Two Perspectives on DTX Extension:

SF’s Proposed Downtown Railway Extension Is an Unnecessary Boondoggle

By Marc Joffe : sfstandard – excerpt (includes maps and graphs)

With the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit lanes in operation and the long-delayed Central Subway nearing completion, San Francisco transit planners and advocates are looking forward to commencing a much more expensive project.

The 1.3-mile Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) would allow commuter rail users from the Peninsula, and (ultimately) intercity high-speed rail lines, to access San Francisco’s financial district without changing trains or taking a long walk. But with an estimated price tag of between $4.4 billion and $5 billion, a light rail subway line connecting Caltrain’s San Francisco station (at Fourth and King streets) with the Salesforce Transit Center may be an extravagance ill-suited to post-Covid realities…

Marc Joffe is a Senior Policy Analyst at Reason Foundation(more)

The Best Time to Build the Downtown Extension Was Decades Ago. The Second-Best Time Is Now.

By Tom Radulovich : sfstandard – excerpt

Imagine a weekday commute several years from now. You live on the Peninsula and are headed to work in Downtown San Francisco on Caltrain. The first dozen miles of your trip are great. You’re riding in a brand-new, bi-level railcar with ergonomic seats and wifi. Several hundred people are on the train with you, and everyone has a seat. It’s electric-powered, clean and quiet. The tracks have been separated from auto traffic, so it’s fast and reliable. Trains turn up frequently enough during commute times that you don’t always look at the schedule.

The last mile of your commute is a different story. You’re dropped off at Fourth and King streets, a mile from the Downtown core and a mile from BART at a notorious chokepoint in Muni’s streetcar service. Assuming the Central Subway has opened, connecting Caltrain to Union Square via Fourth Street, that means a walk of several hundred feet to reach BART or the Muni Underground at Market Street, just to transfer to another crowded train and complete the trip.

The proposed extension of Caltrain Downtown to the Salesforce Transit Center will close the gap. The Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) is the single most important unfunded transit project in the Bay Area and the one missing link with potential to take the region’s transit network from good to great.

Tom Radulovich is the Executive Director of Livable City(more)

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