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Archive for the 'AC Transit' Category

what will they say about us in 2057?

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On the occasion of the recent 50th anniversary of the creation of the BART bureaucracy, I noted the prescience of members of the commission that decided the Bay Area really needed a rapid transit system. They said that new freeways, which Los Angeles had pinned its hopes on, could not solve traffic congestion by themselves.

Now BART is contemplating its next 50 years with the knowledge that those guys in 1957 were Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, June 22nd, 2007
Under: AC Transit, BART, Bay Bridge, Buses, Caltrans, Carpooling, driving, Freeways, Smart Lanes, tolls, Transit vs. driving | 3 Comments »

bus for one?

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Bus service in low-density areas has the distinction of being some of the most inefficient public transit around.

To quote a former editor of mine, “most of the time, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2007
Under: AC Transit, Buses | 5 Comments »

AC Transit: wi-fi king

ac-transit-wi-fi-door.JPGWhile I was busy oohing and aahing over BART’s little Embarcadero-to-City Center wi-fi test, I neglected a new wi-fi service that

A. Was actually a service, and not just Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
Under: AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), ferries, rail, technology | 15 Comments »

it’s a date: Bay Bridge is closing

new-plans-for-yerba-buena-island.JPGWhen it comes to rebuilding the eastern span of the Bay Bridge (price: $5.6 billion), there are three main agencies that need to sign off on changes. Today the directors of those agencies met to determine your commuting future.

At issue is the expected Labor Day weekend closure of the entire bridge.

Last Labor Day, the lower (eastbound) deck had to be Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, April 6th, 2007
Under: AC Transit, BART, Bay Bridge, Buses, driving, Environment, Freeways, Funding, Retrofitting, Safety, Transit vs. driving | 7 Comments »

10 things I learned in a year by the Bay

arriving-at-platform.jpgOn March 20, 2006, I arrived in Oakland to set myself up as an expert on Bay Area transportation. I’m still working on that, but I’ve learned a few things since then.

The first lesson, after living and working in the wilds of Central Maryland, remote Long Island and Southern California, was learning just what Bay Area commuters had to complain about.

I mean, this place has a mass transit system like no other west of the Mississippi, freeways that don’t back up at midnight and commuter trains that run after 7 p.m. Not to mention, its denizens make their homes in tight valleys that make perfect little transportation corridors, like, you know, the Livermore Valley.

Ok, so I had a lot to learn about Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, March 20th, 2007
Under: 511, AC Transit, BART, Bay Bridge, Buses, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), Carpooling, connectivity, driving, Environment, Fare systems, ferries, Freeways, Funding, parking, rail, Retrofitting, Safety, tolls, transit equity, Transit vs. driving | 1 Comment »

in bondage to expensive rail projects

bus-driver.jpg The question today (and every day, it seems) is: What do we want from our public transportation? Do we want an alternatve to driving for people who can afford cars? Do we want to provide mobility for people who can’t afford cars? Do we want fast, invisible mass transit as an engine of economic development?

For some folks, it boils down to spending money on buses for the less fortunate or spending money Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2007
Under: AC Transit, BART, Buses, Caltrain, Funding, rail, transit equity | No Comments »

microcosmic bus vs. rail at Oakland Airport

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At long last, people who don’t mind dragging their bags on and off of BART (or don’t have a car) will have to pay $3, starting March 1, to get from the Coliseum BART Station to Oakland International Airport. Senior citizen and airport employee fares will double as of March 1 to $1 and $2, respectively.

The current $2 charge for AirBART has been in effect since 1985, so one can’t be too shocked that the Oakland port authority decided today to raise it. At least it’s not going to $4 like the bridge tolls.

And consider that the extra $1 is for a good cause: Buying new natural gas buses. I’m guessing hydrogen fuel cell buses would require Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
Under: AC Transit, air travel, BART, Buses, connectivity, Environment, Fare systems, Funding, rail, tolls, transit equity | 31 Comments »

falling in and out of love with BART

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Call me Capricious, but as much as I’m predisposed, I can’t seem to embrace public transit consistently.

I love to sit in one of the Capitol Corridor’s reclining seats with an AC (not to be confused with the bus agency) outlet nearby so I can watch DVDs of old movies uninterrupted on my laptop. Ahhh, this is commuting, I think. Did I mention the little Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, February 15th, 2007
Under: AC Transit, air travel, BART, Bicycling, Buses, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), connectivity, driving, rail, Transit vs. driving | 1 Comment »

great day to drive

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I was gratified to see that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission had launched a new service called Predict-a-trip. If you’re planning to drive from Fairfield to San Jose, this collection of algorithms at www.511.org will use the collective experience of FasTrak electronic toll tag users to estimate how long your trip will take using several different routes. You can also ask it for current driving times, just like you can when you dial 511 on your mobile phone.

Just what we need, another tool to make driving easier.

I say that because today I gave up Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, February 13th, 2007
Under: AC Transit, Altamont Commuter Express, BART, Bicycling, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), Carpooling, casual carpools, connectivity, driving, parking, rail, Safety, Transit vs. driving | 4 Comments »

pay as you go

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Perhaps it’s just part of a larger trend of paying less for everything outside of Anbar Province, but the Bush Administration seems to have embraced the idea of congestion charges for freeways and dense urban areas. If the feds are totally behind this idea, it could be the best friend public transportation ever had, even if the money collected only pays for highway maintenance.

That’s because of the refrain I keep hearing from transit advocates: Freeways aren’t free. They cost billions of dollars to build and maintain, which to most motorists is an invisible cost until they cross a toll bridge or start working at Caltrans.

Exhibit A is the $20 billion California transportation bond voters passed Nov. 7. The first part of that hurry-up-and- Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Saturday, February 10th, 2007
Under: AC Transit, Buses, driving, rail, Smart Lanes, tolls, Transit vs. driving | No Comments »