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Old November 30th, 2011, 06:24 AM   #301
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Impressive and charming

Yeah, the CC Museum really truly is one of a kind!
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Old December 1st, 2011, 01:25 AM   #302
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It's truly rare to see that aged tone to wood around the continent.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 09:13 PM   #303
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I suppose this also answers trainrover's question.
Not really but you're forgiven.

Upon asking a bus driver in St-Henri last week, I learned that I've been stuffing my wallet with some radioactivity for some years now ... it turns out the chip in my OPUS card is where all the fare and timing information is streamed live ... it's become impossible for folks around town here to keep their chip-equipped cards (e.g., bank) in the same wallet, because the multiple chips start corrupting each/one an/other's data
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 05:49 AM   #304
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Okay, since there seems to be a need for this, I shall make a thread dedicated not just to San Francisco, but also San Jose and Oakland. So here we go, First up:


Look Ma, the bus is only 10 minutes late this time, I think it's a record!


SAN FRANCISCO MUNICIPAL RAILWAY* * which is neither municipal or really much of a railway anymore

Began service: 1912
Ridership: 700,000 daily
Service area: All of the City of San Francisco (And nothing else*)
Routes: 80



Near future Route Map.



Rail Lines (Not including Cable Cars or shuttle services): 6
Trolleybus Routes: 14
Trolleybus fleet: 333 (240 40ft buses, 93 60ft buses)
Light Rail fleet: 151 LRV's+50 Historic trolley's

MUNI (As us San Franciscans call it) was the first publicly owned transit system in the United States, but that's not important, what is important is that MUNI is the largest transit agency in Northern California (in terms of ridership), it operates the largest Light Rail (Tram) network in the united states (71 route miles, or 115 route km), the Largest Trolleybus network (by fleet size) in the United States (And second largest in the Western Hemisphere, after mexico city), and then of course there are the Cable Cars.


Those f**king Cable Cars


This route, this bus, and this parking lot no longer exist.


The oldest part of the trolleybus network, and that wall hasn't had it easy.


It's Electric!


The Balboa dip


The big boy's, we got 93 electric, 137 diesel.


Top o' the hill, the southern end of the Trolleybus network.


And one last one of the ETB's


These have always played second-fiddle to the other diesel buses


These don't get used much because of their age.


San Francisco's most dominant Diesel bus


And another one.


MUNI's newest buses.


I've run out of snarky things to say.


Short buses for routes with lower ridership


This bus line is one the most heavily used routes west of the Mississippi river.


This route doesn't exist anymore.


Embarcadero Station, Market st Subway


Montgomery Station, Market st Subway


Powell st Station, Market st Subway


MUNI doesn't run these LRV's anymore, nor do they run trains in 3 car formation either. BTW, this is Civic Center, Market st Subway.


Well, this is a rare sight. Van Ness, Market st Subway.


Church, Market St. Subway.


Castro, Market St. Subway. (Note the curved platform.)


Forest Hill, Twin Peaks Tunnel. (Oldest Subway on the West Coast.)


West Portal, Twin Peaks Tunnel


Southern Embarcadero, Near AT&T park.


4th/King. Terminal for the N train (the T continues further South)


T-third, Southern Terminal


N-Judah, 9th/Judah


M-Ocean View, SF State University


L-Taraval,Zoo Terminal


K-Ingleside, Ocean/Lee


J-Church, Dolores Park


Balboa Park Terminal. (also site of Green Yard and Geneva Yard.)


Metro East Maintenance Facility. (MUNI's other big rail yard.)


MUNI "Torpedo" PCC (for use on F-Line)


MUNI Ex-SEPTA PCC (for use on F-Line)


MUNI Ex-Newark City Subway (for use on F-Line)


MUNI Ex-Milan Peter Witt in Orange (In Geneva Yard)


MUNI Ex-Milan Peter Witt in Yellow/White (Castro Terminal)


MUNI Ex-Milan Peter Witt in two tone Green (Ferry Building)


MUNI No.1 (MUNI's first streetcar)


Blackpool Boat Tram (At Jones st Terminal at Fisherman's Wharf.)


