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  #1781  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2020, 7:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 181Fremont View Post
It appears Van Ness BRT construction (actual BRT, not utilities) is commencing around VN and Turk. Wasn’t able to get any photos. Most of the roadwork has been moved to the center lanes.
Yes, they have moved the traffic to side lanes and dug up the center lanes from Eddy to McAllister. Not much to photograph--just a strip of dirt in the center of the street with a lone remaining tree (likely to die as they have killed some of the sidewalk trees by chopping off most of the root system).

Meanwhile, the Chronicle tells us "Muni expects to lose the majority of its bus lines permanently as financial devastation mounts"

In other words, Muni is saying as it pours millions into BRT and finishing the Central Subway that, hey, they are going to eliminate all the bus routes and leave us with a useless residual transit system anyway (now that they've converted all the traffic lanes to transit-only and bike lanes with resulting gridlock for cars).

Fortunately, I consider all this political gamesmanship, seeking budget priority for what will clearly be a very difficult budgetary mess when COVID is made history by a vaccine (which I'm pretty sure will come by this time next year).

But still, it's funny in a ludicrous way how they are moving along pouring money into the big ticket projects while telling us they won't have the money to keep the basic system running.
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  #1782  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2020, 10:51 PM
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The SF Business Times last week ran an Op-Ed piece that I can't find online but it described a "gift" PG&E could make to San Francisco as it leaves town.

They could make the charitable donation of "a 25-foot wide strip of underground space in a basement of its two headquarters buildings linking Market and Mission Streets." According to the author, this would "creatively solve a decades-long downtown transportation conundrum": "Since at least 2003 the TJPA has planned to link its new Salesforce Transit Center with the Embarcadero BART/Muni Station with a 25 ft wide 850 ft long pedestrian underpass one level below Beale St, abuttin a basement of PG&E's soon to be vacated buildings."

In other words, rather than dig a new tunnel "adjacent to" the basements, use existing basement space and avoid the digging . . . plus PG&E could get a charitable donation tax credit. Sounds like a great idea to me--hope it happens.
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  #1783  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2020, 7:21 PM
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Does anyone have any relevant updates on the Central Subway. Their Twitter account seems to have stopped posting their regular updates, and the SFMTA doesnt even send email updates anymore. Havent seen any updates since July for the Central Subway. Hope someone can find something
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  #1784  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2020, 8:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 181Fremont View Post
Does anyone have any relevant updates on the Central Subway. Their Twitter account seems to have stopped posting their regular updates, and the SFMTA doesnt even send email updates anymore. Havent seen any updates since July for the Central Subway. Hope someone can find something
They don't generally update unless something changes but I believe this is all still operative:

Quote:
Central Subway Update – Projected to be Open for Service by the End of 2021
Friday, June 5, 2020

The Central Subway project remains a key priority for the SFMTA, even during the current health crisis. Workers from the contractor and project staff continue to work every day while taking precautions and following best practices for physical distancing.

Important progress was made over the last few months, but there were also challenges resulting in revisions to our target dates for the completion of construction. Heavy construction on stations was scheduled to finish this Summer, but now will continue into the Fall and finish by the end of the year. The date for revenue service when we can welcome our first customers is now the end of 2021.

The opening of the subway will follow an extensive testing period because our number one goal is to open a service that is reliable and safe on day one of operation.

Although construction will continue a little longer into the year than expected, most of the impactful work is behind us. All but one street or sidewalk adjacent to worksite is now open. The remaining closed block of Washington Street in Chinatown will reopen once construction is complete later this year as it is a key access point for materials.

Lastly, we want to share a major project milestone was completed: Finishing an emergency exit for the Chinatown Rose Pak Station on Stockton near Jackson Street. This new exit was a massive endeavor that began in 2015 by excavating down over 95 feet. Once the soil was removed, the equivalent of a 9-story building was constructed underground -- surrounded by reinforced concrete, waterproofed and then capped with a pneumatic roof hatch.

We know that construction of this vital project is disruptive to the community, so are deeply grateful for everyone’s patience. Once operational, the Central Subway will provide key connections to some of our city’s most densely populated and growing areas -- linking Chinatown, Union Square and SoMa to Mission Bay and the southeastern neighborhoods of San Francisco.
https://www.sfmta.com/blog/central-s...rvice-end-2021
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  #1785  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2020, 12:27 PM
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The Stockton Diamond project lands $20-million BUILD grant

The grant will help alleviate congestion between freight and passenger trains at California’s busiest rail junction.

By Mischa Wanek-Libman
Sep 15th, 2020
Mass Transit

"The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have been awarded a $20 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation Project.

