MTC Wants Your Long-Term Vision

May 20th, 2008

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (who brought us Translink) is looking for your input on their Regional Transportation Plan. They update this every three years, so once again we have a chance to comment on what projects are the top priority – this time stretching out to 2035. (The last one was adopted in 2005, with projects extending to 2030.) Details:

Transportation 2035: Public Input Sought in SF on May 22nd
MTC is seeking input on the next phase of the development of the Transportation 2035 Plan after extensive outreach last fall about the trade-offs among various options for investing the regions limited transportation resources. A series of nine workshops – one in each of the nine Bay Area counties – is scheduled for the public to participate in the debate. The new plan – due for adoption in early 2009 – will detail a comprehensive strategy to not only protect our existing transportation assets but also to accommodate future growth, alleviate congestion, reduce pollution and ensure mobility for all Bay Area residents, regardless of income.

There will be one session in San Francisco – come and join the discussion. Refreshments will be provided.

Thursday, May 22, 2008, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

City and County of San Francisco Transportation 2035 Workshop
San Francisco State Downtown Campus, Room E673
835 Market Street, San Francisco

BART: Dump TransLink’s Contractor

February 27th, 2008

TranslinkIf you’re wondering why those Translink devices that worked way back in 2001 are now sitting on the bus with a screen saying “Testing In Progress,” today’s news from BART may be of interest. The troubled $130 million project missed yet another deadline to make the system available throughout BART, Muni, and Caltrain by March 31. As a result, BART treasurer Scott Schroeder this week urged the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to abandon ERG, the Australian contractor running the project.

Region-wide availability of TransLink is now scheduled for 2010 – years late and millions of dollars over budget. Meanwhile London is extending the Oyster card to regional rail systems, and many other public transit systems have long since completed activation of their contactless fare card systems. Presumably one or more of these systems would be available off the shelf if Translink gets dumped?

TransLink: More Delays?

August 14th, 2007

TranslinkThe Metropolitan Transportation Commission has been working on implementing a region-wide electronic farecard, called TransLink, for some years now. The current plan is to expand it to Muni, BART, and Caltrain by the end of 2007 (hence the readers you see on streetcars, and the apparently non-functional metal boxes with TransLink logo you see on many buses). But there are likely to be more delays, according to a report in today’s Chronicle. The Examiner also reports.

(Many other transit systems have used cards like this for years – e.g. Oyster, Octopus, SmarTrip, Suica. However these have generally been slower to be adopted in the US than in Europe and Asia.)

Comment On Regional Rail Plan – In Oakland

August 13th, 2007

BARTThe Metropolitan Transportation Commission and various regional rail agencies are updating the Regional Rail Plan, which covers proposed expansions to BART, Caltrain, Amtrak, and other passenger rail systems in the Bay Area. As part of this project, public workshops are being held – but despite San Francisco being the second largest city in the region (after San Jose) with the most transit boardings, there is no workshop here. Transit riders looking to promote expanded rail service should attend the workshop in Oakland on Wednesday, August 15 (there are two sessions, one at 3 pm and one at 6 pm). Nearest BART station is Lake Merritt.

Rescue Muni supports expanding High Speed Rail and Caltrain to the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco (so it’s not just a billion dollar bus station). And we support Geary Light Rail which should be part of any regional plan. BayRail Alliance also has detailed recommendations for better regional rail service.

Update: The Chronicle reports on the proposals discussed.