Ex-Melbourne W2


Ex-Kobe/Hiroshima tram


Oldest streetcar currently owned by a US transit agency.


Ex-New Orleans Perley Thomas


SF "Baby Ten" PCC 1040 (Last streetcar made in US until Oregon Ironworks 015 in 2009)


Ex-Kansas City/Toronto PCC (The one in front, painted Red and Cream)


Ex-St Louis PCC

Thank you reading this. I plan for this thread to cover all of the Transportation agencies of Northern California, and I will continue making that possible tomorrow when I post the info about the BART system. (Which will be followed by AC Transit and Golden Gate Transit later this week.)
Here's a re-visit of FDW's excellent photos of SF's transit system.
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 05:31 PM   #305
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Great pics! The old trams are cool and lame at the same time, cool coz they are so different, each one looks different, which make them interesting but on the other hand they are soooooo slowly!

How's the MuniMetro extention? Is it suspended or they will build finally the new cross-tunnel?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 04:40 AM   #306
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How's the MuniMetro extention? Is it suspended or they will build finally the new cross-tunnel?
The Chinatown Central Subway?

Well the cost estimates for 2 miles of subway have more doubled from the original estimate, to $1.7 billion. Given all the more pressing needs on the existing system, there's a large & growing amount of concern as to the viability of a project so lacking in cost-effectiveness.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 12:46 AM   #307
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The Chinatown Central Subway?

Well the cost estimates for 2 miles of subway have more doubled from the original estimate, to $1.7 billion. Given all the more pressing needs on the existing system, there's a large & growing amount of concern as to the viability of a project so lacking in cost-effectiveness.
And that's not even getting into the poor design of the extension.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 08:25 AM   #308
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And that's not even getting into the poor design of the extension.
Quite true.

Of course, the ultimate "design" of this extension seems to be to further enrich our shady politicians.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 03:32 AM   #309
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2 miles of subway ... $1.7 billion
:balks: No offense, but that price tag would take crooked locals letting shady politicos get away with that ...
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Old December 8th, 2011, 04:15 AM   #310
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:balks: No offense, but that price tag would take crooked locals letting shady politicos get away with that ...
Certainly a valid point.

But with Uncle Sam willing to foot the biggest part of the bill, & a significant chunk of the rest coming courtesy of the State of California, its easy to imagine that many of the locals feel their in for a free ride.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #311
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Hmm, you too have a point, coz by the sounds of it, it wouldn't be just locals
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Old December 12th, 2011, 08:55 AM   #312
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BART distributes vouchers in a move to lure shoppers
Ellen Huet. San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, Calif.: Dec 9, 2011. pg. C.4

(C) San Francisco Chronicle 2011

BART gave commuters more than 65,000 vouchers for free round-trip rides Thursday morning to entice more people to take transit while holiday shopping.

And the incentive seemed to work for Claire Olivier, a 32-year-old Berkeley resident who rode to San Francisco's Powell Street Station.

"I work in the city during the week, but this might make me come here on the weekend," she said.

BART workers distributed the vouchers at stations in downtown San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland.

Mia Hernandez, 25, commutes from Walnut Creek to the Montgomery Street Station every day. She said she received a similar free-ride coupon last year but didn't use it. But she has plans to come into San Francisco this weekend for brunch and shopping, so "the timing is perfect," she said.

The vouchers can be used between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday or Sunday by giving a voucher stub to a station agent, BART spokesman Jim Allison said.

Last year, riders made 37,207 trips with vouchers, he said. BART distributed 60,000 vouchers, each worth two trips.

"The idea is to reward loyal riders," which is why the ticket handout wasn't announced in advance, Allison said.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #313
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A One-Time Industrial Hub With Few Prospects; [National Desk]
Aaron Glantz. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Dec 16, 2011. pg. A.37A

Copyright New York Times Company Dec 16, 2011

Down the Port Chicago Highway in Bay Point -- past the half-empty Shore Acres shopping center, across the railroad tracks -- sits the McAvoy Marina, a decaying boat dock where a giant restaurant is shuttered and crumbling on the southern edge of Suisun Bay.

