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San Leandrans urged to ‘dump the pump’

By mricard
Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 at 3:52 pm in Environment, General, Politics, San Leandro.

If you live in San Leandro, today and tomorrow you are supposed to be leaving your car (or SUV) at home and opting to take public transportation — or, at least, forgoing filling up the tank (you know you don’t want to pay anyway, with gas prices so high).

This is at the urging of the City Council, which has declared June 18 and 19 “Dump the Pump” days.

The declaration falls in line with the city’s (especially the mayor’s) goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and play its part in making the world a better place.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, more than 125 public transportation agencies participate in this event nationwide.

So put a smile on your faces (like the folks in the photo), San Leandro says, and play your part in not supporting the big oil companies (for one day, that is). If not, well, I guess that makes you a chump (only kidding).

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  • J. W. Kyle

    About a weeks or ten days ago the telvision news
    (Channel ??) had a great story about the availability of ethanol in (?) Brazil…… seems that the U.S. has an unrealistic attitude about tariffs and our tariff on ethanol, necessary to support the increased prices on corn and soy beans, has prevented export of ethanol to the good old U.S. ! It seems to me that those protecting “protectionism” have gut-shot hungry folks of the U.S. and of course those South Americans looking for opportunity to employ the unemployed in their area.

    Now that the corn crop in Iowa and adjacent areas is ruined by recent flooding, that corn which does come to market this year will be sorely needed as food, if no where else, then here in the good old U.S.

    The tariff protects who ? Probably the result of what was once known in that area of the world east of Hawaii, as “cum – shaw” ! Show me the detailed explanation of the need for the tariff on South American ethanol or I’ll wind up voting for Ralph Nader and that person from S.F.

    Now, are you not happy with free rides on local transit systems? Well, add this to your local worries: A/C Transit has a thing on the November ballot looking to double the present parcel tax, a sum thought needed to support their fuel expense.

    Enjoy the free ride ? As the late comedian Geo. Gobbel frequently said…. ” you can’t get that kind no more!”

  • http://myspace.com/alexh13 Alex Harmon

    I rode the 95 for free to the Downtown Hayward Street Party on Thursday. I’m gonna miss the free ride days!

  • ulno13

    Having public buses is a good thing for those who cannot drive. However, forcing and advising people to ride those buses is social engineering that is ill-advised.

    AC Transit and the various bus systems of Alameda County should modify their goals to realign with the needs of individuals rather than to control individuals.

    A few years ago, AC Transit bought about 400 Van Hool buses at about $350k each, and 3 specially modified buses with low emissions at over $3 million each. These buses are used across the county. In many areas, these buses average about 3 riders. They can accommodate well over 120 riders each. As a result of buying large expensive buses, these buses have infrequent runs which make them real inconveniences for riders. Sit and wait an hour. Then find a spot for you and the two other people on the massive 5 mpg bus. Yes, imagine to yourself that you are “saving the environment”.

    Instead of looking at what buses are really intended for, anti-automobile forces are imagining some sort of non-car inhabited world and then taxing people to fund this unrealistic dream at the expense of the real needs of the citizens.

    The appropriate thing to do would have been to have a similar fleet of perhaps twice the number of small vans that seat perhaps a dozen people, but run more frequently. Yet this doesn’t happen because anti-car folks don’t want to serve the citizens in their community. They want to impose their view of what the world should be like using the unstoppable powers of government.

    I know that the first reaction of big government fans would be to say “We need to force people to ride them.” Why? Have you considered that individuals have real reasons why they don’t buses? Freedom is for all people, not just for those who control the press and California government entities.

  • J. W. Kyle

    Who is this hidding masked stranger hiding behind the mask of a ‘nom de plume’ who wrires reasonable well when putting foreward his opinions. Not that I agree with him on the subject of Bush and Chebey,(not by a longshot) but on the subject of busses, he finds empathy from me.

    Having served on The City of Hayward’s ‘Circulation Task Force’, some time back in 1he 1990′s, the ad hoc group was treated to discussions by a representative of AC Transit’s staff who went on about the efficencies and planning of that organization.

    Suspicious, I resorted to pesronal field investigation and brought up some ideas on the subject, not only to the ad hoc group but to ACTA (now Actia ) sponsored public discussion groups.

    Here is the background for the question I posed:

    I boarded one of the San Francisc bound buses, which in effect compete with BART. I boarded the bus early, according to the schedule, at about 6.30 AM at one of it’s initial stops, Hesperian and West Winton. That bus followed a route through San Lorenzo and San Leadro, wondering hither and thither before entering I-880…. At Davis Street, near San Leandro’s Barrt Station. It arrived in SF at about 7:30 and unloaded 15 passengers. Then, you will love this, that bus was then parked in unused areas of the old key Terminal and track areas, where during mid-day you could see any where from 49 to 59 buses awaiting the evening rush.

    The bus which I rode was one of those large dark green monstrers witj a single door. high up on it’s frame, probably manufactured for the tour bus industry. At That time the cost, even without a restroom was around $300,000.

    Then, I described to the Alameda County Transportation Agency (ACTA) that situation revolving around facts provided by the ‘dispatcher’in the terminal, who was quite talkative; (I must have impressed him because I had a ‘clip board’ in my hand with a lot of loose copy piled under the clip plus my note pad. Being clean shaven, with a new cap. a nice new blue windbreaker a white shirt and a tie. All of which separated me from the transients hanging about in the terminal in those days,)

    I dedscrined to ACTa the facts which I had gathered from the dispatcher,

    1.) the fare was less espensive than if I rode Bart;

    2.) 15 fares dis not cover the driver’s salary for two hours from the time he left ‘the yard’ until he boarded another bus loaded with drivers headed back to Oakland to rake up duties on another line, during school rush hours etc.

    3. Amortization of a bus costing $300,000., purchasing fuel and other maintenace costs on a single day’s round trip could not be justifioed when just 15 passengers rode in the norning, no matter how many use the route in the PM.

    4.) A/C transit was obvious;y competing with BART which had a higer fare for essentially the same trip.

    The answer I receioved from Mr. Peeples, the AC Transit board member at large, now running for re-elction, he who refers to himself as the liberal’s liberal…… answered with much self assurance that those buses were not parked at the terminal…… well, who am I to contradict the liberals liberal In Alameda County ?

    Solution ? reduce the number of buses making long runs through sity streets or ovetr the bridge….. just follow the example of some other communities where all busses pass through a common transfer point and/ or do away with long routes and assure that all buses are local connection to bart….. keep A/C transit off the bridge and freeways. confine their activity to feeding BART and assure taht A/C transit makes frequent stops at BARt Stations to provide faster local route services.

    I’ll make this bet…. It will never happen ! Too many elective office holders will object when their portion of the pie is cut back a bit !