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Archive for the 'Altamont Commuter Express' Category

hopeless? try the Middle East

palestine-high-speed-rail-plan.jpgGetting up early this morning to attend a Metropolitan Transportation Commission meeting and opposing press conference about California’s high-speed rail enterprise (like the space ship), my brain nearly dripped out of my ears by the time it was over.

I had lost all context. I was starting to believe that someday, high-speed rail would actually get built and I should care if it did or it didn’t.

Struggling to fire a synapse long enough to put something on this blog, I found myself Googling aimlessly and suddenly, a light bulb ignited.

My previous brush with the concept of high-speed rail was in a concrete tunnel of sorts.

I was leaving the Gaza Strip, oddly enough, when I chanced to meet Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2007
Under: Altamont Commuter Express, Amtrak, BART, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), connectivity, driving, fuel, high-speed rail, rail, Transit vs. driving | No Comments »

Tracy to Livermore in five minutes

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What if high-speed rail went through the Altamont Pass a teeny bit, and then stopped?

Sounds silly at first blush, but you have to bear with me here.

I heard about this at Wednesday’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission meeting, when a speaker critical of the area’s first comprehensive regional rail plan noted that Scott Haggerty, an Alameda County Supervisor who represents the county on the commission, had his own high-speed rail plan.

One could say, and one would be very sensible to do so, that the time for proposing new bullet train routes has passed. The California High-Speed Rail Authority is in the throes of an environmental impact process pitting the 100-percent Altamont Pass option against the Pacheco Pass options. The routes have been debated for years, the authority is getting a fifth of what it asked for in the state budget and a lack of resolve at this point might be akin to being the lame wildebeest as the lions are closing in.

But sometimes a wildebeest has to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2007
Under: Altamont Commuter Express, BART, connectivity, driving, high-speed rail, parking, rail, Transit vs. driving | 24 Comments »

Amtrak and mag-levity

ready, set ... GO!! 

As I noted earlier, the wheeled speed record set by France’s train à grande vitesse (for you non-francophones, that’s “high-speed train”) got everyone talking, especially Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, who was onboard when the train hit 357 mph.

The Scramento Bee’s Buzz column quibbled over the San Francisco legislator’s claim to have been aboard the world’s fastest train:

“The world’s fastest train remains a Japanese bullet train that hit Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, April 9th, 2007
Under: Altamont Commuter Express, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), driving, Environment, Freeways, high-speed rail, rail, Transit vs. driving | No Comments »

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 »

ACE up our sleeve

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Having been around since March, I suppose one could argue that I should be up on the history of the Altamont Commuter Express.

But alas, my colleague, Rebecca, at the Tri-Valley Herald, has done such a good job of covering the Stockton-to-San Jose commuter rail service that I’ve been able to focus my attention elsewhere.

But she’s off to a more important assignment, and I have to get up-to-speed. Luckily, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, October 18th, 2006
Under: Altamont Commuter Express, connectivity, rail | 2 Comments »

Fiscal year blues

I recently bought my Capitol Corridor Amtrak ticket for this month and should not have been surprised that it went up $14 to $269. Seems like a lot of money, doesn’t it? It does to me, too, especially when I add the $80 or so that I spend on BART.

But, to quote my favorite rail rider rep, it’s not going to get me back into my car.

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With gas prices at $3 and up, its still going to cost me about $300 in gas for the month if I drive, plus $66 in tolls. Now that $17 savings is multiplied by Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, July 5th, 2006
Under: Altamont Commuter Express, BART, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), driving, Transit vs. driving | 2 Comments »