“This project is a critical step in unlocking freight and passenger rail mobility in Northern California. The Stockton Diamond Grade Separation will fix one of the most congested rail corridors, enhance safety, reduce emissions and provide faster, more reliable passenger rail options for our riders,” said Kevin Sheridan, SJRRC director of capital projects and the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation Project manager..."

https://www.masstransitmag.com/rail/...on-build-grant
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  #1786  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2020, 7:39 PM
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Seamless Bay Area’s Vision for Integrated Transit Fares

https://www.seamlessbayarea.org/integrated-fare-vision

Quote:
.....

- The Bay Area has 27 transit agencies with different fare structures - so using transit can be confusing, expensive, and sometimes unfair. What if there were one simple map to figure out how much you pay no matter what type of transit you take, how times you transfer, or how many different transit agencies you used? Seamless Bay Area’s Integrated Transit Fare Vision Map is a representation of what a more equitable, affordable, rider-focused transit fare system could look like.

- Over the long term, the experience of other regions suggests that fare integration would likely pay for itself by attracting more transit use. Ridership gains in other regions that have integrated fares have ranged from 4% to 33%. As part of Plan Bay Area, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) projected that an integrated fare structure consisting of “a flat local fare with free transfers across operators and a distance or zone-based fare for regional trips” would be revenue-neutral over the long term due to “incentivized growth in transit trips.”

.....


















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  #1787  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2020, 7:57 PM
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Is there any talk about implementing quadruple-tracking at select BART stations so that express/limited service can be offered on more long-distance commute corridors?

I find BART unusable for commutes beyond 30 minutes from the city (which is NOT far), due to all the added time you have to tack on for transfers and prohibitive first/last-mile trips.
For instance, a commute from Walnut Creek into say, Caltrain in SOMA is ~35 mins on BART alone, but realistically door-to-door time takes a whopping 1hr 15 minutes, accounting for transfers and first/last mile connections due to horrible transit on the suburban side of BART, which essentially makes driving to the station unavoidable. Then there's the issue of fighting for station parking, which defeats the whole purpose of transit to begin with.

Everyone seems to focus on transit in the City, but the major environmental and quality of life problems have to be addressed on a regional scale, which seems to be ignored. BART is already a great backbone, in theory. But service frequency and speed is a huge impediment to its practical utility anywhere outside of the SF/Berkeley/Oak cluster, which lets face it, is a small part of the Bay Area. And second transbay tube will take another 15-20 years in reality - why can't quad-tracking at stations be considered in addition to more ambitious service improvements like the second tube - are their improvements not additive?

Fare integration is a no-brainer, but it can only achieve so much when commutes are routinely 1.5 hrs from car-centric suburbia. Why is Vancouver so much better pound-for-pound? It's suburban areas are not built any differently than ours.

Last edited by Bikemike; Nov 2, 2020 at 8:09 PM.
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  #1788  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2020, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikemike View Post
Is there any talk about implementing quadruple-tracking at select BART stations so that express/limited service can be offered on more long-distance commute corridors?

I find BART unusable for commutes beyond 30 minutes from the city (which is NOT far), due to all the added time you have to tack on for transfers and prohibitive first/last-mile trips.
For instance, a commute from Walnut Creek into say, Caltrain in SOMA is ~35 mins on BART alone, but realistically door-to-door time takes a whopping 1hr 15 minutes, accounting for transfers and first/last mile connections due to horrible transit on the suburban side of BART, which essentially makes driving to the station unavoidable. Then there's the issue of fighting for station parking, which defeats the whole purpose of transit to begin with.

Everyone seems to focus on transit in the City, but the major environmental and quality of life problems have to be addressed on a regional scale, which seems to be ignored. BART is already a great backbone, in theory. But service frequency and speed is a huge impediment to its practical utility anywhere outside of the SF/Berkeley/Oak cluster, which lets face it, is a small part of the Bay Area. And second transbay tube will take another 15-20 years in reality - why can't quad-tracking at stations be considered in addition to more ambitious service improvements like the second tube - are their improvements not additive?

Fare integration is a no-brainer, but it can only achieve so much when commutes are routinely 1.5 hrs from car-centric suburbia. Why is Vancouver so much better pound-for-pound? It's suburban areas are not built any differently than ours.
The simple answer I believe is "No". BART is focused on buying new cars and modernizing the computerized train control system (which will allow for slightly less time between trains) and the San Jose extension.

But I don't know why you'd have to transfer on BART going from Walnut Creek to Caltrain. Yes, if you choose to take Muni from Embarcadero BART to the Caltrain station you would have to transfer systems. But I used to commute to Concord from Civic Center BART in around an hour each morning and afternoon--far less time than driving considering the crowded freways.

