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Weekend Roundup: Transit Cuts Protest, Caltrain Runs Electric

...and BART fares to go up

3:52 PM PDT on June 9, 2023

Protester dressed as Gavin Newsom finishes smashing a Caltrain pinata at last Thursday’s demonstration. Image: Cyrus Hall’s Twitter

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

Demonstrators briefly block traffic to demand transit funding

Transit activists blocked traffic as part of a demonstration Thursday to demand state funding for BART, Muni, Caltrain, AC Transit, and other agencies people depend on to get around. From a report in the San Francisco Standard:

Traffic was already at a near standstill on the 101 southbound due to an accident at around 4:45 p.m. according to 511.

As of 6:30 p.m., activists had stopped blocking the road and confirmed to The Standard their protest was over.

Demonstrators staged a WWE-style skit where activist Anthony Ryan dressed up as Gov. Gavin Newsom and beat a piñata shaped like a Caltrain car.

The governor claims there isn't enough money, but somehow there's an endless flow of cash for freeway widening, which continues unabated in this state. Streetsblog urges readers to call the numbers and follow the prompts in the graphic above to get transit funded!

Caltrain energizes wire, runs new train under its own power

A screen grab from Caltrain video of a train running on electric wire

It's just a test, but Caltrain, for the first time, is running an electric train on electric power on its mainline. From a Caltrain release:

Initial tests will be conducted between Santa Clara and College Park Stations on the Santa Clara Drill Track. Test runs will expand to the main track, between San Antonio and San Jose Diridon stations, this summer.  

“The start of testing for our new electric trains marks an historic moment for our agency, symbolizing tangible progress towards electrification” said Caltrain Executive Director Michelle Bouchard. “It signifies a future of improved service, reduced environmental impact and a more reliable experience that will benefit both our riders and the communities that we serve.” 

“Now that our new trains are running on our own power for the first time, it’s clear that the start of electrified service is just around the corner,” said Caltrain Board Chair Jeff Gee. “I couldn’t be more excited for our riders to experience the future of Caltrain next fall.” 

Full electric service is on schedule to begin late next year.

BART to raise fares

BART. Photo: LocalWiki

The BART Board of Directors on Thursday approved a fare increase of about 23 cents, depending on the trip. From a BART release:

When the first increase takes effect in January, the average fare of $4.20 will increase by 23 cents. For a twelve-mile trip from Downtown Berkeley to Embarcadero, a full fare will increase by 25 cents to $4.75. For a 45-mile trip from Antioch to Montgomery Street, the fare will increase by 40 cents to $8.60.

The fare increases are expected to bring in an additional $26 million in operating funds through FY25.

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