Rail-Related News, Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The best skeptical article about self-driving cars yet this editor has seen–from “socialists” no less

Electric car motorheads get trolled by 100-year old streetcar at Swedish auto show (video)

BART to reopen bathrooms at Powell Street station, closed after 9/11

BART has plan to fix unacceptable Sunday delays, but many riders may not like it

Plan for BART “ambassadors” to improve interface with passengers, homeless, etc.

Getting enough money for “Valley Link”–a rail line paralleling ACE–won’t be easy

SMART passengers offer opinions as key ballot measure will appear on March 2020 primary ballot

From the Dark Side(tm) Dept.:Politicians and MTC solicit opinions on replacing San Rafael-Richmond Bridge–though only the decking needs replacing

SMART train service to Larkspur, downtown Novato to begin December 14th; to begin improved schedule in January

More on SMART extension to new Larkspur station

$100 million needed to stabilize crumbling Del Mar Bluffs

San Jose BART extension now won’t open until April 2020

Marin County’s “wish list” for projects from the proposed $100 billion+ Bay Area “MegaMeasure”

Cops rounding up gate jumpers at BART’s Embarcadero Station

Editorial: SMART trains are part of the problem, and solution, for San Rafael traffic mess

When will BART extension to San Jose open? No one can say for sure

San Francisco Muni introduces new light rail trains

Construction on high speed rail between Victorville and La$ Vega$ could begin in 2020

Marin-Sonoma SMART withhold daily and weekly ridership records, though giving up monthly totals to Feds

Couplers fail on San Francisco Muni light rail trains

Silicon Valley Leadership Group appeals for support for $100 billion “MegaMeasure” from business leaders

SMART launches service to new Larkspur station, “sorta” near Larkspur ferry dock

More on SMART extension to Larkspur “sorta” near Larkspur ferry dock

Feds forbid CHSRA from moving forward on tracks, systems. Agency keeps going anyway

Study claims massive increase in Southern California jobs due to propose transformation of the Metrolink commuter rail system

Transit in San Diego County delivers $1 billion+ in economic value according to report

The Sun Rises in The East(tm) Dept.: “On-demand transit is not a good solution”

BART fares to go up, again, on January 1, 2020

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related News, Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Rail-Related News, November 2019

Southern California Metrolink proposed battery-powered trains

Report finds New York City subways can be sped up by nearly 50% within existing infrastructure

Should BART’s parking pricing be increased?

Study of third SMART station in Santa Rosa proposed

Editorial: New leadership needed to bring trains to Salesforce Transit Center in downtown San Francisco

California PUC approves Jennings Avenue crossing of SMART in Santa Rosa

SMART board to vote on sales tax extension measure

BART to San Jose raising a lot of questions: San Jose Mercury Roadshow

Miami-Dade transit agency approving bringing Brightline station to North Dade County

Passenger rail, bus service boost real estate values according to new report

Soon smartphones can be used to pay BART fares

BART study looking to San Francisco’s Geary Corridor as part of 2nd Transbay Tube study

How BART kept the power on during PG&E’s blackout fiascos

BART backs off from proposed busking, panhandling ban

Editorial: SMART must earn sales tax extension

BART extension to San Jose delayed again

SMART offers free rides as service returns after PG&E shutoffs

When those who past went to their resting place via streetcar

BART starts pre-revenue testing of San Jose extension, though service won’t start until 2020

How transit ballot measures fared in November 2019 elections

Massachusetts has plans for commuter trains every 15 minutes on most lines

Transit ridership in San Diego bottoms out, then grows reflecting increasing gasoline prices

BART adds gates and attendants to make station elevators safer and more secure

Marin-Sonoma SMART places sales tax extension on March 2020 ballot

SMART closes stations, sounds train horn for downtown Novato station testing

As more new BART cars arrive, “legacy” cars have uncertain future

Despite Newsom’s high-speed plan, high-speed rail board members have other ideas

Second Petaluma SMART station delayed due to Planning Commission concerns

Dianne Feinstein wants another bridge across San Francisco Bay, but regional planners don’t

Editorial: why another Bay Bridge is a bad idea

Editorial: State Assemblyman proposes spreading the high-speed rail money to more projects carrying more ridership

New plan for San Jose Amtrak/Caltrain station unveiled

Political correctness banishes term “Red Line” from Sound Transit in Seattle region

First “legacy” BART car gets crushed at scrap yard

SMART cost overrun of $10 million for Windsor extension

SMART pitches new schedules, announces opening of downtown Novato, Larkspur stations

SMART to begin train service to new Larkspur and Novato stations in mid-December

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related News, November 2019

Rail-Related News, September 22 – October 7, 2019

North County Transit pushes to preserve funding for more Coaster commuter rail locomotives

