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Old September 16th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #261
trainrover
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How can you ridicule a forummer for something s/he never posted (i.e., "el", "elevated", etc.); my disqualification lies in grade crossings, whereby, however, recurring instances categorically disqualify Chicago's Skokie Shuttle from being a metro:







Hmmm, once upon a time, it would appear that the Skokie Shuttle might've got its juice from catenary

Plus, here's an excerpt from urbanrail.net's page on Budapest's oldest segment of metro line, M1:
Quote:
This line is different from the other two in dimensions, directly under the street, and only 6 m wide and 2,75 m high. Therefore special trains had to be built and a fixed catenary had be installed.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 02:12 AM   #262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manrush View Post
Not necessarily. China's metros have no level crossings anywhere.
I'm not aware of the the current configuration. But I do recall that Boston's Blue Line ran off pantographs from the Airport Sta north. However, it switched to third rail when it went into the subway under the channel to downtown.

I'm sure there merits to pantagraphs in light & commuter rail & for third rail in primarily underground subways.

In any event, this thread has veered way off from the subject re: transit in the Bay Area & Northern Cal, lets get back on track!
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Old September 18th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
I see neither Option A nor C being favoured because for half the journeys seated passengers'd be facing backwards...
Think Option B will win out. Never been on the BART but some of it does look old from the photos. So nice to see them updating the network.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 11:29 PM   #264
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I think you're right, BART felt suburban, not like a metro.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #265
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Introduced Full of Promise, Mass Transit Clipper Cards Stumble; [National Desk]
Scott James. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Sep 9, 2011. Copyright New York Times Company Sep 9, 2011

Bright blue Clipper cards are supposed to work as universal payment for seven Bay Area public transit services. But when Travis Stone swiped his card at the MacArthur BART station in Oakland last month, the turnstile failed to open. He tried another, and another, to no avail.

Other passengers also swiped and were rebuffed, which Mr. Stone said was observed by a uniformed BART employee. "He was standing there by the turnstiles, watching, and just laughing," Mr. Stone said. (When asked about the matter, a BART spokesman said there was no record of the incident.)

Frustrated, Mr. Stone broadcast a message about his aggravation on Twitter, joining an emerging online chorus of discontent with Clipper. In addition, tens of thousands of calls pour into Clipper's customer service hot line each month.

Clipper, named for the high-speed 19th-century ships that revolutionized sea travel, is hitting a few head winds, including system failures and overcharging customers.

The service began in June 2010 -- the first one-card-serves-all solution for the region's fragmented transit system -- simplifying access and payment to regional trains, buses, subway lines, streetcars and ferries, all with varying fare systems.

In some ways it has been remarkably successful. In 15 months, card usage has grown to 500,000 transactions, systemwide, per weekday, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the regional transit agency that oversees the program. Forty-three percent of Muni rides and 36 percent of BART rides use Clipper.

But it has proved difficult to eliminate all the glitches. And some expected improvements, like increasing Muni efficiency, have failed to materialize.

Clipper was built and is operated by Cubic, a San Diego military contractor and transportation company. To date, the system has cost $140 million, with another $17.6 million expected in the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Assessing the full extent of Clipper's issues is difficult. Officials at the transportation commission, and representatives of BART, Caltrain and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency all played down problems, saying they represented a tiny fraction of passengers' experiences.

Although Cubic officials declined to be interviewed, e-mail sent by the company said there were 38,000 calls to its customer service hot line in August.

"The fact that 99.7 percent of transactions did not require interaction with Cubic customer service representatives suggests a successful system," Matt Newsome, a Cubic vice president, said in a statement.

But that math obscures the truth: transactions (500,000 daily, 14 million monthly) do not equal passengers. Each leg of a journey counts as a transaction. A weekday round-trip BART to Muni transfer, for example, counts as four transactions a day (two BART transactions, two Muni transactions), 84 a month. Officials said it was too difficult to determine how many passengers regularly used the card, but it is clear that far more than 0.3 percent of passengers are complaining.

Sam Jennings, who commutes daily between Oakland and San Francisco, said that his card had failed on several occasions, but that when he called customer service, the problems were rarely resolved.

"I turned to Twitter, wondering if I was alone," Mr. Jennings said.

