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.

Tutor Perini to get $31M for delays in San Francisco Central Subway project

seekingalpha – excerpt

Tutor Perini (TPC -1.4%) discloses it will receive $31.2M to resolve previously unpaid amounts for delays involving the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Central Subway project due to unexpected site conditions and owner-directed changes in project design… (more)

The most expensive least productive SF Agency does it again. One of many reasons why people are angry and losing patience with the SFMTA.

Bay Area to study integrating fares among region’s transit agencies

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Improving discounts and transfers could give riders new incentives to travel by train and bus

Whether you hop a Muni bus to BART, or a ferry to an AC Transit bus, riding public transit via more than one agency can be so expensive it scares off riders. A new study aims to fix that.

Monday morning the Clipper Executive Board, a group comprised of transit leaders from across the Bay Area, approved $599,839 to study Bay Area public transit fare integration.

The idea is simple: Right now, most public transit agencies don’t regularly offer fare discounts or transfers that reflect this regional travel. Instead, each agency charges its own fare…(more)

SF’s newest subway may emerge on the West Side

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfweekly – excerpt

San Francisco’s sleepy West Side — from the Richmond District to Parkmerced — is often characterized as The City’s suburb, replete with one-story homes, slow-rolling fog, and many, many, many cars.

But that may change. Someday, it could be home to The City’s newest underground rail extension.

San Francisco is exploring plans to dig a new subway tunnel between West Portal and Parkmerced and also south out to the Ingleside neighborhood, after roughly $960,000 to finish a study of the project was accelerated by Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee on Tuesday morning.

That study was initially slated to take place some years from now, Yee said, but may now start within months…(more)

Advocates Flummoxed and Fuming Over Latest Central Subway Delays

By Roger Rudnick : streetsblog – excerpt

Seriously, is this thing every going to open?

We should check to see the odds in Vegas.

ay Area transit advocates look in envy at the expansion of the Line 14 in Paris, Crossrail in London, and, basically, any subway system in China–the fact is the rest of the world continues building transit much faster, and for less money than we do. Now the S.F. Examiner has broken the story that our only subway project, the relatively puny 1.7 mile Central Subway, is seriously delayed, again…

If anyone’s still keeping track, the subway was originally supposed to open in 2018.

“This latest delay reminds us just how ill-equipped we are in the Bay Area to spend large sums of money effectively and efficiently on transit. Any new major capital money for transit expansion projects like this must come with significant reforms to how we approach, project planning, capital project delivery and construction,” wrote Seamless Bay Area’s Ian Griffiths, in an email to Streetsblog. “This project has been studied for over 20 years; it took nearly a decade of planning and design to agree on alignment.”

“If Central Subway opens in 2021, that’s 11 years of construction for three subway stops and 1.7 miles of tunnel,” added Cat Carter, spokesperson for the Transit Rider’s Union. “We can’t wait that long for reliable, functional, efficient service.”…

Advocates worry this latest delay doesn’t bode well for attempting to convince Bay Area voters to go in on a large regional mega-measure to expand transit. “Since Central Subway represents another example of how slothfully agencies like the MTA administer the funds entrusted to them, it won’t help extracting another $100 billion of taxpayer money one bit,” wrote Gerald Cauthen, President of the Bay Area Transportation Working Group and occasional Streetsblog contributor.…(more)

As one of our agency spokespersons once famously said, “There is no way the people who created this mess should be trusted to fix it”, or something to that effect. My sentiments exactly. Whoever is spending the Muni money is not doing a good job and needs to be replaced. Hiring standards are also suspect. Voters have no reason to trust the system that has failed miserably to improve. Voters should demand a competance.