BART weighs various fare gate designs, the successful ones may come from Muni

BART cancels plan for costly platform safety barriers

Extension of BART to downtown San Jose may be delayed until 2030

More on BART extension to downtown San Jose delay

Marin officialdom scrutinize pitch for $100 billion Bay Area transportation measure

New Mexico Rail Runner commuter train a good comparison to SMART

BART’s wish list for $100 billion “Faster Bay Area” measure: 2nd Transbay Tube, new fare gates, and much more

Existing BART extension to miss 2019 opening, yet more delays (“it’s complicated”)

BART’s new general manager seeking public input as he confronts challenges

A slight diversion from rail: S.F. Muni’s new trolley buses can now go off wire for significant distances

From the Dark Side(tm) Dept.: Average commute time in the U.S. reached new record in 2018

L.A. Metro Foothill Gold Line light rail to Pomona officially under construction

The Good Guys Win For Once(tm) Dept.: “High Desert Freeway” (sic) between Palmdale and Victorville dies deserved death

“Transportation for America” no longer advocating for increased federal funding for transportation

And the Sun Rises in the East(tm) Dept.: People hate long commutes

Contrary to transit critics, transit ridership is rising in some cities; here’s why

From the Dark Side(tm) Dept.: Gas prices near $5.00/gal in some places in SoCal

Commuter rail’s potential is untapped

Renaming LA transit lines confusion

The Northeast Corridor, Seattle and Portland easiest places to live car-free, according to Richard Florida

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related News, September 22 – October 7, 2019

Rail-Related News, August 21 – September 21, 2019

“Cheatin’ The Man” with new cars with no license plates GONE: Bay Area bridge cheating down 75% since new rule new cars have temporary plates

Dedication of Fairfield/Vacaville train station two years after opening

More on Phoenix light rail defeat for (now one) Koch brother (62% support continued LRT construction)

Sacramento light rail operator: “By the time I realized he [a maintenance train] was on my track, it was too late.”

BART upgrades digital signs at stations

San Francisco cable cars to be down ten days for gearbox replacements

Marin-Sonoma proposing to close schedule gaps, extend to “near” Larkspur ferry terminal

Among other things, new BART station signs will indicate when trains of new cars are coming

Powell Street BART station to stop selling paper tickets

Marin County could have had BART but Bay Area backroom politics stopped it

From the Dark Side Dept.(tm): Why Uber isn’t “sharing” anything

The homeless were pushed from BART stations, then onto trains, often annoying regular passengers

From the Dark Side Dept.(tm):San Diego area freeway cheerleaders mad at regional planning agency for change in emphasis to transit

They Never Got Over Buck Rogers Syndrome Dept.: “Flying Cars” (sic), er, Flying Robotaxis for Bay Area

BART approves purchase of new headquarters in light of skyrocketing office rents

From the Dark Side Dept.(tm): Meet the Hyped Loop True Believers, parting with their VC investment monies

Sonoma County supervisors at odds where 3rd Santa Rosa SMART rail station should be: Fulton or South Santa Rosa?

BART to spend nearly $100 million to replace 41 escalators

BART’s experimental “guillotine” faregates at Fruitvale station get the ax

Advocates call for San Francisco Muni service that can cross S.F. in 30 minutes

With events at SF Giants stadium and new Warriors arena, transit prevents massive traffic jams

San Francisco’s Central Subway delayed yet again to 2021

New rail line in Fort Worth construction was under budget; proposed to be extended to large medical center

From the Dark Side Dept.: State Legislature passes measure to turn Uber & Lyft drivers into employees; both companies mull ballot measure to overturn new law

BART drivers claim locked doors between cars might be emergency, fire hazard

California PUC demands immediate safety steps after Sacramento LRT crash

Santa Rosa to continue seeking Jennings Ave pedestrian crossing of SMART

San Francisco’s newest subway may emerge on the west side, if funding can be found

High speed rail’s mishandling of property purchases adds to delays and cost overruns

San Francisco’s latest subway may be built on West Side near San Francisco State University

Location of a crucial meeting in creation of BART found

Seattle to move forward with downtown streetcar connector project

High-speed rail board adopts Central Valley to San Jose proposed route, though there is no funding

SMART takes conservative approach to proposed sales tax renewal/

After extensive public pressure, Clipper to take a look at integrated Bay Area transit fares

Muni cutting F line service due to shortage of operators

Who is behind efforts to improve Bay Area public transit

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related News, August 21 – September 21, 2019

Rail-Related News, August 6th-26th, 2019

SMART train at San Rafael. Source: SMART

SMART lays groundwork for sales tax renewal by voters in 2020; otherwise financial crisis starting in 2024