To the east is a polluted marsh that for decades served as a dumping ground for toxins released by the adjoining Shell Oil chemical plant; to the west is the sprawling plant operated by General Chemical, which has laid off two-thirds of its union employees since the recession began.

"I'm struggling to stay positive," said Vince Diaz, a representative at the International Chemical Workers Union. "But I've told them all, don't hold onto hope of coming back here. Try to get yourself out there and find other work."

But in Bay Point, finding work has been difficult. Unemployment stands at nearly 20 percent. A century ago, the town's proximity to the Carquinez Strait and two rail lines made it an ideal place for a factory. During World War II, the Navy built warships here.

Today, this unincorporated section of Contra Costa County seems a world away from the economic engine of Silicon Valley. Other cities in the Bay Area are trying to revitalize troubled neighborhoods. In San Francisco, fast-growing Twitter is opening offices in the Mid-Market section. Menlo Park looks to Facebook to stabilize the impoverished Belle Haven area.

But planners say Bay Point, the former industrial heartland of the Bay Area, faces a bleak and uncertain future.

"In some ways, Bay Point has more in common with declining industrial suburbs in the Midwest than it does with the rest of the Bay Area," said Alan Berube, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who is researching suburban poverty.

This was not the plan. Fifteen years ago, when BART extended its Concord line eastward, the transit agency put the terminus in Bay Point, a move intended to help revitalize the area. But while the BART expansion helped spark a housing boom and population explosion in neighboring Antioch and Brentwood, Bay Point's population declined slightly over the past decade to 21,349, according to Census Bureau reports. The median household income is less than $45,000, making the area poorer than East Palo Alto or Richmond.

"There are no jobs," said Eva Garcia, who runs a local career center. "All we have are a McDonald's, Taco Bell, a few auto shops and mom-and-pop stores that don't really have employees."

A Walgreen's pharmacy is Bay Point's largest retail business. Residents and business owners complain that prostitutes troll Willow Pass Road.

"The people here aren't here because of a choice, but because they can't afford anything else," said Ana Sanchez, 30, the owner of Hermosa Beauty Salon. On a Monday afternoon, all seven chairs in her salon were vacant.

Over the years, Bay Point has repeatedly tried to turn the page on its fading industrial history. In 1993, citizens voted to change the name of their town from West Pittsburg, in an effort at rebranding. Three years later, the BART station was completed, and in 2002 the Contra Costa County Redevelopment Agency began buying 28 homes a block from the station, which it then demolished for a new transit-oriented development to spur a revitalization of the wider area.

The development, called Orbisonia Heights, was to include 325 apartment units and 40,000 square feet of commercial space. But although the 28 homes have been razed, construction has stalled and the area is now a six-acre vacant lot.

"There are a lot of vacancies and foreclosures, and our studies show there's just not a market there for dense residential development," said Maureen Toms, a program manager with the redevelopment agency.

When regional officials are asked what types of companies might come to replace jobs lost at old industrial employers, they say they are stumped.

"When the big employers make location decisions, their bottom lines are transportation access, location and a well-trained labor market," said Patrick Roche, a principal planner for Contra Costa County.

Bay Point is far from Silicon Valley and unlikely to attract a high-tech, suburban business park like the ones around the Pleasanton BART station in eastern Alameda County, Mr. Roche said. The industrial heartland along Suisun Bay is not on a major regional highway, so it is unable to attract large warehousing operations that have clustered around Interstate 80 in Solano County.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 02:52 AM   #314
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IMO, along with SF's boondoogle subway scam, this must be one of the most outrageous & waistfull uses of our taxpayer bucks I've seen from any of the regional agencies. Shame on the MTC for deserting Oakland for San Francisco.

