Weekend Roundup: BART is Back, Emeryville Ped/Bike Bridge…

...and Caltrain gets the New York treatment

BART's new map, according to the web page.
BART's new map, according to the web page.

Here are a few Streetsblog news bites to start your weekend.

BART is back, starting Monday:

Starting next week, BART will return to basically pre-pandemic levels. That represents a 76 percent increase in service hours from this month. From a BART release:

BART is returning to near pre-pandemic service levels on Monday, August 2, 2021 with a highlight being the return of our midnight closing time Monday-Saturday.

The new schedule is very similar to the one before the pandemic, but with some targeted service expansions but also some areas that will not return to pre-pandemic levels such as the extra commuter trains on the Antioch-SFO (Yellow) line during peak hours. Sunday service will continue to run at 30-minute frequencies and a 9 p.m. closure to accommodate BART’s critical cable replacement project and other infrastructure rebuilding work.

There’s also been a slight modification to the service map, notable to the SFO connection (see map in lead image). While perhaps a little misleading, since trains reverse out of Millbrae to follow the wye into SFO, the new map and service plan should be less confusing to those heading to and from the airport.

Streetsblog readers will recall that since the pandemic started in 2020, BART has operated on a limited schedule with the last trains leaving at 9 p.m.

South Bayfront Bike-Ped Bridge in Emeryville nears completion.

Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

It’s okay. No, really, it’s okay to spend $21.4 million on infrastructure just for cyclists and pedestrians–especially since they don’t contribute to traffic and global warming. That’s why it’s nice to see one of these rare projects nearing completion. The South Bayfront Bridge, across the tracks in Emeryville, will connect Ohlone Way and the Bay Street area with Horton Street. The anticipated opening date of the bike-and-ped only bridge is mid to late 2021.

For years now, cyclists and pedestrians have waited for this connection over the train yard to get from most of Emeryville to the Bayfront mall and the water. The connection is supposed to open this fall, and from the looks of things, construction is on track, with workers plumbing irrigation for landscaping and putting in other finishing touches.

Streetsblog can only dream of a day when bike and pedestrian infrastructure is done first–and motorists can be classified as “alternative transportation” and wait a decade or more for a safe way to get from A to B.

Streetsblog last checked in on this project in October of 2020, when crews delivered the red archway to support the bridge.

Caltrain gets the deep freeze and the summer heat

Photo: Caltrain
Photo: Caltrain

Sometimes a train can’t catch a break.

As part of acceptance testing, railroads put trains through the paces–speed tests, endurance tests, door tests, safety tests, etc. But who knew trains also have to get stuck in a giant fridge and a giant oven?

Testing of the electric train continues in Elmira, N.Y. at a special climate chamber room. A car will undergo different climate conditions from lower winter to higher summer extreme temperatures and humidity. The tests will also take into consideration different passenger levels to ensure the ride is comfortable for both passengers and operators in different climatic conditions.

Sounds like if trains could talk this one would be cussing. But if the train’s interior remains comfy in a simulated New York summer and winter, they ought to do just fine in the Bay Area. Shame the windows don’t open.


BART Strike Likely To Overwhelm Other Transit Agencies

Click to enlarge: A map of Muni lines that displaced BART commuters can consider taking during a strike. Photo courtesy SFMTA. A BART strike will leave hundreds of thousands of riders in search of an alternate commute on Monday. Since most of the region’s largest transit agencies are already operating near capacity during peak hours, […]
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Could FAA Rule Change Offer Hope to Fix SFO Transit Mess?

Hop on the Piccadilly Line in Central London and in 50 minutes you can debark at any of the terminals at Heathrow Airport, without changing trains. Get on BART in downtown San Francisco, and one can go directly to the perimeter of the International Terminal. Getting further into the airport requires a transfer to SFO's "Airtrain." That's similar to the way things work at Oakland, New York, or many other American airports, where transfers between urban rail systems and people movers" are typical.