There he discovered a litany of angry postings, leading him to start a Twitter group dedicated to Clipper disdain. (The name of the group and many of the postings contain expletives unprintable here.) Similar online discussions are also on Yelp.

Poor functioning or overcharging are common complaints.

On Caltrain, for example, trips have time limits. But when trains are halted for hours due to track fatalities (12 so far in 2011) Clipper passengers can be charged the route's maximum fare, punished as if they were joy riding.

On San Francisco's Muni, electrical irregularities regularly crash Clipper card scanners, requiring several minutes to reboot. Passengers, unable to swipe their cards, said they were then accused by fare inspectors of failing to pay.

Sarah Sosiak, who commutes from Cole Valley to downtown, said she had lost at least $80 on a Clipper card that failed to work. Unable to resolve the matter, she paid for additional fares.

"On my list of reasons for not continuing to live in San Francisco is dealing with Muni," Ms. Sosiak said.

Clipper's cashless system was also supposed to increase Muni efficiency by reducing time taken collecting fares. But Muni's on-time performance has actually declined in recent months.

Scott Wiener, a San Francisco city supervisor who uses Clipper daily and serves as a commissioner with the transportation agency, acknowledged some rocky initial moments, but said that London's mass transit made the same switch years ago to a system also by Cubic, which is now wildly popular.

"Integrating so many transit agencies is going to be complicated," Mr. Wiener said, but "progress is being made."
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Old September 20th, 2011, 07:26 PM   #266
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Clipper sucks. Cubic sucks.

Everytime I ride BART, about 1 in every 10 people can't get through because the card fails to read properly. About half of the time I ride Muni buses, the reader on the bus has broken down.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 09:45 PM   #267
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OPUS sucks

For instance, its chip makes it impossible to keep it with other cards featuring chips, which is probably the main reason why scanners appear faulty. Stupid our all saying nothing as these decision makers' salaries become costlier and costlier, meanwhile they're turning out to be the lousiest anticipators.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 10:15 PM   #268
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Just to wrap up with krnboy1009 (sorry):
Quote:
Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
Sometime before September 2004:


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Old September 24th, 2011, 05:47 AM   #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Clipper sucks. Cubic sucks.

Everytime I ride BART, about 1 in every 10 people can't get through because the card fails to read properly. About half of the time I ride Muni buses, the reader on the bus has broken down.
While it provides a lot more real-time data for the agencies, without a doubt, the implementation process has left a lot to be desired!
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Old September 26th, 2011, 08:03 PM   #270
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I don't think you can count "real-time data" as a benefit of Clipper at all.

BART already has "real-time data", as you must pass through the turnstiles to enter the paid area of the station. In fact, if you ask them, they can already give you incredibly accurate passenger data without Clipper, including how many riders enter a given station at any time of the day. Any reader installed inside a moving vehicle like a bus or train doesn't get updated in real-time, as they aren't continuously connected to the system... The data transfer only happens if / when the vehicle returns to the yard.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 11:08 PM   #271
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"Aren't continously connected", are you sure about that? OPUS was brought about as an excuse against fare fraud, e.g., if I get off the bus right after having my OPUS scanned coz --say-- I left something behind, and then try to scan my card on the bus that's virtually right behind the one I got off of, the scanner emits red lights and the electronic quaaaaack instead of the green ones and chime. (Even though all us passengers must file past the driver, the driver never fusses with my 'disqualification' due to inspectors' bus raids all day long ... the OPUS scheme's really queer.)

So, aren't clipper data also instantenous (OPUS's medium itself must be either satellite or cell-phone)?
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Old September 27th, 2011, 03:51 AM   #272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
I don't think you can count "real-time data" as a benefit of Clipper at all.

BART already has "real-time data", as you must pass through the turnstiles to enter the paid area of the station. In fact, if you ask them, they can already give you incredibly accurate passenger data without Clipper, including how many riders enter a given station at any time of the day. Any reader installed inside a moving vehicle like a bus or train doesn't get updated in real-time, as they aren't continuously connected to the system... The data transfer only happens if / when the vehicle returns to the yard.
Do you know how much more info is collected by the Clipper?

Put a BART card in the fare box & it tells which stations you got on & where you got off, that's about all.

The Clipper: Do you realize how much more detailed personal data it provides on your trips?

