Happy 100th birthday to SF Muni!

December 27th, 2012

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!

Santa Clara VTA light rail: 25 years later, very low usage

December 27th, 2012

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!

MTC to waste $218 on an office building

December 12th, 2012

While transit projects around the region get cut, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is currently stuck with the bill for a new office building, far in excess of what is needed for such an organization. Joyce Roy of the Oakland Tribune says it’s not too late to junk this boondoggle.

John King: Study extending subway to North Beach

December 10th, 2012

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.

Debate in Delhi over BRT

October 15th, 2012

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.