Rail-Related News, January 2020

Crossroads for Dumbarton Rail

Will BART’s new roving ambassadors make late night rides safer?

BART replaces 47-year old computer equipment as step towards trains every two minutes

Los Angeles Metro authorize five teams to develop Sepulveda Pass transit line

Political cat fight over proposed extension of SMART sales tax

27 facts about S.F. Cable Cars you didn’t know (probably)

L.A. Metro working to make it a lot harder for copper thieves on its rail network

SMART analysis claims the trains reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to driving

BART stations with highest percentage of laptop and phone snatch thieves

List of potential Caltrain grade separations in Palo Alto while Council urges the list to shrink

Opinion: BART needs driverless trains to reverse ridership decline

BART study: getting rid of paper tickets would impact poor, minorities

Sonoma-Marin SMART tax opponents “push poll” shows measure losing

GRaton Indian tribe pledges $1 million to pass Sonoma-Marin SMART tax extension

California undertakes effort to stabilize Del Mar Bluffs rail line

Anti-SMART developer vs. Graton Tribe: Developer addis $290k to anti-SMART tax fight

Marin Voice: Vote YES on Sonoma-Marin SMART tax extension

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related News, January 2020

Rail-Related News to January 1, 2020

Sorry for delays on this.

Every rail transit line in the U.S.: A User’s Perspective

An increasing number of people think California HSR is a pipe dream, despite what HSR chief says

Light rail to Los Gatos – will it ever happen>

BART fares to go up in 2020

Retaining wall built along crumbling rail embankment in Del Mar

Sorry, no cat video. Buffalo, NY subway workers rescue kitten

Nearly had of BART fare citations go to black riders, only 12% of overall ridership, however

Buses, trains and cable cars. SF Muni vehicles in video games

Los Angeles Metro working to close multi-billion financial gaps in major new rail projects

High speed rail in North Carolina a bit closer to reality

BART says fare sweeps are working, and won’t end anytime soon

A guide to Los Angeles Metro Gold Line extension

SMART ridership dropped 2% in 2nd year as joyriding tapered off

Golden Gate Ferries and SMART offer cut-rate ferry-train fare deals

BART has a new innovation for its customers: onboard wi-fi that works

Sonoma-Marin SMART board calls for better ridership data

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related News to January 1, 2020

Advice for All Train Passengers and Everyone Else: CoronaVirus

GREAT ADVICE FROM EXPERT: James Robb, MD UC San Diego, is a virologist who’s worked with COVID for almost 50 years. Robb predicts the next 2-weeks will be significant. Feel free to copy and send to family & friends his advice about what he is doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic:

“Dear Colleagues, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources. The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April. 

“Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.: 

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove. 

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors. 

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts. 

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

 6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands. 

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more! 

“What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

 1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas. Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon.

This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

 2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you – it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth – it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

 3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective. 

4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available. ‘

“I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.

“I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email. Good luck to all of us! Jim James Robb, MD” 

Posted in News | Comments Off on Advice for All Train Passengers and Everyone Else: CoronaVirus

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