$3.7M BART cars likely to be built overseas

January 30th, 2012

BART is about to begin replacing its rail cars with 775 new ones – a necessary step for reliable service and a state of good repair. Matier and Ross report today that none of the five vendors who responded to the bid are based in the US – so despite “Buy American” rules, it’s likely that the cars will be assembled overseas. (Here’s BART’s summary of the “fleet of the Future” project.)

Daly City at last

January 23rd, 2012

The 14L-Mission Limited buses that used to stop tantalizingly close to the Daly City BART station finally will take people the rest of the way during AM and PM commute hours.  Temporarily, the morning runs will be connected by a shuttle between Daly City BART and the 14L at Goethe Street, though eventually the 14L will make morning and evening runs available both ways.  Free transfers will be available inside the paid area of the BART station.

Muni is also promising better maintenance and supervision of the 14L buses.

Metro service disrupted by SUV in tunnel

January 20th, 2012

Yesterday morning, a SUV drove into the Muni Metro tunnel at the Duboce and Church portal, delaying AM commute service for more than two and a half hours as police worked to extract the vehicle and Muni workers made minor repairs to the tunnel.  This is the second private automobile driver to enter the Duboce and Church portal, halting service; the first was a drunk driver in October 2010.

Yesterday’s driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI, failure to obey a stop sign, and driving on train tracks.

In 2008, a private car drove into the Metro tunnel at West Portal, causing a similar disruption.

Update: The N-Judah Chronicles has some thoughts on an appropriate punishment, and asks you for ideas.

America’s Cup: more transit service?

January 19th, 2012

Additional Muni and Golden Gate Transit service, including the long-delayed E historic streetcar line, are planned for the America’s Cup. Will fans leave their cars at home and take mass transit (or bikes) to the event? This plan is designed to make it easy.

SFMTA: 1 in 2 trips by car before 2020

January 4th, 2012

62% of all trips in the city are made with cars, a factor that the MTA would like to see shrink to 50% by the end of the decade, reports the Chronicle. This is one of the goals of the agency’s 6 year strategic plan, adopted on Tuesday. The cost of the changes will set the agency back $87m, a gap that is yet to find funding. “To have a world-class transportation system that people want to use, we have to be resourced adequately,” said SFMTA’s Ed Reiskin. This will be a challenging goal for the MTA, with a budget gap of $28 million this fiscal year, $34 million next year and $46 million after that.