Tomorrow, the SF Municipal Railway celebrates its centennial. Take a look at the Market Street Railway‘s website for details on all the festivities. Car One will be in regular service on Market Street, and rides are free systemwide all day!
Today’s Mercury News tells the story of how the Santa Clara VTA light rail system has consistently missed ridership targets while costing taxpayers more than expected in subsidies. The system only has 32,000 daily boardings, less than one-quarter of Muni’s light rail boardings – due largely to sprawling land use throughout the region that favors automotive commutes, but also slow speeds through the downtown “transit mall” and suburban lines. This should be a lesson to regional authorities considering where to build mass transit: build where the demand is!
John King of the Chronicle reports favorably on the option to extend the Central Subway to North Beach, perhaps using the Pagoda Theater site as the entrance. We agree! Let’s at least find out what it would cost and how quickly it could be built without spending decades debating alternatives.
In India, a new bus rapid transit system has been successful in speeding up service for some of the 33% of commuters who ride mass transit, but has led to opposition among auto drivers. The BBC interviews bus riders who support faster service, and also has a surprisingly honest comment from an auto driver opponent: “You cannot keep a commander-in-chief waiting in traffic while his army is waiting for his orders.”
The Delhi high court will soon rule on whether the project can continue.