MTC STICKS WITH PLANS TO MOVE METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
MOVING FULL STEAM AHEAD WITH NEW HEADQUARTERS IN SAN FRANCISCO;

Lawmaker wants agency to wait until state audit determines if relocation can be financed by tolls
Contra Costa Times. Walnut Creek, Calif.: Dec 21, 2011. pg. B.1Copyright Bay Area News Dec 21, 2011

By Cecily Burt

A regional transit agency is moving full steam ahead with plans to hire an architect to renovate its new headquarters in San Francisco, despite a looming threat to block the move by an East Bay lawmaker who opposes the use of bridge toll funds for the new building.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, meeting Wednesday at the Bay Area Headquarters Authority, will consider two contracts that will advance the commission's move from Oakland to San Francisco.

The first is a $1 million contract for architectural and engineering services, and the other is a $240,000 contract with Amerimar Main Street Management Co. LLC for property management services.

The architectural firms were still being interviewed, and the staff recommendations had not been made public Tuesday afternoon.

MTC paid $93 million to purchase an old postal facility at 390 Main St. in San Francisco to serve as a regional headquarters for multiple governmental agencies, including the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, despite opposition from East Bay elected officials and business leaders who are fighting to keep MTC in Oakland.

At the urging of state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, state auditors have agreed to conduct an audit to determine if it is legal to use bridge tolls to buy and renovate the San Francisco building. The renovations are expected to cost $74 million.

DeSaulnier announced last week that he planned to introduce a bill to block preparations for the move until the audit is complete, but it is not known whether DeSaulnier's announcement will have any effect on the commissioners as they consider the two contracts, said MTC spokesman Randy Rentschler. The board voted 8-6 to buy the building, even though DeSaulnier had urged them to wait.

DeSaulnier said he is writing a letter to the board "asking them to be responsible and to be prudent and to not expend any public money until we get the audit back," he said. "I strongly disagree with how they are spending toll money. All I'm asking for this time is to wait until the audit is completed."
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Old January 25th, 2012, 04:35 AM   #315
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Deep Conflict Looms Over Billion-Dollar BART Extension to Livermore; [National Desk]
Zusha Elinson. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Jan 22, 2012.

Copyright New York Times Company Jan 22, 2012

A battle is brewing between top Bay Area Rapid Transit leaders over a billion-dollar rail extension to Livermore.

John McPartland, the new president of the transit agency's elected board of directors, has made it his mission to extend BART to this East Bay suburb of 80,000, which is home to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.

"That was the condition of employment very clearly stated by my constituents, that 'if you don't get BART to Livermore, we're certainly not going to vote for you,' " Mr. McPartland said. "I've committed myself to that."

Mr. McPartland, a military man who drives a pickup truck and lives in suburban Castro Valley, has ambitions that clash directly with those of Tom Radulovich, the board's vice president. Mr. Radulovich runs Livable City, a nonprofit group that advocates for public transit and pedestrians. He lives in San Francisco's lively Mission district, and his only vehicle is a bicycle.

"It's just not the best use of a billion and a half dollars, especially with our capital needs," said Mr. Radulovich. "Some of it'll end up coming out of funds that otherwise would have gone to the maintenance and rehab, system capacity, seismic safety and car replacement."

Proponents put the cost of the proposed extension at $1.2 billion. It is more than a rift between the suburban mouse and the city mouse. It is a fundamental disagreement over how scarce funds for public transit should be spent: expanding the 104-mile BART system or maintaining what already exists. The transit agency needs $7 billion over the next 25 years for track maintenance, station upgrades and a fleet of new train cars, BART officials say.

"That's an internal struggle that we're just going to have to deal with," said Mr. McPartland. "I'm hoping that we'll both be able to get what we need in the long run."

Injecting a sense of urgency into the debate is a plan by Alameda County officials to put a sales tax proposal on the ballot in November that would raise $7.7 billion for county transportation projects over the next 30 years. A total of $400 million is slated for the Livermore extension in a draft of how the money would be spent, that the Alameda County Transportation Commission could complete on Jan. 26.

If voters approve the 1 percent sales tax, that could effectively force BART into building the extension, to the dismay of Mr. Radulovich and other critics who believe that system will fall into disrepair if more money is spent on what he called boondoggles.

