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Old August 8th, 2012, 01:01 AM   #461
bayviews
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
I always thought it was 1918.
How right you are!

Correction 1918
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Old August 9th, 2012, 12:54 AM   #462
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayviews View Post
Good questions:

The old streetcar tunnel under Twin Peaks dates from circa 1912. Also there were some accidents in the downhill turn segment, thus the very slow speeds for the light rail trains entering under Market.

Plus, the Muni Metro signal "system" was done by inept political hacks without engineering backgrounds.

The F Line includes both the vintage streetcars on market as well as the segment on the NE Embarcadero.

F line extension to Ft Mason and Marina have been planned for many years, but its not a big priority.

Perhaps much like Greece, yes Muni has been living far above its means!
Thanks a lot! Still it's such an important commuting corridor they could at least do some not-so expensive update to the tunnel given the fact that they obviously have the money. They just burn it by building the central subway. I get the fact that there is a need for more capacity in the north-south direction (Fisherman's wharf - Chinatown - SOMA), but a BRT for the 30/45 Stockton busses would be much more suitable than for 38 Geary. They REALLY should have spent their money on a new B Geary Light Rail line.

I was astonished how many new refurbished PCCs went into service this year, I'm impressed.
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Old August 14th, 2012, 01:20 AM   #463
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Originally Posted by AVassilios View Post
I've recently been to San Francisco and since I know the city and the Muni system quite well i've been taking advantage of the weekpass to get around the city.

But I'm curious and have some questions, I hope someone local can help.

- why do Muni Metro trains ride at such a low speed in the old streetcar tunnel under the twin peaks (Castro <-> West Portal)?
- why isn't the E Embarcadero line not running yet? I usually saw some backup oldtimer streetcars in this section and since the platforms at Folsom also have a lowfloor section I imagine the infrastructure would be read right? Is it because of the tight Muni budget?
- What about the extension of the F Market line from the Fishermans Wharf further to Fort Mason and Marina, any news there?

Thanks in advance!
FYI, here's some more details & links re: the proposed F line extension to FT Mason:

Extension of F-Line Streetcar Service to Fort Mason Center
Golden Gate National Recreation Area » Extension of F-Line Streetcar Service to Fort Mason Center » Document List

February 17, 2012: The National Park Service (NPS) is pleased to announce the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) for the Extension of F-Line Streetcar Service to Fort Mason Center. The project would lengthen the historic streetcar F-line from Fisherman's Wharf to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (SF Maritime NHP) and on to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), ending at the Fort Mason Center.

The Final EIS evaluates the same alternatives as those in the Draft EIS, including the No-Action Alternative and the Preferred Alternative. The Final EIS also addresses all substantive comments received on the Draft EIS. The intended effect of this project is to provide park visitors and transit-dependent residents with high-quality rail transit that improves transportation access and mobility between existing streetcar service at Fisherman's Wharf to San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and Fort Mason Center.

Preferred Alternative:
The Preferred Alternative would extend the existing F-Line from Fisherman's Wharf to Fort Mason Center. The track extension would include a street-running segment along Beach Street, a transition zone between the street-running segment and the Fort Mason Tunnel, a tunnel segment and a turnaround segment with two options for locations, Alternative 2A: North Loop (Fort Mason parking lot) and 2B: South Loop (Great Meadow). Project elements would include the construction of streetcar track for approximately 0.85 miles, construction of 8-9 station platforms, upgrades to the existing Fort Mason Tunnel, and installation of signals, crossings, wires and poles.

The Final EIS is available as follows:
> ** Here on this website (click on tab marked "Document List" )
> at GGNRA Headquarters (Bldg. 201 Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA)
> at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park's Maritime Library
(Building E, Third Floor, Fort Mason Center)
> at local public libraries (San Francisco Public Libraries: Main Branch,
Golden Gate Valley Branch, North Beach Branch, Eureka Valley
Harvey Milk Library, Presidio Branch Library)

**Because of the large size of the document it has been split into separate sections to make downloading quicker and easier.

Questions can be sent to [email protected]

Written inquiries can also be sent to:

Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Attention: F-Line FEIS
Fort Mason, Building 201
San Francisco, CA 94123-0022

Next Step:
Consistent with National Environmental Policy Act, the National Park Service will execute a Record of Decision (ROD) no sooner than 30 days following publication of the Notice of Availability of the Final EIS in the Federal Register by the Environmental Protection Agency. The ROD will also be published in the Federal Register and available on the park's public PEPC site.

