Today’s Headlines

  • Rescue on BART Tracks (SFExaminer)
  • SF Rated Less Livable (Curbed)
  • Rents Still Cheaper in Oakland (BizTimes)
  • More on Ford’s ‘City of Tomorrow’ Conference (BuzzFeed)
  • Carbon Sequestration Test in Buena Vista Park (Hoodline)
  • SF Says Agent Scammed Affordable Housing (SFExaminer, Hoodline)
  • The Plan for Pier 70 (SFChron)
  • Jogger Seriously Hurt in Hit and Run Near Orinda (SFBay)
  • Free Rides for SMART Train Opening (SFChron)
  • Commentary: Bay Area Transit Forgets the Customer (SFChron)
  • Commentary: Proudly Parochial Brisbane (SFChron)
  • Commentary: Brisbane Needs Transit-Oriented Housing (SFChron)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA, national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • murphstahoe

    The “Bay Area Transit forgets the customer” article is baffling with regards to SMART. He gripes about SMART’s setup when it was running preview runs that have nothing to do with the operational schedule that starts Friday. There was no shuttle from the Airport but there will be one running with the opening of the schedule.

    What’s really off point is that people flying in and out of STS aren’t “the customer” anyway. There are around 20 total arrivals and departures daily from STS, carrying 2-3 thousand passengers, a large percentage of whom won’t be on the SMART line anyway. “The customer” for that station is the huge business park around the airport area.

    And he seems to be complaining that the train line doesn’t go to the airport, as if SMART could have re-routed the century old train line on ROW that it doesn’t own.

  • mx

    You’re right about SMART, which hasn’t even started operation yet (I also don’t understand why he flew into Sonoma County to immediately head into San Francisco unless he arranged his itinerary solely to bash SMART, but I digress) , but he’s broadly right about how unfriendly our transit is.

    Stations are separate (a problem we’re making worse with boondoggles like the Transbay Terminal), agencies operate their own fiefdoms and hate every other transit operator, schedules aren’t coordinated, and fares and passes are all separate. We do idiotic things like turn a 20 minute drive to SFO into a $9 28-minute BART trip with 20-minute headways (15 during peak, yes) and are surprised people don’t consider that a good way to get to the airport. We barely even attempt cheap and simple customer-friendly measures like putting up signs in BART stations to point riders to their buses. And when things go wrong, the contempt agencies like SFMTA have for riders who want to get home is astonishing: throw everyone off the bus in the middle of a storm while lying about how close the next one is, sit in the middle of subway tunnels with no explanation let alone an apology.

  • sabstion

    I have to say I’m disappointed with the plans for Pier 70. While I’m always a fan of more public space and more housing, this being no exception, I really think a lot more could be done. The plans on the development’s website show the buildings as only going to about 5 stories, and not much of the land is going to housing, when it should be 20 stories, with a significant portion of the area going to apartments. While of course it won’t singlehandedly solve the housing crisis, this is really the only place in the city where there’s lots of available space to build more housing, and since it’s not that much of a residential area currently it’s relatively politically easy to accomplish. Not to mention the fact it’s near the T-Third and Caltrain, meaning it shouldn’t put too many more cars on the road.

  • david vartanoff

    So F Mansourian twice yesterday bragged that SMART had worked for 2 years on coordinating schedules to those of connecting services. SMART trains leave San Rafael FOUR Minutes after GGT buses from the East Bay arrive (if on time).

  • Near transit versus on transit are too way different things and the transit choices themselves are less than ideal. People will drive and why shouldn’t they? Hike over to a T line station and play the waiting game if they want to go downtown? Hike over to the Bayshore Caltrain station and hope they make the transfer if they’re heading down the peninsula? Not.

  • Contempt is an understatement. SFMTA throws everyone off the bus and then under it. Ridiculous attention on spending several billion dollars to underground part of the M line (with zero provision for connecting it directly with BART at Daly City), but the massive development at Pier 70 gets absolutely no transit upgrades.

  • mx

    Good point. No new transit connections to The Shipyard project either. We seem to plan transit connections around what sounded like a decentish idea 40 years ago instead of trying to link new developments and connect parts of the network together.

  • Sadly, we cannot even link old developments.