Rail-Related News, CoronaVirus Edition (March 14, 2020)

BART and AC Transit, among others, taking steps to clean up rolling stock more effectively

BART’s plans if a passenger proves to have coronavirus

So Muni & BART stations are getting scrubbed down like they should have all along, thanks to coronavirus threat

What Bay Area transit is doing in light of coronavirus threat

Transit agencies and response to coronavirus threat

Marin transit agencies work to prevent spread of coronavirus

BART ridership plummets as people stay home, work from home due to coronavirus threat

Highway traffic also declines due to coronavirus situation

BART to ask for emergency funding as ridership drop continues

BART looks at emergency plans, including possible train reductions

Other Stories

Reporter draws maps showing what Bay Area transit might look like in 2040

Los Angeles City Council approves plan to speed up E-Line (Expo Line)

Sun Rises in East Dept.: Science discovers expanding roads and highways makes congestion worse

Contractors building high-speed rail told employees to “shut up” about flaws and errors

Double-tracking project over San Diego River completed

San Francisco’s Central Subway project continues; Open in Fall 2021

SMART Recovery Edition

Transportation taxes flopped on Super Tuesday: Is that bad news for Bay Area’s proposed “mega-measure?”

Has rail extension efforts reached dead end in the Bay Area?

SMART reviews cuts after voters reject tax renewal extension

SMART and critics assess whether to go from here in wake of tax extension defeat

Sonoma, Marin voters reject SMART sales tax extension

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related News, CoronaVirus Edition (March 14, 2020)

Rail-Related News, Early March 2020

Will these continue to run after 2025?

Contra Costa voters reject transportation sales tax, which would have funded BART and bus improvements, as well as highway widenings 

Voters reject Sonoma-Marin SMART tax extension; measure gets slight majority but required 2/3 for approval

No funding in sight for Del Mar Bluffs bypass tunnel

BART considering raising parking prices to free up spots

SMART pinpoints potential opening of extension to Healdsburg if (1) March 3rd tax extension passes; and (2) they obtain sufficient grant funding

More ideas for increased Transbay transportation capacity

Amtrak to name third new President in as many years

Los Angeles Metro shelves a proposed light rail extension along Highway 60 freeway

San Bernardino County committee opposes new authority to extend Gold Line LRT to Ontario Airport

SMART and taxpayer group spar over fiber-optic deal

More on push for extending S.F. Muni Metro subway to North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf and Marina District

California high-speed rail releases draft EIR on theoretical $18-billion, 82-mile Bakersfield to Lancaster connection

Inherently skewed comparisons: BART vs. Moscow, Copenhagen

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

Rail-Related News, February 2020

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

Marin IJ Editorial: Vote NO on Sonoma-Marin SMART tax extension

Another “NO” on Sonoma-Marin SMART tax extension

Sonoma-Marin SMART to consider low income fare discounts

Legislation introduced requiring integration of Bay Area transit fares, schedules, marketing

Sonoma Marin SMART sales tax extension campaign: donations on both sides flood in

S.F. Chronicle editorial: Vote yes to keep Sonoma-Marin SMART trains rolling

Sonoma-Marin SMART ridership increases in January 2020 with new stations

Tech shuttle leaves Salida (near Modesto) at 2:30 am; would they ride improved train service?

BART misses another deadline for opening San Jose extension

Too many fragmented Bay Area systems worsening public transit

BART’s transit “ambassadors” start work

BART has lost 10 million annual riders since 2014, mostly nights and weekends

Los Angeles secures $1.3 billion to finish Wilshire Subway to West L.A., from Trump Administration, no less

Sacramento powers-that-be talking new sales tax for transportation

Opinion: Bay Area should reject FASTER mega project plan for FAIRER funding from large businesses

BART might double parking rates at stations

California high-speed rail adds $1.3 billion to its costs

Capitol Corridor between Bay Area and Sacramento gets back to ridership experienced before 2012 bureaucratic vandalism to Sacramento station

BART may give away one million free tickets in attempt to recover lost ridership nights and weekends

U.S government suspends operation of self-driving buses after passenger injuries: road bump on way to automated transit

SMART hedges its bets on budget whether tax extension measure passes or fails

What’s the point of extending BART to Santa Clara [from downtown San Jose]

Toll road proposed for Highway 37 in North Bay [but no rail option]

SMART tax extension opponents outspending proponents by wide margin

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

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” 

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