The cooperating agencies will engage the public with timely information and opportunities to comment on any future planning or design activities that may result from this decision.

Contact Information
[email protected]
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Old August 14th, 2012, 01:38 AM   #464
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVassilios View Post
Thanks a lot! Still it's such an important commuting corridor they could at least do some not-so expensive update to the tunnel given the fact that they obviously have the money. They just burn it by building the central subway. I get the fact that there is a need for more capacity in the north-south direction (Fisherman's wharf - Chinatown - SOMA), but a BRT for the 30/45 Stockton busses would be much more suitable than for 38 Geary. They REALLY should have spent their money on a new B Geary Light Rail line.

I was astonished how many new refurbished PCCs went into service this year, I'm impressed.
Yeah, with a push from the Market St Railway San Francisco must have one of the largest--if not the largest--collection of those truly timeless PCCs streetcars collected from all across North America.

Albeit few PCCs from San Francisco itself, owing to the poor mainteance of the original MUNI PCC fleet!
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Old August 14th, 2012, 07:38 AM   #465
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I was astonished how many new refurbished PCCs went into service this year, I'm impressed.
It only seems like a lot are re-entering service because they've only just gotten around to completely rewiring many of the ex-Newark / ex-Minneapolis cars... These were purchased way, way back in 2004, and several of them already debuted on Muni as early as 2007, but all were afterwards removed from service because of ridiculous wiring / door motor problems. For several years, they were just sitting useless at Geneva Yard.
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Old August 25th, 2012, 02:11 AM   #466
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Well, yet again, Muni's taken another hit on its poor performance.

Most riders understand the need for occasional switchbacks. What they don't understand is why Muni can't put out enough vehicles to maintain scheduled service.

Contra Costa Times [Walnut Creek, Calif] 11 Aug 2012: B.6.

SAN FRANCISCO

Grand jury: Riders dumped too soon

A San Francisco grand jury says Bay Area train and bus riders are too often dumped before reaching their destinations.

The civil grand jury report says the Municipal Transportation Agency shows a callous disregard for commuters when it uses the so-called switchbacks.

The practice involves unexpectedly unloading passengers before destinations are reached so trains and buses can turn around.

Muni officials tell the San Francisco Chronicle that the grand jury based its conclusions on flawed assumptions.

Grand jury committee chair Sharon Gadberry says she stands by the panel's report.

Transit chief John Haley says Muni uses switchbacks when normal runs are thrown off schedule for such problems as accidents, operator shortages, equipment malfunctions and blocked tracks.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 03:19 AM   #467
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Here's a quick update:

Its very dissapointing to hear that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is apparently still hell bent on completly foolish & waistful plans to desert its HQ in Oakland, a struggling city with plenty of vacant office space, a city that needs to keep all the agencies it can, for a much plusher place with a big atrium in San Francisco, a wealthier & costlier city already flush with HQs. This despite widespead opposition from the public as well as many public officials across the Bay Area.

The cost to Bay Area taxpayers? Over $180 million. What an outrage!
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Old August 30th, 2012, 05:59 AM   #468
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayviews View Post
Here's a quick update:

Its very dissapointing to hear that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is apparently still hell bent on completly foolish & waistful plans to desert its HQ in Oakland, a struggling city with plenty of vacant office space, a city that needs to keep all the agencies it can, for a much plusher place with a big atrium in San Francisco, a wealthier & costlier city already flush with HQs. This despite widespead opposition from the public as well as many public officials across the Bay Area.

The cost to Bay Area taxpayers? Over $180 million. What an outrage!
I expect this kind of behavior to go mostly unchallenged in just about every country in the world, but surely not in a country that has a complete 2nd amendement devoted to the citizens' rights to shut down such despotic behavior.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 04:19 AM   #469
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I expect this kind of behavior to go mostly unchallenged in just about every country in the world, but surely not in a country that has a complete 2nd amendement devoted to the citizens' rights to shut down such despotic behavior.
Americans are probably more apathetic about government performance than those in most other developed countries. Poor Oakland's stuck with a very nice & kind but helpless mayor who makes sleepy Ron Dellums, the ex-mayor look like a some kind of a genious. Meanwhile San Francisco's become very adept in trying to poach agencies and firms from other smaller cities & suburbs around the Bay Area in hopes avoiding bankruptcy.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 06:05 PM   #470
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Originally Posted by bayviews View Post
Well, yet again, Muni's taken another hit on its poor performance.