Not that the transit agencies have enough trained staff to analyze all the detailed stuff that comes off the Clipper card!
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Old September 27th, 2011, 07:11 AM   #273
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I agree that the data collected has potential value (I also agree that they won't know how to use any of it), but it's not "real-time" data. I think you are just confusing "real-time data" with "more detailed data".

While stationary Clipper terminals (e.g., BART faregates and TVMs) are constantly connected to the server, any non-stationary terminals (e.g., inside a bus or train) must sync up with the server in order to get the most up-to-date info on card records, as well as transmit any transactions performed since the last sync. This is usually done at the transit yards wirelessly, but results in a lag between the actual usage and the data stored on the server, so you can't really call it "real-time":
  • When you conduct an online transaction for your card (e.g., adding value or a pass) after the vehicle you board has last synced with the server, your online transaction will not register with the Clipper terminal.
  • Any transactions made at terminals inside moving vehicles will not be recorded with the server until these vehicles have synced up.
I suppose this also answers trainrover's question.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 08:14 AM   #274
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I agree that the data collected has potential value (I also agree that they won't know how to use any of it), but it's not "real-time" data. I think you are just confusing "real-time data" with "more detailed data".

While stationary Clipper terminals (e.g., BART faregates and TVMs) are constantly connected to the server, any non-stationary terminals (e.g., inside a bus or train) must sync up with the server in order to get the most up-to-date info on card records, as well as transmit any transactions performed since the last sync. This is usually done at the transit yards wirelessly, but results in a lag between the actual usage and the data stored on the server, so you can't really call it "real-time":
  • When you conduct an online transaction for your card (e.g., adding value or a pass) after the vehicle you board has last synced with the server, your online transaction will not register with the Clipper terminal.
  • Any transactions made at terminals inside moving vehicles will not be recorded with the server until these vehicles have synced up.
I suppose this also answers trainrover's question.
If you're just a regular rider getting a weekly or monthly pass in the clipper machine, no problem. They don't know who's who. But lets consider for example those with say a senior, disabled, or other badge that requires prior agency authorization & identification. One wonders how much personal info gets collected, if any

Could/might the agency collect a database of their trips? Again not likely anyone at Muni or Bart would have any interest. Aside from when its clock- off time. But who knows about other agencies? Or for that matter, private data-mining firms that might buy such data from these cash-strapped agencies.

I dunno know, just tossing these question out
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Old September 29th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #275
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The only trams no longer in SF (that I didn't explicitly state in these pics) are the last two PCC pics (the car no. 1180 and the car no.1163). Though some are currently being restored in one fashion or another (In these pics car no.1, no.578-J and no.1040 are being restored, in addition to a whole swath of others.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 01:16 AM   #276
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Haven't heard much from Sacto lately, here' an update:

Bill renews RT ban on bad apples; BACK-SEAT DRIVER
Tony Bizjak. The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, Calif.: Sep 5, 2011. pg. B.1

Copyright 2011 The Sacramento Bee All Rights Reserved.

Sacramento Regional Transit is about to get tougher on troublemakers. A bill by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, headed to the governor's desk, allows RT to ban certain bad actors from buses, trains, stops and stations for up to six months.

A Darrell Steinberg law a few years ago gave RT similar exclusionary powers, but that law is sunsetting, and Dickinson's is tougher.

RT so far has banned a dozen problem riders under the Steinberg law, including thieves, people who commit assaults and the occasional person arrested for lewd behavior.

Officials say the most common crime on light rail is when riders snatch someone's smartphone or iPod and bolt off the train before the doors close.

Can someone sneak on despite being banned? Yes, but RT's Mark Lonergan says agency officers often know who's who: "We have a watch list."
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Old October 7th, 2011, 06:59 AM   #277
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Its not often that SF learns from Sacto, but who knows, Sacto's "bad apples" ban might win a few supporters among feed-up Muni riders.
Here's another update from Sacto:


Sacramento RT over budget on new light-rail line
Tony Bizjak. McClatchy - Tribune Business News. Washington: Aug 22, 2011.

(c)2011, The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

Aug. 22--Laying track in downtown Sacramento is once again proving to be a budget-buster for Sacramento Regional Transit.

