Commentary: BART Police Need to Figure out Where They Stand on Rules

By Roger Rudick : streetsblog – excerpt

Unless you’ve been vacationing on another planet, you’re probably aware of the BART sandwich incident from last Monday, November 4 at the Pleasant Hill BART station. Put simply, a BART police officer ended up handcuffing an African-American patron who was eating a breakfast sandwich while waiting for a train…

BART Director Janice Li meanwhile angered the BART police by mocking their actions and participating in an “eat in” demonstration on the Embarcadero platform…

Li is undermining the authority of BART police by advocating lawlessness and making our job as law enforcement officers that much harder,” said Keith Garcia, president of the BART Police Officers Association, in a prepared statement (PDF)…

There is, of course, too much to unpack here in terms of selective enforcement and racial profiling, than can be accomplished in a single post. There are larger issues about police enforcement and profiling that aren’t unique to the Bay Area(more)

Perhaps it is time to review the rules against eating and drinking on a public transit system that turn a blind eye toward higher crimes and grosser behaviors. Eating and drinking should be approved public behaviors unless we are now living in the absurd world created by Luis Buñuel in, “Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie”, where eating is done behind closed doors. Has our bourgeoisie society become the twisted upside down world the anarchists and surrealists depicted?

A ridehail tax won’t fix traffic congestion

By Susan Vaughan and David Fairley : sfexaminer – excerpt

Centuries ago, the Catholic church sold indulgences to sinners. The indulgence trade allowed the church to fund its projects — such as cathedrals and crusades — and for sinners to keep on sinning for a small price.

Such is the nature of Proposition D, the proposed tax on all Uber and Lyft rides that originate in San Francisco, some of which will go to Muni. Proponents argue that the money raised will mitigate the impacts of Uber and Lyft. That’s doubtful. In fact, passage of Prop. D will give these two scofflaw corporations cover of legitimacy — and make Muni dependent on enabling all their negatives: congesting our city streets; violating rules of the road (double parking, and stopping in public bus stops, bicycle lanes, and crosswalks); competing with Muni for passengers in their insatiable quest to turn a profit; and, most alarmingly, exacerbating the global climate crisis… (more)

People who are concerned about the privatization of public transportation systems oppose Proposition D because it is one more strike against the public transportation system in favor or the “public/private” enterprises that are replacing true public transportation in our city. Many feel this is an assault on the public commons but, we will see how the public responds to the paid advertisements that are overwhelming them during this election.

How Caltrans stopped BART’s dangerous outage plan

By Daniel Borenstein, Bay Area News Group : mercurynews – excerpt

State agency blocked rail system from shutting down freeway lanes near fire that forced hundreds of evacuations

This is a story about a potential disaster that was avoided during last weekend’s power outages and fires. About Caltrans doing the right thing to keep BART from creating a hazard.

If not for the state agency’s last-minute intervention Friday, the Bay Area’s largest commuter rail system would have shut down two lanes of Highway 24 — right in the heart of the pre-announced power outages and, it turned out, 1 1/2 miles from a fire that forced evacuations of hundreds of homes on both sides of the freeway…

BART staff was planning business as usual — closing the two lanes for the entire weekend unless the traffic backups hit the 30-minute threshold. “It’s still the plan to do the track work with lane closures this weekend,” spokesman Chris Filippi texted Friday.

Caltrans was prepared to let them do it. Until I called the state agency…(more)

It looks like we do need some legislation that will override local traffic and parking restrictions during a crisis and this legislation needs to come out of Sacramento.

Proposed Regional Transportation Sales Tax for the November 2020 Election

Details on the Sales taxes we are already paying as of:
SALES TAX LIST – Bay Area Trans Taxes 10 19 19

Watch for Future Community Meetings discussing further sales tax increases:
SFCTA: Potential Regional Transportation Measure Community Meeting:


Regional Express (ReX) Transit Network

transformca – excerpt
The ReX Network can dramatically improve transportation in the Bay Area, connecting regional and local transit networks into a seamless whole.

ReX would make it easier for millions of residents to get around the region on transit. It is designed to connect the Bay Area’s transit systems, minimize travel times and wait times, and broaden access to regional rapid transit service. The core of the ReX network is intended to run on TransForm’s proposal for a fully connected system of express lanes, building on the network that is already beginning to take shape on the Bay Area’s freeways.

