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Archive for the 'Misc. Transportation' Category

Share your opinion on proposed higher tolls


The view from the toll plaza may soon become even more unpleasant if a change contemplated for next year goes through: the end of free rides for car pools during rush-hour periods. And on the Bay Bridge, regular drivers not in car pools also may in for a shock: higher tolls during peak commute periods than at other times.

Do you have an opinion on the plan to increase bridge tolls and charge carpoolers during rush hour? Share your thoughts with columnist Tom Barnidge at

Posted on Monday, October 26th, 2009
Under: Misc. Transportation | No Comments »

AC Transit’s general manager steps down

AC Transit’s general manager is resigning, the agency announced late Friday afternoon in another development in a year full of pain for Bay Area transit in general and and the bus agency in particular.

The agency declared a fiscal emergency earlier this year and projected a $57 million operating deficit last June. AC Transit has been wheeling and dealing to prevent an impending impending cuts of 15 percent to bus service.

Rick Fernandez, who has served as general manager since 1999, said in a statement that he intends to spend more time with his family.

Posted on Friday, October 16th, 2009
Under: Misc. Transportation | No Comments »

Shriver apologizes for breaking cell phone law

Recognize the lady above? It sure looks like Maria Shriver, California’s First Lady, caught in the act of breaking the law by talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving.

Shriver has apologized for talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving, the Associated Press reported Wednesday afternoon.

The celebrity Web site Tuesday posted two photographs from July and October and a video showing Shriver holding a phone to her ear while she was behind the wheel. That prompted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to write about it on Twitter, where he said “there’s going to be swift action.”

Shriver apologized in a statement Wednesday afternoon. And when is she going to pay her fine, we ask? Readers of this paper’s Queen of the Road column have often decried the practice of talking on a hand-held phone instead of a hands-free device such as a Bluetooth headset. Others have bemoaned fines they received in the hundreds of dollars for breaking the cell phone law.

Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
Under: Misc. Transportation | No Comments »

Opposition aims at BART rail extension to Oakland airport

Coliseum BART by Flickr user zokah_921 under Creative Commons attribution license
“Coliseum BART” by Flickr user zokah_921 used under Creative Commons attribution license

Opponents of BART’s $522 million plan to extend rail service 3.2 miles to the Oakland International Airport will make their case tonight to the Oakland City Council.  BART officials, however, contend the City Council’s support is not required, so the vote is symbolic.

Transform, an Oakland based group that supports public transit and transit-oriented development, contends that BART’s plan for a light-rail people mover system from the Coliseum BART station to the airport is too expensive. The group favors a cheaper plan to upgrade an existing bus service along the same route to a bus rapid transit program with large buses running every few minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
Under: Misc. Transportation | No Comments »

Want bike-friendly cities? Ask European visitors for ideas

Ever wonder what Europeans can teach us about creating bike-friendly cities? A delegation of European transportation experts are checking out the Bay Area cycling scene, and then sharing their ideas in public forums in Oakland Monday and San Francisco Tuesday.

Now America has Lance Armstrong, but the European cities seems to be light years ahead of ours in providing safe, connected trails and routes to get around on bicycles. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, September 25th, 2009
Under: Misc. Transportation | No Comments »

Paddle kayak or Web surf? Best way to view Bay Bridge work

Photo of new Bay Bridge eastern span under construction by Flickr user ToastyKen used under Creative Commons attribution license.

It’s the best show in town this Labor Day weekend, but the replacement of a 300-foot-long section of the Bay Bridge above Yerba Buena Island is very hard to see in person unless you’re a contractor, transportation dignitary, or working member of the media. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2009
Under: Bay Bridge, Bridges, Caltrans, Misc. Transportation | No Comments »

Tweet that bridge open, please

Twitter users will get the news quickly this Labor Day weekend about the closing and reopening of the Bay Bridge.

Go to to the Caltrans Web site – – for tips on getting tweets about progress on the construction project triggering the need to close the bridge for four days.

We all know the bridge will close 8 p.m. Thursday. The big question is: Will it reopen by 5 a.m Tuesday as planned? Will it reopen earlier, as is possible? Or will it reopen later, an unlikely but possible outcome that would cause traffic chaos on freeways after the long holiday ends.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, August 31st, 2009
Under: 511, Bay Bridge, Bridges, driving, Freeways, Misc. Transportation | No Comments »

BART cops: Bad. Metrolink: Good?

Well, the Meyers Nave report (PDF) on the Jan. 1 BART police shooting of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant was released this week, and it’s well-written, clear and thoroughly critical.

The Queen has heard that the transit police on Metrolink in Los Angeles have never shot a passenger to death (admittedly, this is setting the bar rather low) and aren’t paid as much as BART police. It’s interesting to hear about transit police in other cities as a way of evaluating where BART police stand.

Photo of Coliseum BART station at night by Flickr user jdnx under Creative Commons license

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2009
Under: Misc. Transportation | No Comments »

High noon nearing on BART labor conflict

The risk of a BART strike is on the verge of increasing significantly later today.

The BART board appears poised to impose contract conditions on a union for train operators and station agents later today after the employee group’s leaders late Wednesday night rejected what BART management called its last and final offer. Leaders of the union have threatened to strike if their pay and work rules were imposed on them, and two other BART unions have said they would respect the picket lines even though they have ratified BART’s contract offer.

The BART board will take up the contract issue in a special meeting 11 a.m. today on the third floor of the Kaiser Center 20th Street Mall, 344 20th St., Oakland. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, August 13th, 2009
Under: BART, Misc. Transportation, rail | No Comments »

One BART union voting on contract now


BART’s largest union, SEIU Local 21, is in the process of voting on a contract agreed upon by management and union negotiators. Word on the street is that they’re likely to pass it.

The real cliffhanger, the Queen hears, is whether or not the the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union, which represents station agents and train operators, will vote in favor of its proposed contract. That vote will be taken between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday.

(Photo: Jheylin on flickr.)

Posted on Friday, August 7th, 2009
Under: Misc. Transportation | No Comments »