"When you've got a house where the roof is failing, you don't take out your savings and build an addition," said Jeff Hobson, deputy director for TransForm, a transit advocacy group. "We feel like it's nutty to go ahead and plan for more multi-billion-dollar extensions."

But supporters from Livermore say that BART owes them an extension, because they have been paying taxes to support the agency since its inception.

"The citizens feel that they paid for it and it's only fair that they get it now," Linda Jeffery Sailors, the former mayor of Dublin, said.

Ms. Sailors, who now lives in Livermore, led a successful campaign to alter the extension plan chosen by BART. A study by the agency in 2010 recommended an 11-mile, $3.8 billion extension with a stop in downtown Livermore and another outside town. But the concerns raised by Ms. Sailors and other citizens about property acquisition issues and years of construction led Livermore leaders to favor a version of the plan that the study rejected: a 5-mile, $1.2 billion extension with just one stop, on the median of the 580 freeway on the outskirts of town.

Support for that plan has thrown the exact scope and cost of the project into uncertainty.

Mr. McPartland said he supported the extension along the freeway and was set to introduce a proposal to finance a new study of the project.

But Mr. Radulovich called the freeway station an anachronism from an era when BART catered to commuters driving from the suburbs to catch the train. Downtown stations encourage housing to be built nearby, requiring less car use, he said.

"We have all this logic of prior commitments and it's predicated on this sprawling pattern of growth," he said. "That's not the way the region is growing anymore, so why are we building these extensions as if it were?"
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Old January 30th, 2012, 03:37 AM   #316
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SFMTA identifies $24 billion in long-term project needs

By: Will Reisman | 01/07/12 4:36 PM
SF Examiner Staff Writer

Capital needs: San Francisco needs to spend $1.8 billion over 20 years just to maintain its overhead wire system, one of many expenses.

Never mind plans for big transit improvements — just keeping San Francisco’s transportation infrastructure in a state of good health will be a titanic challenge for The City.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, has identified $24 billion worth of needs for its capital program, which covers long-term planning projects such as the Central Subway and bus rapid-transit networks. Simply maintaining its current transportation assets — such as buses, railways, and storage facilities — in a state of good repair will require $10 billion over the next 20 years.

The $24 billion represents a needs-assessment of the agency’s major projects and will determine how the SFMTA prioritizes its long-term plans, said spokesman Paul Rose. In the next few months, the SFMTA will detail how much funding it has secured for its capital program and how much more it needs for necessary improvements, he said. At that point, the agency will release its capital program shortfall and potential funding sources to address the deficit.

Funding for capital plans typically comes from state and federal programs.

Of the $24 billion the agency has identified in capital program needs, the overwhelming majority — $20 billion — is related to transit operations. To maintain its overhead wire system, which powers its bus and rail fleet, the agency needs to spend $1.8 billion over the next 20 years, according to agency documents. Keeping transit stations up to spec will require $1.2 billion, and bus replacement and maintenance programs will need $1.7 billion over that same time period.

According to a 2010 report, the agency needs to spend $455 million a year to keep its transit operations in a state of good repair.

The agency’s funding problems are not limited to its capital program. The agency’s operating budget — which covers day-to-day service needs — is facing a two-year shortfall of $80 million.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 08:07 AM   #317
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excellent news!

Quote:
SMART repeal effort officially fails to qualify for ballot
By BOB NORBERG
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Published: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 11:46 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 3:04 p.m.

The six-month effort to force an election to repeal the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit sales tax ended in failure on Monday, clearing the way for the district to accelerate plans to construct a two-county commute line.

RepealSMART organizers did not collect the minimum number of signatures necessary to quality the initiative for a November ballot measure, according to a count by the Sonoma and Marin elections departments on Monday.

RepealSMART organizers obtained 5,471 signatures in Sonoma and 9,111 signatures in Marin, for a total of 14,582. The minimum threshold was 14,902, said Gloria Colter, Sonoma County’s assistant registrar of voters. Because the total fell short, Sonoma and Marin elections officials will not go through the process of verifying the signatures, she said.

