Rail-Related News, Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Bill signed by Governor Brown gives BART direct control over housing and other development on its station properties

Some state politicians say it’s time to “hit the pause button” on high-speed rail

Contractor who handled problematic cracking beams at the new Transbay Transit Center also involved in problems with San Jose BART extension

Due to quirks in state law, San Mateo County BART stations exempted from fare evasion crackdown

California highs-speed rail needs a keeper, er, conductor

From the Dark Side Dept: Correcting an oversight, cops can now impound non-licenses self-driving cars

Proposed 2nd Transbay Tube may be routed under City of Alameda, include Amtrak and other regional trains

Transbay Transit Center may remain closed through at least early November

“Who dunnit?” remains open question for cracked steel beams at Transbay Transit Center

Redwood City to study future grade separations of Caltrain line, emphasizing Whipple Ave

SMART sells site next to downtown Santa Rosa station for housing project

The problematic Transbay Transit Center shows why we need to fix how we do mega projects

Sophisticated quake alerts lets BART trains stop before shaking starts

Legendary bus and train bandit winds up locked up in mental hospital

Cox, Newsom clash in debate over gas tax repeal and other transportation issues

Safety concerns of passengers remain high on BART

New parking garage at Dublin-Pleasanton BART station begins

What California’s recent gas tax increase actually costs you

BART to quadruple sidewalk washing at 16h St and 24th St stations in San Francisco

BART fined $1.3 million over track worthier deaths in 2013

If voters repeal recent gas tax increase, major projects in jeopardy

Maybe the SMART extension to [0.3 miles away] from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal will reduce pressure on parking

Southern California Metrolink considers extending discount fares on San Bernardino line

Dramatic improvements in T-Third Street light rail service promised when Central Subway opens in 2019

Sandy Springs, GA floating gondolas as possible alternative to light rail

High-speed rail could transform Fresno. Or it might not.

New renderings of Airport Metro connecting station on L.A. Crenshaw/LAX line

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TRAC Position Paper 2018-2


This paper is now available on the California Rail News website at http://www.calrailnews.org/trac-position-papers


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Rail-Related News, Friday, September 28, 2018

Photo credit: Sharon Hahn Darlin via Curbed SF

Additional train between Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul feasible, study finds

Backs of California gas tax repeal start new initiative to scrap high-speed rail project in 2020

“Transit Week” gets off to normal start with train delays—while politicians are on the trains

BART considering adding unarmed train monitors and “ambassadors” to improve security and visibility

“Homeland Security” (sic) officers now patrolling BART system when they can

Despite concerns about high percentage of Black people being cited for fare evasion, BART board votes to expand fare checking

BART faces pushback from proposed new security measures

New Salesforce Transbay Transit Center shutdown after finding cracked support beam

What went wrong at new Transbay Transit Center? Here are possible explanations

Caltrain cancelling weekend train service within S.F. for six months for electrification construction

Proposed upgrade of Clipper fare payment system biased towards existing vendor, other vendors say

According to poll, repeal of gas tax opposed by majority of potential voters

Transbay Transit Center to remain closed through at least October 5th since 2nd cracked beam found

Contractors that installed steel beams that cracked at Transbay Transit Center already up to eyeballs in lawyers

MTC decides to throw some money at studying redundant rail line over the Altamont Pass

Bay Area officials choose not to simply convoluted transit fares before upgrading Clipper fare system

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Rail-Related News, Monday, September 24, 2018

Bart fare inspectors check riders for valid tickets as they enter the platform at the West Oakland station in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. The inspectors travel in a group and setup at an entrance, an exit or board a train and check every rider according to a bart spokesman. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

Improved rail technology prompts ideas for light rail to Ontario, CA airport and DMUs on Metrolink San Bernardino line

Despite BART’s efforts, plaza at 16th Street station in S.F. remains yucky

Is the Trump Administration purposely holding up New Starts transit project funding?

One in four cable car passengers apparently aren’t asked to pay – audit

Florida’s Brightline purchases controlling interest in proposed high-speed rail Dersert Xpress between Las Vegas-Southern California

World’s first hydrogen fuel cell train enters service in Germany

Marin-Sonoma SMART to begin construction of Sonoma Airport-Windsor extension

Los Angeles Metro may change rail line designations from colors to numbers or letters

BART’s fare evasion fines hit African Americans the hardest [Key point: does the inspection rate of AA’s match BART ridership rates by race?]