Most riders understand the need for occasional switchbacks. What they don't understand is why Muni can't put out enough vehicles to maintain scheduled service.

Contra Costa Times [Walnut Creek, Calif] 11 Aug 2012: B.6.

SAN FRANCISCO

Grand jury: Riders dumped too soon

A San Francisco grand jury says Bay Area train and bus riders are too often dumped before reaching their destinations.

The civil grand jury report says the Municipal Transportation Agency shows a callous disregard for commuters when it uses the so-called switchbacks.

The practice involves unexpectedly unloading passengers before destinations are reached so trains and buses can turn around.

Muni officials tell the San Francisco Chronicle that the grand jury based its conclusions on flawed assumptions.

Grand jury committee chair Sharon Gadberry says she stands by the panel's report.

Transit chief John Haley says Muni uses switchbacks when normal runs are thrown off schedule for such problems as accidents, operator shortages, equipment malfunctions and blocked tracks.
Please tell me this is some elaborate joke... I've used public transport extensively in many cities around the world (in Europe mostly, but also NYC and Washington DC) and have never encountered stunts like that.

Is bus driving really such a poorly paid and miserable job in San Francisco? In most places it's quite cushy middle income position folks are very keen on keeping...
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Old September 1st, 2012, 07:01 PM   #471
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You must be misunderstanding the statement... It's fairly common practice in many cities. Once you get so far behind schedule, at some point you have to start turning buses and trains back early to get them back on schedule, just like Mr. Haley says. It's part of the reason you build switchbacks / crossovers in strategic locations along transit lines in the first place. The problem is that this practice is too common in San Francisco.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Is bus driving really such a poorly paid and miserable job in San Francisco? In most places it's quite cushy middle income position folks are very keen on keeping...
Regarding transit jobs, the problem is not that the operators are poorly paid but that they are paid too much for doing too little... BART and Muni operators are some of the highest paid transit workers in the United States. The rest of your statement is correct.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 05:18 AM   #472
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Please tell me this is some elaborate joke... I've used public transport extensively in many cities around the world (in Europe mostly, but also NYC and Washington DC) and have never encountered stunts like that.

Is bus driving really such a poorly paid and miserable job in San Francisco? In most places it's quite cushy middle income position folks are very keen on keeping...

It's only a slight exageration to say that the MUNI is really run by the TWU.

That being said, being a transit driver in a place like San Francisco isn't a cushy job given all the anoyances drivers have to put up with, especially on the surface lines.

Whatever, I think MUNI would be wise to come up with a better way of recruitment so that it gets more employees who are truly interested if not excited about their jobs.

Rather than just employees who are looking for a lifelong job & a fat retirement.
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Old September 11th, 2012, 04:18 AM   #473
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Here's an update on MUNI's much overdue fleet replacement program:

The San Francisco Chronicle (California)
September 10, 2012 Monday
45 diesel hybrids to replace Muni's 13-year-old buses;
CITY INSIDER

BYLINE: Michael Cabanatuan, John Wildermuth

Somehow the expression and experience of the new-car smell doesn't translate well to buses. Maybe it's just that the idea of inhaling deeply on Muni doesn't seem very pleasant.

Still, the idea of new buses for Muni, which has some of the oldest in the nation, is pleasing, and new buses are indeed on the way. The Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors recently approved the purchase of 45 low-floor, 40-foot, diesel-hybrid buses. They'll replace tired and worn 13-year-old buses.

The new buses, which will be purchased in a cooperative arrangement with Minnesota, will cost the transit agency $36.9 million, which includes the buses, applicable taxes, training, tools and spare parts. And, no, those tools and spare parts do not include duct tape, which has been known to make an appearance on some of Muni's older buses.

Each bus costs about $752,000, more than your average new car, though your average car doesn't carry up to 70 passengers. A prototype is expected to be on the streets this winter. All 45 are expected to be in service by the end of summer 2013.

The buses are being purchased from New Flyer of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Hayward bus manufacturer Gillig declined an invitation to bid on the Muni buses.

