Friday, June 8, 2007

Junk in the East Bay

A bad idea. Why? Because if they wanted to make bus service better they should have just done it. There was an article in the Berkeley Daily Planet discussing why it's a bad idea. I've condensed the points below:

1. The EIR even says there will be a low change from automobile drivers to transit riders
2. It provides no energy consumption reduction
3. Will poach riders from BART
4. It keeps advertising BRT as "rail like" even though its not.
5. The EIR doesn't address the impact of 51 buses vs light rail on greenhouse gases

I don't agree with him that parking is such a big deal. It's not free folks. I also think that taking a lane for transit is good. Finally cars will play second best to transit.

This is enough to just be ridiculous. I don't know why folks like the Sierra Club or TALC are supporting this. There is no good reason to other than to give up on your environmental principles for transit mode that is hemorrhaging riders in the third world. Are we serious in this country about carbon? Are we serious about global warming? This is a huge waste of money. This is a reason why the East Bay will always be second rate. They will always play second fiddle to San Francisco. The poor shouldn't be relegated to second rate transit.

If they were smart about it they could do a rapid streetcar with passing lanes at stations that allow 1o minute headways. The streetcars would have their own lanes and attract way more riders and developement. The travel times would be better as well attracting even more riders on a smooth ride.


Anonymous said...

Regarding your comment "This is a reason why the East Bay will always be second rate. They will always play second fiddle to San Francisco."

Actually if you had done your homework you would know that SF is moving away from light rail and towards BRT (Geary Av and Van Ness).

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

You'll find that San Francisco is going to put rails in the ground for its BRT so that the lines are rail ready at any point and time. The same goes for Houston's BRT. In fact, Geary at some point will have a Subway until at least Masonic from downtown and folks in the city are actually planning for it. Geary BRT at least is a short term fix. San Francisco is also building the Central Subway that will allow a rail extension to North Beach This is more than I can say for AC Transit which has stated in the past that they are a bus company. Well once a bus company always a bus company and there are no provisions to make the BRT rail ready. They are just hinting at a future rail conversion to make people all warm and fuzzy. The fact of the matter is they are a transit company, not a bus only operation. They are wasting millions in taxpayer funs on a fancy bus when they could save operating costs with rail. It's been proven time and time again all over the country. I'll probably discuss this more later.