Portland TriMet fare inspections conducted inconsistently, so judge rules it unconstitutional

Napa County looks at congestion-reducing ideas, including trains

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Rail-Related News, Friday, September 14, 2018

Elon Musk gets something besides rockets, batteries and electric cars right (but nothing about Hyped Loop)

BART to San Jose, you know, IN SILICON VALLEY, delayed again due to improper computer equipment

Clipper Card to get $200 million overhaul…maybe you’ll be able to use smartphone rather than dedicated card

Caltrain ridership is rising, particularly Gilroy-San Jose

People getting on SMART tracks, getting hit, injured and sometimes killed to be scrutinized

Biggest Bay Area transportation “riverboat gamble” in the 1960’s turns into 46-year old success, e.g., BART

Siemens introduces battery-powered train

Proposed downtown San Francisco Caltrain extension’s preferred alignment to Salesforce Transit Center approved

A month after opening, park on roof of $2.3 billion Salesforce Transit Center falling apart

Editorial: Restore safety, reliability, fiscal discipline to BART (also board endorsements)

BART to start service later in early morning for Transbay Tube repairs

BART to hold public hearings before expanding anti-crime surveillance

Delays to opening BART to San Jose has commuters complaining

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“Miss Alignment” Visits Los Angeles Union Station: Part I

Wallet Lifted, Union Station Security Needs Upgrade

By Susan McAdams, TRAC Board Member, August 30, 2018

Dear Metro Board Members,

On August 14, 2018 at 12:50 PM, my wallet was stolen from my purse while I was eating at the Cafe Crepe at Union Station. The waitress noticed that the suspects were two middle aged Hispanic women that had sat behind me briefly, announced to the waitress they were going to eat outside and left the restaurant and disappeared at 12:50 PM. The waitress could give a good description of them, including their clothing.

For an entire hour afterwards, I attempted to locate someone who would help me. Five separate Metro Security Officers, each posted on the Alameda side of Union Station, were asked. Each pointed to Patsaouras Plaza, and said, talk to the LAPD. Each also warned, the LAPD Officers were getting ready to go on break.

While walking over to the other side of the station, I canceled my credit card and then called 911 to file a Police Report. While walking through the passenger tunnel, I encountered two Homeland Security Officers. When told of my dilemma, the officers shrugged and told me to talk to the LAPD. At Patsaouras Plaza, I found two LAPD Officers. They told me it was not worth filing a police report and to hang up the phone. We were joined by two other police officers. They suggested the same thing. I hung up the phone and left them.

Standing nearby were three Metro Security Staff. The guy with the beard was very helpful. He said, did you check the cameras? He points to the ceiling. See that camera, he says, there are cameras everywhere in the station. I said, you are the first person to suggest that. I walk back to the restaurant. Working with the wait staff, we find a security camera outside the door of the restaurant and they give me a more accurate description of the suspects.

I return to Alameda to ask security officers if I can view the security cameras, they say absolutely not. I have to file a Police Report and then the policeman can watch the security camera. But in order to do that, I have to call for a Metro Security Supervisor. He will take me to the LAPD.

I call for a Supervisor. He arrives. We talk. I explain what happened. Suddenly there are other security officers that want the Supervisor’s attention and I must wait for him.

While waiting, I run into some women that I know. I tell them my wallet has been stolen and that I need $5.00 to get home. My TAP card was in the wallet and in order for Metro to issue me a temporary card, I have to pay $5.00. One of the women gives me the money. Now I can get home.

This is getting really funny to me. I like Security at Union Station. While I worked at Metro, Duane Martin was the head of Security. He was also the pitcher on the company baseball team and I was the catcher. We talked a lot on the topic. So I find this lesson amusing. On the same day my wallet was stolen, about at the same time of day, many Metro Officials were at the North Hollywood Station unveiling the latest Homeland Security devices, and yet no one seems to be able to help me when my wallet got stolen in the middle of the day from the middle of Union Station. TAP card stolen? That will be $5.00 please. But I don’t have $5.00. The TAP lady shrugs and says, no card for you then.

Finally the Metro Security Supervisor takes me to the LAPD. Officer Mendieta takes the information and files out the Investigative Report. He gives me a copy and says he is going to check the security cameras. He also states that someone will call me, but no one has called.

Several months ago, while investigating the location of the new Bike Hub building at Metro, which is located between the Dodger Bus pick up spot and the Mosaic Apartments, I asked the architects and designers, why didn’t you conduct a seismic analysis of the new 4000 square foot concrete base for the Bike Hub Building? The building is erected adjacent the Red Line Tunnels. The entire staff said to me, there’s no tunnels under here!

Well, yes, there are tunnels nearby under the new Bike Hub Building. I was the Red Line Tunnel alignment engineer and I remember where I left them. So if you are going to spend $6.2 million for track and tunnel intrusion technology that will be installed throughout the underground rail stations, make sure that your planning staff at least know where the subway tunnels are under Union Station.

Thank you for your time in this matter.

Susan MacAdams
AKA Miss Alignment

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