Sorry you find the system problematic but realistically the delay imposed by station stops, the elimination of which is all you'd gain with "express" trains, is probably minimal. And 4-tracking any part of the system, given the elevated and underground tracks, would be horrendously expensive. Also, the suburban counties that have been paying for BART for decades are more interested in extending the lines than in running "express" services.
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  #1789  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2020, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post

But I don't know why you'd have to transfer on BART going from Walnut Creek to Caltrain. Yes, if you choose to take Muni from Embarcadero BART to the Caltrain station you would have to transfer systems. But I used to commute to Concord from Civic Center BART in around an hour each morning and afternoon--far less time than driving considering the crowded freways.
I guess that was a bad hypothetical. Perhaps a more applicable, common type of commute would be from suburban Walnut creek to Mission Rock requiring a transfer onto Muni. I mean, realistically, how many people live right on top of Concord BART such that they don't have to spend 10-15 mins or more simply getting to the BART station? Additionally to this, how common the a one-seat ride you seem to describe, whereafter one disembarks and walks across the street to their office?

American pub trans is built with this false conception that TODs can capture or even make a dent in ridership. It's the regional built environment and regional mobility that matter - by and large most people clogging up freeways and roads live 2-4 miles from any BART station in the burbs - still a short distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedestrian
[Sorry you find the system problematic but realistically the delay imposed by station stops, the elimination of which is all you'd gain with "express" trains, is probably minimal. And 4-tracking any part of the system, given the elevated and underground tracks, would be horrendously expensive. Also, the suburban counties that have been paying for BART for decades are more interested in extending the lines than in running "express" services.
There are many above-ground stations where 4-tracking could occur. Consider Orinda or Lafayette for example. How many stations along Daly City Line are above ground, and expandable? BART already runs "limiteds" in reverse commute going outbounds by skipping the aformentioned stations, so clearly the time-savings is not for naught for BART to already be implementing it in reverse. Even 8-10 mins saved on any extended BART corridor could render surburban reaches mentioned above in play. The reason we clog up freeways is the ostensible reason BART was built as a hybrid commuter-urban system - people further out need to get into the city; its not just about berkeley/oakland/millbrae. Shouldn't we treat it as the system it was built to be - a commuter-metro hybrid?
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  #1790  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2020, 12:09 AM
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^^People on here love to talk about their dream systems but I already mentioned BART's priorities--new cars, new computers/software, SJ extension--on which it's spending billions of $ and it doesn't have the money to do the things you'd like and I suspect never will consider that a priority. If they come into a windfall, there's extending the Pleasanton line to Livermore.
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  #1791  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2020, 2:08 AM
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I don't see how building express tracks on the suburban parts of the system would really be worth it. Ridership generally (generally!) declines the farther and farther out you get. Improving the quality of service in the core part of the system will benefit the most people, and that's what BART wants to do with more trains and the new computer system. There are also plans to build exit platforms in some of the underground stations which would relieve crowding and theoretically make trains move faster, especially during peak hours. Not sure if that's still a priority right now, but it's a good idea.

Would BART have been better with express tracks built as originally planned? Sure. But it didn't happen that way, and it would probably be very expensive to pull off now.

I think the other idea that BART and the MTC are coming around to now is encouraging a lot more TOD in suburban areas. The second transbay crossing is going to cost what, like $45 billion now? Maybe that money could be better spent on other projects. There's a lot of room for improvement to place more jobs and housing in places like Walnut Creek, Berkeley, Fremont, San Jose, and Redwood City. At a certain point, it stops becoming worth it to keep forcing everyone to commute into the city and deny higher density development anywhere else.
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  #1792  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2020, 4:46 AM
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Central Subway

Huge update regarding the Central Subway on Muni's website today. Moscone Station is looking great. It looks like the project has once again been hit by a delay, opening in Spring 2022. Tired of the delays but the photos look promising.

By Phillip Pierce
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Central Subway: Slowed by COVID-19 But Still Making Progress
Quote:
The Central Subway is a transformational transportation project that will extend the T Third underground to Chinatown through some of the busiest and densest parts of our city. While this mega-project is nearing completion, we are unfortunately delayed a few months due to COVID-19 and other complexities.

Before the pandemic, we anticipated that construction would be finished by the end of next month, with customers riding trains at the start of revenue service a year later. Our current projections put the completion of construction this spring and the start of service in the following spring of 2022.
https://www.sfmta.com/blog/central-s...aking-progress
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  #1793  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2020, 8:51 AM
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Thank God for Muni !!
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  #1794  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2020, 6:53 PM
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Want to simplify regional transit? It’s complicated

https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/want...s-complicated/

Quote:
....

- On Monday, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Fare Integration Task Force will meet to discuss the next steps in an ongoing study to explore how to better coordinate regional transit. --- “The creation of a Network Manager would have impacts on the authorities of our existing transit agencies. They wouldn’t have control over the same things they do now,” said Ian Griffiths, policy director at the nonprofit Seamless Bay Area. “It would involve change, which is hard.”