Agency officials revealed they are facing $2 million to $3 million more in costs than expected during construction of the first leg of a light-rail extension that could eventually run to the airport. The project completion date has been delayed as well -- now slated for early next year, a year behind projections.

The new line, originally estimated to cost $44 million, will run from downtown to Richards Boulevard, serving what is expected to be new housing and businesses in that neighborhood. RT hopes to extend the line north into Natomas and the airport at some point, but doesn't currently have money to do it.

Today's construction problems echo others the agency experienced the last time it built a line downtown. Five years ago, a milelong rail extension from K Street to the downtown train depot went $5 million over budget and finished months late, prompting RT officials to admit they'd been "perhaps naive" about the complexities of working on downtown streets.

Work slowdowns this time stemmed mainly from dealing with overhead and underground utility lines, officials said. RT representatives said they have had to stop work to negotiate moving the lines, and who should pay.

Delays also occurred when RT and a private development team helping build and finance the Richards Boulevard station had to negotiate whose crews would get to work on the station when.

The project's contingency fund is not adequate to handle the expected cost overrun, officials say in a report to be issued today.

General Manager Mike Wiley said the district likely will dip into money set aside for future expansion projects and avoid tapping funds for current bus and train service.

County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan, an RT board member, supports the project but expressed frustration.

"We seem to keep having the same problems whenever we do construction downtown," she said. "It shouldn't be unforeseen anymore that there are going to be issues."

RT General Manager Wiley said the project is still economical and will be done on a quick timeline, but acknowledged the agency should have written its construction contract more tightly to resolve problems more quickly.

"The things we've learned will go into our future ... processes," he said.

The project, known as the Green Line, isn't the only money concern the agency faces. RT, like transit agencies nationally, has been under financial duress in recent years, forcing it to cut service by 20 percent last year.

Recently, however, sales tax revenue -- a key transit funding source -- has increased dramatically, allowing RT to begin building a cash reserve. Agency officials had been talking about expanding bus service and increasing rail hours as early as next year; but facing potential transportation funding cuts this fall by Congress, the district is likely to hold off.

RT officials, meanwhile, say they still hope to launch a 4.3-mile light-rail extension project next summer on their south or Blue Line from Meadowview Road to Cosumnes River College.

The agency is applying for a federal grant to pay 50 percent of the extension's expected $270 million cost. First, it must show it can come up with its 50 percent share. To do that, RT is sponsoring a bill that would allow it to sell $59 million in bonds without voter approval.

That legislation, Assembly Bill 1143, is authored by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, a former RT board member. When asked about the bill, several RT board members declined comment, saying they did not know specifics.

RT General Manager Wiley said the bonds would be backed by RT's existing revenue, some of which already has been approved by voters, and would not involve new taxes or fees. Notably, that revenue includes farebox income, money that is typically used to fund day-to-day bus and rail operations, not expansion projects. Wiley said, however, the agency would only use money that is not committed to daily operations, and would expect to be reimbursed over time with $57 million from state congestion relief program funds.

The ongoing fiscal uncertainties caused one board member, David Sander of Rancho Cordova, to suggest last year that the agency may be "overreaching" by trying to deliver more than it should with its limited resources.

Several other board members said the agency needs to push forward, and Wiley said he believes RT has positioned itself well for expansion by cutting back and retooling during recent tough economic times.

"We've completely repositioned ourselves financially," Wiley said. "We think we've been very conservative."
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Old October 14th, 2011, 09:34 AM   #278
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I can't vouch for all his ideas. But it would be nice to see the muni come up with something a lot more colorful than those awful, dreadful, dull, plain, boring white paint jobs!

At least 1 candidate for mayor comes up with some zany ideas

Heather Knight. San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, Calif.: Oct 9, 2011. pg. D.1

Full Text
(851 words)
(C) San Francisco Chronicle 2011

Finally!

At long last, one of San Francisco's 11 serious - and seriously nap-inducing - candidates for mayor has had an eyebrow-raising week.

If you call grabbing international attention for what's believed to be the first political ad to feature the child of an openly gay candidate anywhere near eyebrow-raising. Oh, and this candidate also proposed to The Chronicle's editorial board that the city get life coaches for Muni drivers. And he discussed wrapping the inside of the 14-Mission buses to look like a Virgin America airplane.

