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More on Smoke, Bikes on Caltrain, and BART Tunnels for this Weekend Roundup

3:05 PM PST on November 16, 2018

Photo: SFMTA

Lots of news items on this Friday. First, the smoky conditions show no signs of abating, so another reminder to use a mask and be careful out there. Along those lines:

Transit Agencies Offer Free Service: To help people avoid long, strenuous walks or bike rides in this toxic air, Mayor Breed has instructed Muni to allow people to ride for free today.

From the SFMTA release:

San Francisco’s air quality has moved from red or “unhealthy” to purple or “very unhealthy” due to local wildfires and weather patterns. The Department of Public Health highly recommends that everyone stay indoors and avoid exposure to the outside air. As a result, Mayor London Breed requested that all Muni service be free tomorrow, Friday, November 16th, to ensure that all people have access to enclosed transportation during this time.

According to Muni, passengers are permitted to board without a transfer and should not tag the Clipper readers. In addition, cable car service is suspended.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and SamTrans are also offering free rides. If you ride the bus, keep the windows closed!

A photo from last year's walk/World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
A photo from last year's walk/World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims Moving Indoors: Also due to the terrible air quality, Sunday's walk to remember victims of traffic violence has been adjusted. "Walk part cancelled. We'll have a memorial gathering from 3-4:30, with stations folks can go to to honor their loved ones. Press conference at 4:00," wrote Walk SF's Cathy DeLuca, in an email to Streetsblog. The memorial will be held at the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street. Check the Walk SF website for more details and updates.

A Caltrain bike-car. Photo: Shirley Johnson
A Caltrain bike-car. Photo: Shirley Johnson

Caltrain Wants YOU for its Bicycle Advisory Committee: Caltrain is seeking volunteers to meet every other month and help them update their bicycle policies.

From the agency's web page:

Caltrain's Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) serves as the primary venue for the interests and perspectives of bicyclists to be integrated into the Caltrain planning processes. This group brings new ideas for discussion and helps Caltrain guide its future investments.

Applications are due Friday, November 30, and are available on the Caltrain website or by calling 650-508-6391.

The BAC meets every other month at 5:45 p.m. in San Carlos, just one block from the San Carlos Caltrain Station.

A possible alignment for the second Transbay tube. Image: BART
A possible alignment for the second Transbay tube. Image: BART

BART Continues Planning on a Second Bay Crossing: Not exactly a news item, but BART wants people to know that it is gradually moving forward on planning for a second Bay crossing. The idea would be for the new tunnel to include both standard gauge rail tracks and the wider BART tracks. According to the agency, the standard-gauge tracks would help knit up the entire mega region, by allowing through service on Amtrak, Caltrain, and High-speed rail across the Bay.

When will we be able to ride trains through the second set of tunnels?

From the most recent BART release:

BART hopes to begin construction on the second crossing in about ten years. There’s little time to waste: despite BART’s plan to increase capacity through the existing Transbay Tube, planners project demand for transbay transit will outpace capacity by 2040 in medium or high demand growth scenarios.

Of course, before any of the Bay Area's standard-gauge trains can cross the Bay, they have to get to downtown San Francisco. And there's still the little matter of the downtown extension to get them there.

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