The ReX concept stemmed from a joint Horizon proposal from TransForm and SPUR to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to rethink the future of our highways. It was one of six “Transformative Transportation Projects” chosen by MTC for study and potential inclusion in Plan Bay Area 2050.

Download a four-page summary of the ReX concept, complete with maps and photos(more)

BART expands carpool parking program to new stations

Bay City News Service :smdailyjournal – excerpt

BART on Monday announced that it is expanding its pay-by-app carpool program to now include nine stations, including all stations west of the Bay that offer parking.

The app debuted in June at the Dublin/Pleasanton, Orinda, Antioch and Warm Springs station, and is now also available at Daly City, Colma, South San Francisco, San Bruno and Millbrae, according to the transit agency…

Riders who carpool to a station and pay for parking can use the official BART app and park in the permit section of the lot.

All carpoolers should obtain a Carpool ID within the app and whoever is paying for parking at the standard rate for the station needs to enter the station and parking stall number and make the payment before all passengers enter the station… (more)

Pushing For A Fare-r Deal For Riders

By Aaron Short : beyondchron – excerpt

This piece first appeared in Streetsblog USA

Transit can raise ridership and improve service while avoiding regressive fare hikes, experts say.

Transit agencies can reverse the trend of falling ridership and maintain or even boost revenue — if they eschew regressive fare hikes in favor of improving the quality and affordability of their services, according to a TransitCenter paper released Thursday.

That would require an attitudinal shift, toward treating the bus and rail systems they run like a public trust — and not a cash box, as too many transit leaders do now…(more)

A Fare-r Deal for Riders

By Aaron Short : streetsblog – excerpt

Transit can raise ridership and improve service while avoiding regressive fare hikes, experts say.

Transit agencies can reverse the trend of falling ridership and maintain or even boost revenue — if they eschew regressive fare hikes in favor of improving the quality and affordability of their services, according to a TransitCenter paper released Thursday.

That would require an attitudinal shift, toward treating the bus and rail systems they run like a public trust — and not a cash box, as too many transit leaders do now.

“Focusing on pricing really highlights transit as a revenue-generation source instead of a public service, but public transit is a public service,” TransitCenter program director Stephanie Lotshaw, who co-wrote the report, told Streetsblog, adding, “that’s why it was created in the first place.”…

Lotshaw argues that transit leaders must get away from their “scarcity mentality” and trust that the services can make up in volume what they sacrifice in price.

“The decision to see what would benefit the customer and help them use the service has gone out of the window,” Lotshaw said. “In the private sector, it would be intuitive to make the product better so more people would want it — but, for some reason, it’s not the same in transit.”…(more)

I think this speaks for itself. Give the public what they want not what you want and they will take it.

Report: New leadership needed to finally bring trains to Salesforce Transit Center

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

The Bay Area should conduct a national search for new leadership to finally bring trains to the Salesforce Transit Center, a peer review panel of national infrastructure experts has concluded.

While hinted at in previous months, that panel’s findings were made public today and will serve as the jumping off point to ensure the Bay Area’s $6 billion investment in new train infrastructure isn’t derailed.

New leadership would need experience planning and leading “urban rail megaprojects,” the panel found…

The new report suggests the project’s leadership shouldn’t get a second crack at the job.

That leadership, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority staff, should only serve as one agency among many in the Bay Area studying and building what is known as the Caltrain Downtown Rail Extension, the peer review panel assembled by consultancy WSP/McKinsey concluded in its newly published report…(more)

SF lawmakers warn Caltrain to come clean on electrification project delays

by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfweekly – excerpt

Caltrain officials took a drubbing from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, after a construction contractor warned a long-awaited electrification project might be delayed as long as a year.

The work to electrify Caltrain is part of a $2.26 billion suite of upgrades to the system and could bring increased transit service to the Peninsula. Transit officials view the project as vital to helping the commutes of 1.2 million new residents projected to live along the train system’s route by 2040.

But that project may be a year late, warned contractor Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, with construction complete in April 2022.

That caution came in a report to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority board, whose members are also the Board of Supervisors, which they discussed with Caltrain officials Tuesday.

Caltrain, however, maintains that it will debut its electrification system on time. Supervisor Sandra Fewer pushed Caltrain Electrification Project Director John Funghi on Tuesday for answers… (more)

Somebody needs to look at the construction contractors code that states, “Good, Cheap, or Fast”. Pick any two. Miracles only happen in the movies.