Thank you, former Supervisor Bevan Dufty. We appreciate any zaniness to break up the coverage of various candidates' 17-point job plans. This is, after all, San Francisco.

Dufty started the week by unveiling an ad in which he's shown riding Muni with his 5-year-old daughter, Sidney, who thinks the oft-derided bus system is "magical." Dufty said he wants everybody to see it that way.

The ad drew the attention of MSNBC, On Top magazine, Daily Kos, the Huffington Post and even London's Daily Mail. British readers learned that Dufty, who represented the Castro district when he served on the Board of Supervisors, conceived Sidney with his lesbian friend, and that some think Dufty is exploiting his daughter by using her in a political ad.

Dufty said Sidney is a lot like him and loves the attention.

"She's very much a performer and a public person," Dufty said. "The only occupational hazard is that Sidney continues to be afraid of drag queens."

Next up came Dufty's appearance Tuesday at The Chronicle's editorial board. These candidate sessions can become very repetitive, but Dufty stood out. It seemed everybody left the room muttering, "Life coaches?"

Yes, Dufty is very serious about hiring life coaches to work with Muni drivers, street sweepers and other frontline city employees.

He's convinced that Muni drivers' high no-show rate, for example, would drop significantly if the drivers were happy in life and at work.

"I want them to step into their greatness," Dufty said. "I want them to be the most memorable bus driver a person has ever experienced."

Dufty's got plenty more where that came from.

He wants to get Virgin America to wrap the inside of buses on the 14-Mission line to look like one of its planes - complete with atmospheric music and red and purple lighting. ("You look so much better on their planes than you do under the harsh light of Muni," he said. "I think that would be super fun.")
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Old October 26th, 2011, 06:27 AM   #279
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Retail lags at Pleasant Hill-Contra Costa Centre BART transit village
Lisa P White. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, Calif.: Oct 8, 2011.

(c)2011 ANG Newspapers. )

The new Starbucks at Treat Boulevard and Jones Road was bustling Friday morning with grab-and-dash office workers and sit-and-surf laptop users.

The coffee shop is the first commercial tenant at Avalon Walnut Creek, the latest addition to the transit village at the Pleasant Hill-Contra Costa Centre BART station. Completed last year, the mixed-use development includes 422 luxury apartments and about 34,000 square feet of commercial space. But so far, an insurance broker is the only other business to rent a space.

Mike Scott, sitting at one of the outdoor tables Friday, said he enjoys taking his dog Mushroom to cafes. He didn't relish the long walk from his home over the freeway to reach places on North Main Street.

"It's the best choice for me. I've been waiting for them to put things in here," said Scott, who's surprised so many empty storefronts remain in what seems like a prime location. "To me, this place screams restaurants and cafes."

Craig Semmelmeyer, of Main Street Property Services, which is leasing the commercial space at Avalon Walnut Creek, acknowledged that the sluggish economy hasn't helped. But rather than fill storefronts quickly with typical strip mall outlets, Semmelmeyer said he's recruiting businesses that will make the place unique.

"We're not just leasing the shopping center -- we're creating a neighborhood," he said.

"We want to make this neighborhood so cool that people from outside the neighborhood want to come share it."

Three restaurants -- a pizzeria, an eatery that serves American-style comfort food and a fusion sushi place -- are very close to signing deals, Semmelmeyer said. He's also trying to lure an ice cream parlor and an upscale bike shop to take advantage of the development's proximity to the Iron Horse Regional Trail.

"It's a little neighborhood village much like you have little neighborhood villages in San Francisco or Oakland that everyone loves to go to. That's what this will be," he said.

Avalon Walnut Creek is part of the Contra Costa Centre transit village area, which covers 140 acres, includes 2,800 residential units and is home to major employers such as Nextel Communications and Bank of the West. Developer AvalonBay Communities did not return calls for comment.

Edward Del Beccaro, managing director of Grubb & Ellis in Walnut Creek, said the housing and offices in the area don't provide enough population density to support the available retail space. Amenities such as restaurants, a dry cleaner, a florist or a spa that cater to the apartment residents would fit in, but he doubts those businesses would attract harried BART commuters or draw customers in cars, particularly to the storefronts that aren't on Treat Boulevard.

"When you do this kind of interior retail, it's walking distance," Del Beccaro said. "Once you're in your car, you go to the bigger stores."

