BART started testing TransLink today for a few select passengers. Not only did BART tell us this on its official Web site, those Web-literate folks at the transit agency re-tweeted Twitterer jonk’s post celebrating his first use of his TransLink card on BART.
(TransLink is a proposed universal smart fare card that would work on all forms of Bay Area transit. So far, San Francisco’s Muni and AC Transit are using it, but after some 17 years of effort, BART still hasn’t fully implemented it.)
Okay, so much for the frivolity, now let’s get real: “Select BART EZ Rider cardholders” are testing the system, according to BART. What’s going to happen next? Will BART say TransLink failed the test? Or that TransLink passed but there’s no money to implement it?
Okley dokley, transit geeks, BART passengers, community activists and all Bay Area residents - here’s your chance to weigh in on the new citizen oversight plan for BART police. As we all know, the community called for independent scrutiny of BART police when unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III was shot to death on the platform by a then-BART police officer Jan. 1.
There’s a copy of the draft BART Citizen Oversight Model at www.bart.gov, under the Board of Directors July 30 special board meeting agenda.
A recent study indicates that even hands-free cell phones are distracting to drivers. In fact, they’re almost as distracting as manual devices.
A new study in the National Safety Council’s Journal of Safety Research concludes there is little difference between the driving safety risk of hands-free versus handheld cell phones. Drivers distracted by cell phones cause an estimated 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries and 2,600 deaths a year, the council estimates. So, don’t just hang up and drive. Shut up and drive.
(Photo from eyeliam in Creative Commons on flickr.)
Traffic congestion is one of the most onerous elements of life in the Bay Area, many would likely agree. Would you be willing to pay $10 to spend less time fuming (literally) in traffic? A bill by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) that would allow local communities to raise money for programs easing traffic congestion passed the Assembly Local Government Committee July 8.
SB 205 would authorize county transportation planning agencies to put a local measure before voters that would impose a fee of up to $10 on each vehicle in that county to develop congestion-easing measures. Some examples: Coordinating signal lights, monitoring real-time traffic conditions to make rapid traffic light adjustments and providing drivers with traffic info on freeway message signs.
Would it be worth $10 to you?
(Photo: tronics, from Creative Commons on flickr.)
If you happen to be driving in San Francisco’s Ingleside district today, keep a sharp eye out for pedestrians in the crosswalk. According to online newspaper SF Appeal, police will be conducting pedestrian stings at the crosswalks. To be more exact, decoys who appear to be everyday citizens will step foot in the crosswalk, and if approaching drivers don’t stop for them, pow! out comes the ticket book.
The Queen is not always a fan of sting operations, but such actions seem justified when one considers the fact that the hapless pedestrian is competing with tons of steel. In case this action seems Draconian, Read the rest of this entry »
In the post before this one, the Queen ran a photo taken at a BART station and asked readers to identify it. One reader, Karen, who responded (and correctly) challenged the Queen to ask a harder question, so here it is: Who invented the stored value card? Whoever gets it right will in actual truth and reality get a BART-related object of value. (No, not a fare card. Dream on.) Seriously, though, Karen and other experts, show me some stuff!
(Bonus question: Can you identify what’s in this photo, Transit Nerds and BART Riders?)
More people between 40 and 65 are taking BART and a tad more people are walking to BART stations, just a couple of the fascinating tidbits revealed by the transit agency’s 2008 station profile survey, which queried 50,000 riders on how they use BART. The last such survey was done ten years ago. Read the rest of this entry »
First of all, the Queen would like to thank all the transit geeks who responded to her initial post about TransLink. In particular, Rebecca Saltzman, author of Oakland Living, an awesome blog that often discusses transit, came through like a trouper, even posing for a photo as she hopped aboard the bus and flashed her TransLink card. The photo, and Rebecca’s quote, will run in reporter Janis Mara’s story about TransLink in the Contra Costa Times sometime in the next week.
Also thanks to Scott Mace, who commented about BART’s e-wallet in the Queen’s initial TransLink post. Scott, seems like the dang e-wallet, which you pointed out would be a pain to commuters, might be a necessary evil in getting BART on board with TransLink (assuming that ever happens). For an awesome analysis of the reasons BART has hesitated to hook up with TransLink, read this post in Underground Science.
When a commuter buys a ticket for $20, obviously he or she usually doesn’t immediately spend $20 on tickets, and the amount that remains in BART’s bank account is known as “the float,” Underground Science’s author, former MTC employee Garlynn Woodsong informs us.
Turns out that the e-wallet was the solution to that, BART director Tom Radulovich told Janis Mara as she researched her story.