By Erin Baldassari : eastbaytimes – excerpt
OAKLAND — Despite crush-loads of passengers during peak commute times, the number of people riding BART is actually falling, forcing the transit agency to begin tough conversations about how to make up for lost revenue.
After six years of growth, staff anticipated a similar increase in the number of riders during the 2016-2017 fiscal year, which began July 1. Instead, the agency is reporting that ridership through December was 5.2 percent below what it projected. Weekend trips took the hardest hit, coming in at 9 percent lower than projected, compared with 4.2 percent for weekday trips.
In January this year, for example, weekday trips were down a little more than 4 percent, and weekend trips were down slightly more than 2 percent, compared with the same month last year. Ridership figures vary month by month, but BART staff said they are seeing a decline in the total number of riders opting to take the trains… (more)
Put the seats back on the BART cars if you want to compete with trains, taxis and Ubers! No one wants to stand on a moving vehicle. Why is BART considering service cuts, seat removal and fare increases if they are losing riders? Why would people want to stand on BART?.
It is one thing to convince yourself that you are perfect, but another to convince the public that they can trust you. BART needs to ask the public what they want instead of forcing changes they don’t want. The trains still have seats last I heard and they are comfortable seats or were the last I remember. Given the choice I would take the train.
Legislature should reverse BART’s deceit of voters
BART says it needs more money because weekend ridership is down
metrolinx : excerpt (includes graphics)
What is a Mobility Hub?
In The Big Move, the Regional Transportation Plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), one priority calls for “a system of connected mobility hubs” that provides travellers with seamless access to the regional transit system, supports higher density development, and demonstrates excellence in customer service.
A mobility hub is more than just a transit station. Mobility hubs consist of major transit stations and the surrounding area. They serve a critical function in the regional transportation system as the origin, destination, or transfer point for a significant portion of trips. They are places of connectivity where different modes of transportation – from walking to biking to riding transit – come together seamlessly and where there is an intensive concentration of working, living, shopping and/or playing.
Mobility hubs have great potential to help transform the region and reinforce provincial policies as laid out by the landmark Greenbelt Plan and Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The hubs will be centres of activity, attracting opportunities for live, work, and play, that are connected to the rest of the GTHA through reliable, rapid transit. This potential can be achieved with the successful integration of land use and transportation planning, committed private sector partners, strong stakeholder engagement and a common vision for the future…(more)
By :usatoday – excerpt
Cheap gas and a surging economy are taxing the nation’s roads and contributing to congestion that cost U.S. motorists almost $300 billion last year in wasted time and fuel, according to a new report…
“Gas prices haven’t increased that much over the last year or two,’’ says Bob Pishue, senior economist at INRIX and a co-author of the traffic scorecard. Economic growth or productivity has also been strong in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. “Those kinds of factors, combined with an already strained road network leads to increased congestion.’’…
Even if the growing popularity of ride share services like Uber reverses the nation’s decades-long decline in car pooling, the increasing amount of freight on the nation’s roadways will still stoke gridlock. “With an economic recovery … the movement of goods also puts a lot of strain on the roads network too,” Pishue says. “So even if people reduce their driving a little bit, freight is still increasing.”…
When freight carriers lose time and money in traffic, 90% of those costs “get pushed onto households through higher prices for goods and services” Pishue says… (more)
By Matier & Ross : sfgate – excerpt
In the first big hit to the Bay Area from the Trump administration, newly minted Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has put the brakes on $647 million for Caltrain to go electric — and in the process pretty much killed hopes for high-speed rail coming to San Francisco anytime soon.
“It puts the (electrification) project in serious jeopardy,” Caltrain spokesman Seamus Murphy said Friday.
Caltrain carries about 60,000 riders a day between the South Bay and San Francisco, but its diesel-driven trains are both costly to operate and slow. Officials see electrification as a way both to increase ridership and save money on operating costs.
Going electric would also allow the Peninsula line to be the final link in the high-speed rail system that Gov. Jerry Brown wants to stretch from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The Obama administration embraced the idea, but California Republicans have long portrayed it as a boondoggle and sought to kill it.
In this July 1, 2013, file photo, commuters board a Caltrain train at the Caltrain and BART station in Millbrae. The Federal Transit Administration is delaying a decision on whether to approve a $647 million …(more)
The 2016 election manifested a reaction to the growth of urban population, economics. culture, values and influence. Economic power is concentrated in the urban nuclei, bound to global markets, supplies and workforces. The geographic split amplifies educational and social divisions as the nuclei expand. The political turbulence is inexorably divisive, exacerbated by parochial institutions and cultural belief systems. Within cities, a micro-battle wages between lower and higher-income residents—as development/ real estate/ corporate interests grapple over land-use, environmental processes and transportation projects that shape cities and capital distribution.
UNITED NATIONS: “Today, 54 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66 per cent by 2050. Projections show that urbanization combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa, according to a new United Nations report launched today.”
TIME: “For now, however, young people prefer cities. According to the Nielsen Company, 62% of millennials prefer to live in mixed-use communities found in urban centers, closer to shops, restaurants, and the office. And as the number of apartment buildings under construction continues to rise, it appears the exodus to the cities won’t be slowing anytime soon.”
By Matier & Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt
Freshly empowered California Republicans in Congress are pushing the Trump administration to hold off on approving $647 million for the Caltrain system to go electric — something that could kill the redo of a line that carries more than 60,000 riders a day between the South Bay and San Francisco.
“It’s critical that we get the funding,” said Caltrain spokesman Seamus Murphy.
In a Jan. 24 letter to newly sworn-in Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, all 18 members of the state’s GOP congressional delegation called for the Caltrain money to be put on hold until a full audit is done on Gov. Jerry Brown’s high-speed rail project.
The Republicans don’t have anything against Caltrain electrification per se — it’s the high-speed rail line they can’t stand. And high-speed trains will have no way of getting from San Jose to San Francisco if the Caltrain line isn’t electrified.
Caltrain says that if its federal funding is delayed — even for a couple of months — it could mean having to rebid the work already being contracted out. Losing the money entirely would effectively kill electrification of the line.
Republicans have long seen high-speed rail as a boondoggle, but they’ve been up against an Obama administration that refused to spike its funding. That’s not a problem anymore.
Caltrain and its advocates hope the tech titans along the Peninsula and in the South Bay can convince the Trump administration of the project’s pluses. One such plus: the jobs that electrification will create both here and in red states like Utah, where 500 people are to be put to work building new train cars for the line.
A decision is due soon — the funding renewal will be on Chao’s desk for signing by mid-February.