Walnut Creek leaders are closely watching the Avalon experience.

Developers recently jump-started a long-delayed plan to build a $100 million transit village at the Walnut Creek BART station. The project includes up to 600 luxury apartments and 22,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. But two council members have expressed doubts about plans for an additional 16,700 square feet of space that could be commercial or residential, given the empty storefronts at the Pleasant Hill-Contra Costa Centre BART project.

At Starbucks, Ned Ryder, a retired residential real estate developer whose office is a short distance away on Treat Boulevard, said he thinks the limited street parking will hurt the project. He also doubts that the apartment tenants will be enough to support the retail at the development.

"The way the retail's oriented here, I don't think it's going to be very viable," he said. "I think it's pretty obvious they haven't been able to lease the space. So I think it's going to be a problem."

Staff writer Elisabeth Nardi contributed to this report. Lisa P. White covers Martinez and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white. null

Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff
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Old November 4th, 2011, 02:54 AM   #280
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Here's sme good thoughts from MTC. Albeit an agency whose own credibility has suffered significantly given its very costly & questionable scheme to bail out from Oakland for plusher digs in that other, more glamorious & expensive, city by the bay.

Agencies urged to coordinate service

Michael Cabanatuan. San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, Calif.: Oct 27, 2011.
(C) San Francisco Chronicle 2011

The Bay Area's vast collection of more than two dozen transit agencies could have to cut their operating costs, increase the number of filled seats, pick up speed, share their staffs and plan service together under a plan being developed by regional transportation officials.

The goal of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's transit sustainability project is to get the Bay Area more transit service for its money by making the region's 28 agencies more efficient as it prepares to ask voters to approve a regional gasoline tax to increase service, possibly in November 2012.

"If we're going to say we can squeeze out 10 percent more service, we've done something significant," said commissioner Steve Kinsey, a Marin County supervisor. "And that will go a long way."

But some commissioners don't think it goes far enough. They want the Bay Area's transportation planning and financing agency to set a more ambitious goal of merging some of the region's smaller transit operators - or even consolidating all of the agencies into a single operator. Numerous attempts to merge Bay Area transit agencies have failed over the past couple of decades.

The current effort, in the works for about two years, focuses not on the politically difficult tactic of creating a mega-transit agency but on getting the multitude of agencies - especially the largest ones - to work better together and take similar approaches to cut costs and improve service.

Over the past decade, the Bay Area's seven biggest transit operators - BART, Muni, AC Transit, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, SamTrans, Caltrain, and Golden Gate Transit and Ferry - have increased spending on transit operations by 34 percent, which resulted in just a 15 percent increase in service - and only a 7 percent rise in ridership.

"We've been putting more money into the transit system in the last 10 years but getting less out," said Egon Terplan, regional planning director for the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association and member of a commission advisory committee. "We're going to be going out and asking people for more money. They're not going to vote for it if they don't think it will change anything."

If nothing changes, according to the commission's 25-year transportation plan, the Bay Area will face an $8 billion operating deficit by 2035 and a $17.2 billion deficit in capital spending on equipment, upkeep and new transit projects.

Transit agencies could be asked to reduce operating expenses by 10 percent within five years - by reducing the size of their administrative staffs and by bargaining with unions for savings in health care and pension benefits and changes in work rules to allow more flexibility in scheduling and operations.

Agencies operating transit that crosses county lines or the bay could be required to increase the number of patrons by 10 percent within five years and to increase the percentage of revenues collected at the fare box. Transit operators could also be required to raise their average operating speeds.

How to enforce those requirements - probably through either incentives or withholding of funds - is still being discussed. So is an analysis of how the seven largest agencies, which employ a total of 11,729 people full time, could share administrative employees, such as the 277 people working in human resources jobs or the 154 in public relations or marketing.

A final set of recommendations will be presented to the commission in March.

While commissioners said they approve of the recommendations so far, some were hoping for more dramatic change. Commissioner Jim Spering, a Solano County supervisor, said smaller transit agencies in parts of the Bay Area should be merged, and Jake Mackenzie, a Rohnert Park councilman, said the region should work its way toward a single system such as the one in Washington.

"We should be talking in terms of a metropolitan transportation system," he said. "That should be our long-term goal."
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