Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tolls Would Pay for BRT

Does anyone feel like if they tolled downtown San Francisco, that BRT would be able to carry the load on Geary that would swell with new riders? It already seems like a sardine tin. I hope Tom's comments pertain also to Geary, not just the Muni Metro tunnel.

Drivers interviewed said that better transit service will be necessary if the plan is to work. Tom Radulovich, a BART director from San Francisco, told the board that trains are already crowded and urged investments in BART and Muni Metro as part of the plan.

"We've already reached our design capacity," he said, "and are going to need to make investments in expanding rail capacity."

13 comments:

jon said...

I cant believe BRT on Geary is the best we can do for this busy corridor.

Why cant SF get in line for federal money and build a damn 6 mile long subway line under Geary? This corridor has the density, ridership and short distance to warrant the expense of underground rail.

Why do all the dense cities that are built around transit sit back and watch the Sun Belt cities grab all the federal transit money and which now have 50-100 mile systems built in the last 20 years?

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Because we're spending our money on Central Subways to appease Chinatown interests.

jon said...

I dont have a problem with the Central Subway so long as it is part of a larger underground system and is built to handle many more and longer trains in the future. Its an extremely difficult and complex environment to build a subway in with the tunnel under the Market Street subway and through Union Square and Chinatown so I can understand and somewhat justify the high cost. I dont think it can be measured by how many riders use it when it first opens but rather viewed as the key backbone to a much more extensive rapid transit system.

I remember when it had those 2 sharp 90 degree turns in the first design proposed. Thankfully those were dropped though I understand it still has some major design problems like short platforms.

With design or capacity problems and no plans to expand beyond Chinatown I dont think it makes sense. But otherwise I hope it goes forward (assuming i understand the project correctly, havent been following the project closely for awhile)

arcady said...

BART is at capacity because the trains have two doors per side. If they had trains with more doors, they could run 24 or 26 tph through the tube like WMATA does, rather than 20. Muni Metro is not really at capacity either: if they coupled trains to run them through the tunnel, they could take advantage of the huge Metro platforms, most of which are unused. So instead of seperate J, K, L, M, N trains, you'd get JN, KM, and L trains, and you could run more service with the same tph. Another plausible solution is allowing double-berthing in the stations, where one train can stop at the back end of the platform at the same time as one is stopped at the front end. But of course, they need to build a line down Geary, at least partly in subway, and a more direct route from 4th/King to Market and Chinatown would be nice (whether in subway or otherwise).

arcady said...

By the way, I don't see the point of the Central Subway. I'm really not sure if the tremendous expense entailed by the deep alignment at Market, and the resulting inconvenience to everyone forever of having to go all the way down to a deep level station that's not even at Market, and then back up at Chinatown, is worth it. If I were them, I'd build the line on the surface at first, it can't be that (technically) difficult or expensive, they can even re-use some of the power supply from the existing trolleybus line, though politically might be problematic. They should really save the tunneling for Geary, where it's really needed, given the much longer trip length which would benefit much more from grade separation.

Alon Levy said...

"Drivers interviewed said that better transit service will be necessary if the plan is to work."

They say it everywhere. They said the same thing about New York's congestion pricing system, even though New York's transit is light years ahead of San Francisco's.

rhywun said...

Why do all the dense cities that are built around transit sit back and watch the Sun Belt cities grab all the federal transit money and which now have 50-100 mile systems built in the last 20 years?

Because the Feds prefer to fund projects that bring in the coveted suburban voter. Most of these new projects do nothing to improve transit for the less-important urban resident.

bgfa said...

My problem with the Central Subway is its length. Why not extend it all the way to the Presidio and the bridge, or the other way to Fisherman's Wharf area? It seems very short sighted to dead end it at Columbus/Stockton.

jd said...

I understand that residents and business owners on Geary all said "hell no" to a subway back in the late 80's, and that was why MUNI went with building the T line. It also looks like, according to the MUNI planning docs online, that BART has dibbs on Geary but only as part of a second transbay tube that is never going to happen, this century at least.

Brian said...

Actually Rescue Muni people are pushing to get the Central Subway to North Beach now and leave the tunnel boring machines in the ground to keep going as more money comes in to go further west.

Unfortunately Rescue Muni pushed a "Light Rail-ready" Geary BRT only to watch it take 6-8 years of study before a EIR even started. The "fast bucket of paint" BRT is a mythical beast, and little in the way of "rail ready" work will be done when the thing is build 10-15 years after the vote for "rail-ready BRT."

jon said...

thats why i say they should just get in line for federal money, so many times transit agencies say it takes too long to get money from the feds but if you have a good project that will carry a ton of people theyll hand over the money eventually. it may be 10-20 years later but the way it is now transit agencies opt for a "cheap" alternative that still takes just as long to build and fund.

Josh said...

"So instead of seperate J, K, L, M, N trains, you'd get JN, KM, and L trains"

Didn't used to do this with the old Boeing cars? I seem to remember that, but it was so long ago I may be tripping

arcady said...

Josh, they did do that with the Boeings, but the Bredas are fatter and more power-hungry, so having more than a two-car train would trip circuit breakers. But then again, they had this whole big project to upgrade the power system recently, didn't they? Maybe they can run longer trains now.