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Archive for the 'ferries' Category

Spare the Air, we hardly knew ye

It seems fitting that tomorrow, what will probably be the area’s last Spare the Air free transit day, is planned to be a public relations, or, if you prefer, consciousness-raising event.

Like so many others in the Bay Area, I was excited about the expanded 2006 free summer transit program aimed at reducing vehicle emissions that cause smog. In fact, “Spare the Air” became synonymous with free transit that summer to the point where I had to constantly remind people that they weren’t the same thing.

Spare the Air will Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
Under: BART, Buses, driving, Environment, ferries, fuel, Funding, Safety, Transit vs. driving | 7 Comments »

2007 was a gas, gas gas … or was it?


Today I accosted several of my colleagues and asked them if they’d miss 2007.

The answer was pretty much “no” all around, with the most convincing story coming from a person who’d bought a house with a sub-prime mortgage.

In the area of transportation, especially in the Bay Area, I’d have to say 2007 was a very Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, December 31st, 2007
Under: BART, Bay Bridge, Buses, driving, Environment, ferries, Freeway collapse, Freeways, fuel, Retrofitting, Safety, Transit vs. driving | 11 Comments »

now that you mention it, there IS a law

almost-done-by-nick-lammers-oakland-tribune.jpg

Many thanks to the AAA of Northern California for sending me a concise roundup of all the driving-related state laws kicking in in 2008.

First and foremost is the one that has probably led to more confusion than the last 100 California ballot measures. I confess that just prior to July 1 of this year, I thought we were supposed to go hands-free with the mobile phone or face the consequences (Those would be $20 for the first offense, $50 thereafter, which I suspect for many will considered the cost of doing business).

But, as AAA’s Sean Comey notes, that particular law, along with its no-cell-no-text-no-anything-while-driving-under-18 counterpart passed this year, don’t actually kick in until July 1, 2008. So Californians, gab away, but try to practice with the earpiece occasionally so it won’t be such a shock this summer.

If it helps, I recently got to know a Caltrans road crew that lost one of Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, December 27th, 2007
Under: Bicycling, driving, Environment, ferries, Freeway collapse, Freeways, fuel, other, Safety, technology, traffic signals, trucks | 2 Comments »

Your commute ain’t like Elvis’

commuter-elvis-3.jpgI was delighted to see that our very own news organization did a story on construction workers commuting from places like Fresno (weekly) and Chico (daily) into San Francisco to help build One Rincon Hill and other monuments to the divide between Bay Area haves and have-much-less-than-it-costs-to-live-heres.

In the piece by Anrica Deb, one of our student correspondents from the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, I found my doppleganger of sorts in an ironworker named Elvis, a.k.a. John Saenz:

“There’s no one north of Santa Rosa,” said the new father, who keeps a picture of his 7-month-old daughter on the inside of his hard hat. Saenz owns a house outside Healdsburg, 70 miles Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, November 26th, 2007
Under: Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), connectivity, driving, ferries, Freeways, Planning, Transit vs. driving | No Comments »

are we ready to stop driving? right now?

no-vehicles.bmpLast night I watched “The Amazing Mrs. Prichard,” a British television series about a grocery store manager who become prime minister of the UK  because of that longing many of us have for our leaders to use common-sense governance.

As one might expect, much of the drama comes from home-grown logic colliding headlong with the complexities of how things work in the developed world.

In this episode, Mrs. Prichard is frustrated that a G-8 Summit (eight leaders of the world’s economic powers) has come up with nothing concrete to deal with global warming. So after insulting the U.S. president, she proposes her own stab at the problem: On every Wednesday, no one in Britian drives.

I’ve actually seen this happen in a developed country. On Yom Kippur in Israel, 5.5 million citizens Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, November 12th, 2007
Under: BART, Buses, Carpooling, driving, Environment, ferries, Freeways, fuel, Funding, rail, Smart Lanes, telecommuting, Transit vs. driving | 15 Comments »

ok, i’ll say it: stay home on Labor Day weekend

why-are-we-doing-this.bmp

We journalists are fond of disseminating news, or information that is new or previously unknown.

But today I’m going to tell nearly every one of you something that we’ve known for some months now, on the theory that one or two of you will be backing out of your caves on Labor Day weekend with the intention of driving somewhere.

Just to get your attention, I’ll put it the way Caltrans does on its variable message signs on all routes leading into the Bay Area:

The Bay Bridge is closed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2007
Under: 511, AC Transit, BART, Bay Bridge, Bridges, Buses, Caltrans, connectivity, driving, ferries, Freeways, Funding, Retrofitting, Safety, Transit vs. driving | 7 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 »

for one little non-fatal truck accident? are you kidding?

maze-gap-by-noah-berger-medianews.jpgAre we just too good at this?

Two important ramps on the Bay Area’s busiest interchange are shut down and here we are at day 2 and everyone’s home watching Jon Stewart already?

How are we supposed to get federal emergency aid to fix our busted Maze?

I mean, look what we’re competing with: Seven people dead and 200 homeless from tornadoes in Texas.

And what do we have? A truck driver who had to hail a cab to the hospital with a burnt hand?

It wasn’t even in Texas.

While the Federal Highway Administration guys are still Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
Under: BART, Bay Bridge, driving, ferries, Freeway collapse, Freeways, Funding, Safety, Transit vs. driving | No Comments »

one down, 47 to go?

There, now. That didn’t hurt a bit, did it?

Now all everybody has to do is rinse and repeat until Caltrans says we can start our engines again.

In the meantime, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is wrangling local transit agencies and the Federal Highway Administration to figure out what kind of extra services will be needed to get us through this mess for the next month or so.

“We need to make sure that the service that we’re putting out on the street is Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, April 30th, 2007
Under: BART, Buses, Caltrans, driving, Fare systems, ferries, Freeway collapse, Freeways, Funding, rail, Safety, Transit vs. driving | No Comments »

so much for the carrot …

Turns out this was a one-shot deal. I just heard from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission that there won’t be any more free transit after today.

I know this will be an outrage to many transit supporters, but I wonder if the transportation hierarchy doesn’t have a point about putting the money to better uses.

This is not Spare the Air. We’re not trying to convince people to take transit when they have no other reason to. They have a very good reason to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, April 30th, 2007
Under: BART, Buses, driving, Environment, ferries, Freeway collapse, Freeways, Funding, rail, Safety | 1 Comment »