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Archive for the 'casual carpools' Category

Should the free ride end for car pools on Bay Area bridges?

Car pooling has worked so well on Bay Area bridges that bridge operators are considering ending the free rides for car pool users during weekday rush hours.

I can hear the rumble of protest brewing among car pool users: “Hey government, we took car pools like you asked, so why penalize us by ending the free ride?” Isn’t that like water districts raising water rates in a drought to offset the loss of revenue from customers using less water? some people might ask.

The issue is likely to reverberate through the halls of the Bay Area Toll Authority - a regional toll collection agency – in the next year as the authority’s board and managers discuss how to pay for $950 million in proposed seismic retrofits for the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
Under: BART, Bay Bridge, Bridges, Carpooling, casual carpools, driving, Freeways, Golden Gate Bridge, Retrofitting, Safety, tolls | 19 Comments »

enjoy your free ride while it lasts

While I’ve spent much of this week on the blog bickering over high-speed rail funding, I’ve noticed a thread emerge that speaks to all forms of transportation, especially the ubiquitous solo vehicle commute.

Time and time again, public transportation advocates, who are fighting for nickles and dimes in Sacramento in these days of $15 billion budget holes, tell me that driving isn’t free. Roads and highways aren’t free.

Yes, even freeways aren’t free.

Every year, state and local governments pay billions of dollars for the upkeep of our roads and highways. You know that guy in the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, May 22nd, 2008
Under: Carpooling, casual carpools, driving, Freeways, fuel, Funding, global warming, parking, tolls, Transit vs. driving | 4 Comments »

busdinistas to rail against Van Hool hegemony

van-hool-for-sale.jpgWatch out! The days of AC Transit‘s cozy relationship with Belgian bus maker Van Hool are numbered, at least if a group of organized “Van Hell”-haters succeeds in staging its day of action at the entrance of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 8th and Oak streets in Oakland, at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.

The event is being organized by Joyce Roy, who only managed to rally a handful of mostly elderly and disabled riders, along with a bus driver, to speak to the AC Transit board recently against the buses for their shaky Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
Under: Buses, casual carpools, connectivity, driving, Funding, rail, Safety, Transit vs. driving | 15 Comments »

great day to drive

open-road-sm.jpg

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 »

Point of origin

I’m told that today this blog will be linked to the outside world after a two-week trial, so welcome, inaugural readers.

The point: to provide an outlet for Bay Area transportation stuff that crosses my path, but isn’t necessarily “a story” in the traditional sense. I’ll also drop in comments from readers and ad-lib from time-to-time about my own commuting tribulations.

In an area with such diverse ways to move around as the Bay Area, this kind of stuff is ridiculously easy to come by. In my short time here, I’ve found there is no limit to my fellow commuters’ appetite for transportation news.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
Under: 511, BART, Bay Bridge, Buses, Carpooling, casual carpools, Fare systems, Freeways, Retrofitting | No Comments »

mobile loaves and fishes

There is nothing so sweet in this chaotic autopolis we suffer through as a home-grown solution to a seemingly intractable problem.

Most of the time, we need cash (and I will be just as quick to argue this). We need thousands for studies, millions for new buses and billions for a new bridge.

But the Bay Area is home to one of the thriftiest transportation solutions known to Western Civilization, if you don’t include walking.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, April 24th, 2006
Under: Carpooling, casual carpools | No Comments »