and administered by Caltrans (plus CCJPB in the case of Capital Corridor.) If Caltrans wanted to rebrand the services as something else, they could do so.