The agency is working to replace or rehabilitate it fleets of buses, light-rail vehicles and historic streetcars. The board also approved an overhaul of about 80 Neoplan diesel buses for $19 million. In the next two years, the Municipal Transportation Agency plans to buy 60 articulated trolley buses to replace vehicles that are now 20 years old.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 10:05 PM   #474
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Old September 20th, 2012, 06:06 AM   #475
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Don't miss this once in every 40 years opportunity!

BART to mark 40th anniversary with free tickets, ice cream
Look for this sticker on Friday and Saturday.
There won’t be any cake, but BART will be dishing out some pretty sweet party favors for its 40th anniversary party.

Riders can pick up a sticker Friday or Saturday at any station, where BART employees will be looking to give away 1,000 $40 BART tickets to customers wearing the sticker.

BART is also giving away free field trips to 40,000 K-12 students, teachers and chaperones on a first-come, first-served basis.

The freebies were made possible by corporate donations, according to BART.

“We’ve carried 2.7 billion passengers since the day we opened for service four decades ago,” said BART General Manager Grace Crunican in a statement. “This is all part of our expression of gratitude to the Bay Area for helping BART achieve 40 years of reliable service.”

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget the ice cream. Dreyer’s ice cream will be offered at the following times and stations:

September 29, 1 pm – 4 pm
Rockridge
Powell Street

October 13, 1 pm – 4 pm
Castro Valley
Fremont

October 27, 1 pm – 4 pm
El Cerrito Plaza
Pittsburg/Bay Point
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Old September 20th, 2012, 04:07 PM   #476
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Fantastic find!!!
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:51 AM   #477
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Fantastic find!!!

Makes one wonder if the speeds of our present transit systems may actually declined since WW II!
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:57 AM   #478
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What makes you think that, are you joking?
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Old September 21st, 2012, 12:18 PM   #479
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I'll be joining this bandwagon as a frequent commuter on Bay Area public transit, with extensive commentary and dedicated knowledge on transit developments.

I've actually seen the BART at 40 banners, bayviews, and it seems like I'll see what I can do to participate in that event. And oh, today is the exact day of the 40th anniversary of BART, which makes me think of doing a special blog entry or a revised photo album for the commuter train connecting the Peninsula and the East Bay. I just hope the older trains will be replaced soon because some of them are already close to worn out from decades of use.

And on the Muni Fleet Renewal Program, it's really time to do so because it seems like each time I've ridden Muni buses, it looks like tired, overworked, and already deserving to be retired from use. Those buses have already exceeded their lifespan, and when those buses run even longer, it strains the already old bus even further by breaking down even more easily sometimes. I've already Muni bus breakdowns quite a bit, so I think those buses deserve a good change.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 10:32 AM   #480
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SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA | Photo Thread

Warning: Once you see these immense collections of photos, you might indeed get hooked.

I've seen a thread on this sub-forum that discusses about Bay Area transportation, but as far as I observe it, it focuses mainly on news updates. Now, with me settling in, I am ready to share my over 3,500 transit pictures (and yes, it's still growing!) from around the Bay Area that focuses on things like buses, light rail vehicles, trains, and highway views. I might even sneak in some extras like school buses and shuttle vans for a good measure!

So, to begin, here's my philosophy on commuting:

I may know how to drive, but I prefer commuting by transit because it saves me money from tolls and parking, and I help in cutting down carbon emissions which, in turn, can save the environment.

So, to begin, here are some of the photos from my home agency, Golden Gate Transit, with an evolution of liveries over time:

A RTS-TMC bus, in the oldest livery I've seen:


A MCI 102DL3 commuter coach, also in the oldest livery:


An Orion V bus, in the second (most common) livery:


A MCI D4500 commuter coach, also in the second livery:


A New Flyer D60LF articulated bus, again, in the second livery:


An Orion V bus, in the third (latest) livery:


A MCI D4500CT commuter coach, also in the third livery:


A MCI D4500CT commuter coach in the third livery, with a slight modification:


While Golden Gate Transit owns this particular bus type, it has an entirely different livery: it has the full decals of Marin Transit in it that shows that it only operates within Marin County only.

A New Flyer DE35LF bus, in Marin Transit livery:


I am more than happy to answer any questions on any of the pictures or articles I discuss in this thread, including fleet, features, where I've taken such photos, and the like.
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