With the end of the repeal effort, SMART now has access to $171 million raised by selling construction bonds, money that will be used to launch several additional contracts necessary for the transit system to be built.

The repeal effort had hindered SMART, but the district was still moving forward with its plans to build a commute system from Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael, with service scheduled to begin in late 2014 or early 2015.

In December SMART sold $191 million worth of in construction bonds, which after expenses resulted in $171 million for the transit agency to use for construction. Bond repayment is guaranteed by the district’s sales tax revenues.

Because of the repeal cloud hanging over the district, the bonds carries a variable interest rates and the proceeds were put into escrow pending the outcome of the petition effort.

Now that the repeal has failed, the bonds will be converted to fixed interest rate bonds and the money will be released to SMART, said Farhad Mansourian, district general manager.

SMART this month awarded a $103.3 million contract to rebuild the rail line from Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa to the Marin County Civic Center, using $45 million in cash on hand and the sale taxes that are still being collected.

With the release of the impounded funds, SMART can now award additional contracts to extend the line from the Marin Civic Center to downtown San Rafael, build a maintenance and operation facility, construct more of the planned pedestrian-bicycle path and build the electronic communications system necessary for train control.

Mansourian said that when the bonds are officially released from escrow, SMART’s quarter-percent sales tax is legally committed to paying off the bonds and cannot be repealed.

“There is nothing to repeal, we have bonded the sales tax, the sales tax is committed and the repeal is over,” Mansourian said. “We will keep delivering the project as promised.”


...

Windsor Mayor Debora Fudge, a member of the SMART board, said the failure of the repeal effort shows that the train still has a majority of support.

....
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article...2240557095fb12
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 08:39 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by jchernin View Post
excellent news!

Sounds like a very good & much needed transit project up in Nimby County that still stands a fighting chance.

BTW, if there's $24 billion in the pipeline for Bay Area transit & in the interest of regional connections, I'd rather see some of it going to a BART extension to Marin rather than dumping it all on a single bloated agency like MUNI.

Good luck & do keep us updated!
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Old February 9th, 2012, 06:51 AM   #319
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This is good news:

The San Francisco Chronicle (California)

January 23, 2012 Monday
FINAL Edition

Muni goes the distance, extends bus to Daly City BART train

BYLINE: Michael Cabanatuan, Rachel Gordon

SECTION: Metro; CITY INSIDER; Pg. C1


Muni's 14-Mission line, including the 14L-Mission Limited, is famously crowded with commuters, characters and creatures, often has an unpleasant smell and a grimy feel, and has been called a traveling circus and a freak show.

So who wouldn't want to stay on a little bit longer? Starting today, Muni and BART riders will get that opportunity.

The 14-Mission buses previously concluded their long treks up Mission Street from Spear Street at Mission and San Jose Avenue. But as of this morning, 14L buses will travel a half mile farther - to the Daly City BART Station - during morning and evening commute hours.

During the morning, Muni will temporarily use connector buses on the 14L line, and passengers will have to transfer to them at Goethe Street. In the evening, regular 14L buses will depart from Daly City BART, and no transfers will be required.

The 14L extension connects one of Muni's busiest transit corridors with Daly City BART, where San Francisco State University-bound passengers can catch free shuttles, and will provide others with more direct access to BART.

Under a joint agreement between BART and Muni, passengers connecting from BART to the 14L will be able to get a free round-trip transfer inside the paid area of the station.

Supervisor John Avalos has campaigned for the 14L extension and said it improves connectivity in an area underserved by transit. Ed Reiskin, executive director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said it "creates an important linkage" between the transit systems.

In addition to the longer ride, passengers who frequent the 14-Mission lines can expect more maintenance of the buses and better on-street supervision, designed to make the buses run more smoothly.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 05:44 AM   #320
bayviews
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Here's some good news for those who commute on the East Bay side to and from the South Bay.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has approved $250 million for the BART to San Jose extension, actually more than had been expected!

Its a good, albeit it long-delayed project with strategic, regional connections.
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