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Archive for the 'transit equity' Category

microcosmic bus vs. rail at Oakland Airport


At long last, people who don’t mind dragging their bags on and off of BART (or don’t have a car) will have to pay $3, starting March 1, to get from the Coliseum BART Station to Oakland International Airport. Senior citizen and airport employee fares will double as of March 1 to $1 and $2, respectively.

The current $2 charge for AirBART has been in effect since 1985, so one can’t be too shocked that the Oakland port authority decided today to raise it. At least it’s not going to $4 like the bridge tolls.

And consider that the extra $1 is for a good cause: Buying new natural gas buses. I’m guessing hydrogen fuel cell buses would require Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
Under: AC Transit, air travel, BART, Buses, connectivity, Environment, Fare systems, Funding, rail, tolls, transit equity | 31 Comments »

Van who?


I must admit, I have not darkened the door of the AC Transit Board of Directors like a good transportation writer should. It’s hard enough to get worked up over BART‘s august body of decision-makers, and they represent three of the Bay Area’s most crowded counties.

But I got an e-mail saying that perhaps 100 people were going to show up today to head off what ended up to be a unanimous decision to authorize a plan to purchase a fleet of new Van Hool buses.

Yes, Van Hool. They’re built in Belgium, and AC Transit staff make regular Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2007
Under: AC Transit, Buses, Funding, Safety, transit equity | 37 Comments »

the path to transit equity rolls both ways


Pick your transit: Rubber or steel wheels. In the Bay Area and elsewhere, it seems necessary to declare your allegiance to either bus transit or rail transit, although train people will often pay lip service to their rubber-bound inferiors.

Now, thanks to some imaginative Japanese transit planners, we have Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, January 22nd, 2007
Under: Buses, rail, transit equity | 8 Comments »

the bitterness of the long-distance commuter


Janmarie recently posted a comment that got me started on such a rant that it threatened to overwhelm the comments of my Nov. 1 post.

It’s about fares. Not flat fares, but fairer fares for commuters who use public transit on a regular basis. Janmarie, like the Capricious Commuter, is sort of biased here. We both commute from the Central Valley, and as such, lack standing to tell Bay Area residents how they should be structuring their transit fares.

Janmarie’s beef:

I feel BART should give “true” commuters a BREAK. You can’t Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, November 27th, 2006
Under: AC Transit, BART, Buses, Fare systems, rail, transit equity, Transit vs. driving | 17 Comments »

today’s free lecture: fare idea falls flat

I really never thought that a story about one BART director’s idea to switch to a flat fare of perhaps $2.40 or $2.50 would generate so much interest, or end up at the top of the Trib’s Sunday front page. But what do I know?

Now the PhD’s are weighing in.

Aaron Golub, a researcher at the UC Berkeley California Transportation Center, sent me a copy of the open letter to the BART board he penned after hearing the flat-fare idea trumpeted on the radio Sunday.

I won’t reproduce the whole thing here, but he makes some interesting observations, such as how subsidizing longer-distance fares helped get more people to move to the suburbs a century ago in Boston and New York.

Ahh, let’s imagine a time Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, September 19th, 2006
Under: BART, Buses, Fare systems, Funding, transit equity, Transit vs. driving | 14 Comments »

now, let’s not regress…

BART San Jose extension funding chart from 

 BART to SJ piechart-smaller.gif

Last week, I wrote that transit advocates should be pleased with some of the introductory sound bites offered by the federal transportation secretary nominee, Mary Peters.

My armchair analysis was received with some consternation by Rebecca Long, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s legislative analyst, who knows more about how transportation is funded in this town than anyone should have to. 

I suggested that Peters’ support of user fees (tolls, basically) for highways could make the term “freeway” obsolete, and didn’t really Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
Under: BART, Funding, tolls, transit equity | 7 Comments »

one ear to the rail

Photo from 

coastal tracks.jpg

Speaking of rail service, I was surprised to see some discussion down the coast about not simply saving the pathetic Coast Starlight Amtrak route from LA to Seattle, but add to it.

According to this account, communities along the line between the Bay Area and LA would like to see a daytime route named Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, August 17th, 2006
Under: Caltrain, high-speed rail, rail, transit equity | No Comments »

to infinity! and beyond!

In the midst of Sacramento’s efforts to save the prison system, get the state budget passed, boost the infrastructure bond and avoid Phil Angelides, the legislature and governor took a few moments out to affirm that high-speed rail is the absolute slowest mode of travel between government and the voters.

This leg of a very long journey began four years ago, when the legislature approved a $10 billion bond measure that was to go before the voters on the November, 2004 ballot.
Then came Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bond measure to dig the state out of its massive revenue shortfall, which today’s windfall will help pay off early. That bond measure prompted the delay Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, June 27th, 2006
Under: Environment, Funding, high-speed rail, transit equity | 1 Comment »

Wine, jazz and proletarian transit


I always knew my life would make a fine film or art exhibit.

Perhaps the jury’s still out on that, but one of my recent passions, bus transit, has been discovered as a cultural treasure trove by City Space, a Berkeley-based “cultural organization dedicated to exploring the built environment through events and exhibitions in a wide range of disciplines, including design, visual art, cultural landscape research, and film.’’

Opening at 8 p.m. tonight with a jazz band at The Levin Brothers Warehouse, 2255 3rd St. between 19th and 20th Streets in San Francisco, the “Get on the Bus” exhibition will feature Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, June 16th, 2006
Under: AC Transit, Buses, transit equity | 1 Comment »

park it on the bus

In hopes of starting a regular Capricious Commuter Guest Flame-Fest on issues of interest, here is an e-mail from former BART director Roy Nakadegawa, P.E., to Tim Hunt, associate publisher of the Pleasanton-based Tri-Valley Herald, talking about Hunt’s commentary on a lack of parking at subway stations, in the Bay Area and on a trip to the Washington, D.C., Area.:

mini parking sign.jpg

It’s the classic suburban vs. urban view of transit, in my humble opinion, but read for yourself.

I was reviewing my various email and found I never responded to your misguided view on parking.

Your note on what I expressed about Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, June 9th, 2006
Under: BART, Buses, Planning, transit equity, Transit vs. driving | 7 Comments »