- The MTC runs the region’s Clipper card program, but it lacks the authority to set fares. Instead, each of the 27 Bay Area transit agencies has individual discount programs, uncoordinated schedules that fail to sync up transfers between modes and a dearth of fare schemes that incentivize regional travel by public transit. --- SPUR, a San Francisco-based sustainable urban planning nonprofit, says this fragmentation is why less than 5 percent of trips made in the Bay Area are taken by transit.

- Fare integration is simple on paper: riders pay one easy-to-calculate fare based on the distance traveled to any destination in the Bay Area, even if they have to use multiple agencies. But, in fact, it’s far more complicated in practice. --- For example, nearly 70 percent of BART’s operating budget comes from farebox. The same was true for Caltrain until it won approval of sales tax Measure RR in November. SFMTA, however, relies almost equally on parking revenues. --- Different agencies each serve different populations with varying needs, and those circumstances influence how they prioritize resources.

.....
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  #1795  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2021, 8:06 PM
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Can Shift in D.C. Get Trains into Transbay?

https://sf.streetsblog.org/2021/01/1...into-transbay/

Quote:
.....

- With Biden and Democrats in narrow control of the Senate, San Francisco is in a race to get cash for its next big transit project.

.....








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  #1796  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 9:30 PM
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Seamless Bay Area Explains Why MTC Doesn’t Work

https://sf.streetsblog.org/2021/01/1...c-doesnt-work/

Quote:
.....

- When it was created by an act of the California State Legislature in 1970, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission was intended by many to be a network manager – specifically to “integrate feeder bus and rail systems with the fledgling BART system,” according to MTC’s website. However, MTC is neither a state agency (such as the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, BCDC) nor a local jurisdiction (such as a county) so its legitimacy to carry out its mandate is largely dependent on the constituent nine counties that make up its governing structure.

- Despite the intent with which it was created, our current transit system’s state of fragmentation is proof of MTC’s limited effectiveness at carrying out the role of network manager. Over the past fifty years, riders have endured a lack of coordinated routes, fares, schedules, and branding – and these things have regularly been identified as barriers to an efficient and effective transit system. In an attempt to “fix” MTC, its mandate has been altered numerous times… Yet, over the same fifty years, the number of transit agencies and associated fares structures, maps, etc, has multiplied, per capita transit ridership has remained flat, and driving has increased.

The three main reasons the MTC has failed:

• The mandates of dozens of other transit agencies and planning entities conflict with MTC’s mandate to coordinate.

• MTC’s board composition results in policy shaped too heavily by local interests and not enough by shared regional interests.

• MTC policies are shaped too heavily by boards and committees that don’t have enough relevant technical expertise and are insufficiently informed by best practices and professional experts.

.....



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  #1797  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2021, 8:32 AM
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In regards to the DTX for Caltrain, is the station at 4th and King really necessary?

I could see it's being more efficient to just have a station at Salesforce, and tunnel under 7th Street, then Howard / Mission.
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  #1798  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2021, 3:18 AM
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In regards to the DTX for Caltrain, is the station at 4th and King really necessary?

I could see it's being more efficient to just have a station at Salesforce, and tunnel under 7th Street, then Howard / Mission.
Since Caltrain will continue to use much of the land at 4th and King as its northernmost rail yard, there's no reason not to retain a functional station somewhere there. Obviously the existing station will have to be redesigned after DTX becomes a reality, but it could be essentially become a subway station since the conceptual development plans I've seen generally contemplate building midrises above the tracks. Plus, the office developments in that part of town, both existing and planned, will likely always produce commuter demand for a station there.
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  #1799  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2021, 7:40 PM
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Blast from the past! Balboa between 23rd & 24th.



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  #1800  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2021, 7:44 PM
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Quote:
Republicans are really mad about BART getting $112 million in COVID-19 stimulus bill

Eric Ting
Feb. 25, 2021

The House version of Biden administration's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill contains funding for BART's planned expansion into San Jose and Santa Clara — and congressional Republicans are not happy about it.

An analysis from Fox Business found that the expansion — long-planned but lacking funding — will be receiving $112 million in federal funds, and transportation officials told the San Francisco Chronicle the figure would actually be closer to $141 million (SFGATE and the San Francisco Chronicle are both owned by Hearst but operate independently of one another).

Twitter accounts for House and Senate Republicans began referring to the project as "Pelosi's Subway" in tweets railing against the legislation. Individual lawmakers also got in on the act.

...

BART will also be receiving $77 million to expand the Transbay Tube’s capacity, and the bill contains a total of $30 billion for transit agencies across the country.

...

Democrats have argued that the public transit funding is directly tied to the pandemic because low levels of ridership have placed agencies in financial peril and in need of federal relief.
https://www.sfgate.com/politics/arti...P-15980031.php
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