Uber, Lyft responsible for major increase in San Francisco traffic congestion

San Francisco Muni opens new light rail platform for Warriors’ arena

Salesforce Transit Center reopens to buses after nearly a year

“Are you a seat hog?” and other tales of BART riders from Hell

New director S.F.’s Central Subway shares his strategy to speed up project opening

S.F. Muni Metro subway to shut early evenings for maintenance work

California makes progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, though not in transportation

Southern California Metrolink hits ridership record for FY 2019

Sacramento Regional Transit negotiating for up to 76 new low-floor LRVs

Funding obtained to extend L.A. Metro Gold Line light rail to Pomona and Montclair (San Bernardino County)

Amtrak wants to extend its Michigan service to Toronto, Canada

San Francisco’s oldest cable car in service again

Maps compare BART’s footprint to other major urban rail networks around the world

Weekend track work on BART Concord line delays traffic on Highway 24

California Coastal Commission nixes trenching fix for crumbling Del Mar bluffs

BART discontinues paper ticket sales at first San Francisco station

Why people get so crazy at times on BART

Amid protests, SF board names Chinatown subway station for Rose Pak, notorious political activist

Super commuters continue to multiply in California due to lack of housing in high employment areas

San Diego’s plan to “level playing field” between autos and transit delayed yet again

Passenger survey says BART stations are getting cleaner, particularly elevators

In stretching the First Amendment like taffy, the ACLU says BART ban on panhandling and busking unconstitutional

Marin-Sonoma SMART Board of Directors mull strategies for financial future, tax renewal

Virgin Trains begins building 125 mph segment to Orlando, Florida

BART to add “infill” station in Fremont between downtown and Warm Springs stops

More on new Irvington BART station in Fremont

Sonoma-Marin SMART begins testing Larkspur extension

One percent regional sales tax may be on 2020 Bay Area ballot for $100 billion transportation “mega-measure”

More on Marin-Sonoma SMART tax extension proposed for 2020 ballot

New Hudson Tubes project between New Jersey and New York reduces projected budget by $1.4 billion

Sacramento Blue Line light rail derailment on August 22nd injures 13, under investigation

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related News, August 6th-26th, 2019

Rail-Related News, July 15-Aug 5, 2019

Sometimes, minor changes to this map “triggers” (sic) some BART riders (see story below)

SMART reconsiders the role of “quiet zones” in light of recent “suicides by train”

Minor changes in system maps have riled up BART riders in the past

Since Brightline decided they need more stations between Miami and West Palm Beach, cities vie for the new stops

SMART chief calls for community efforts to end streak of “suicides by train”

Caltrain proposes potential fare increases

How transportation works in the civilized parts of the world, unlike the U.S.: Stockholm and Copenhagen

Sorry, you now can’t buy Chinese trains with Federal money

BART to install new bike straps on all rolling stock

From the Dark Side (humor): CHP catches carpool cheater with dummy in shotgun seat. Hey dummy, you don’t need the dummy if you took the bus or train

The rest of the world has high-speed rail. Why doesn’t the U.S.?

Sticker shock on price for BART’s “fancy tents” to cover escalators on Market Street in S.F.

Caltrain proposes BART-like frequent service on its route

Caltrain’s $25 billion growth plan

Bay Area business “Powers That Be” floating $100 billion measure to permanently fix traffic

Why do the new Caltrain electric cars have two sets of doors, one 4 feet off the ground?

New BART “inverted guillotine” fare gates ridiculed for “hostile design” (sic)

Many startup companies abandoning suburbs for cities with good transit

Two more BART stations getting elevator attendants to keep the “poop” under control

Insider gets appointed new BART General Manager to replace Grace Crunican

Plan by California legislators would shift billions from high-speed rail to other rail projects in state

From the Dark Side(tm): Frightening vision for cities taken over by robocars

More on BART paper ticket sales being discontinued

Is Caltrain electrification behind schedule?

Interview with Los Angeles Metro CEO Phil Washington

Should high-speed rail continue? “Influencers” weigh in

$7 million allocated for a new parking garage at Dublin-Pleasanton BART station

Are BART’s “guillotine” fare gates stopping fare jumpers? Well, no…

110-125 mph trains could be boon for Bay Area and Central Valley, perhaps arriving a decade or more sooner than high-speed rail

New York Subway upgrades to “tap and go” fare cards from sliding cards

Opinion: California leaders abandoning futile bullet train plans

After 20 years of driving into S.F., here’s what a Chronicle reporter learned after 90 days using BART

Noise claims down 73% after BART changes how it reprofiles BART car wheels

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related News, July 15-Aug 5, 2019