Friday, May 15, 2009

The Mountains Win Again

AYFKM!!!! 4,350 riders for $552 million dollars! What kind of insanity is going on over at BART. Geez you could have built 18 miles of streetcar. 3 miles to the airport and 15 miles in Oakland between all the BART stations there.

The suburbs won again. This does not bode well for real BART extensions (not just overpriced people movers) that would, you know, run in places where there are LOTS of people. (Ahem, Geary). I wonder if a majority on that board will ever get it. It's not likely.

11 comments:

Cavan said...

just sad. The BANANAs win again. We're so screwed once gasoline resumes its price increases.

david vartanoff said...

no, not the nananas, this was a victory for overpaid worlers and crooked contractors building something we don't need kinda like most defense dept work. Osprey? anyone.

switchingmodes.com said...

Please Visit Switching Modes for a DIFFERENT TAKE on all of this.

I think this project is a good thing. It was discounted with Federal Stimulus dollars. The existing bus is deplorable. We can do better. Not a just a little better, a lot better. This is the way to achieve it. When you consider how much a new parking garage costs, how much a new terminal costs... $500 million is reasonable.

LRT is great. But it is not appropriate in this case. It wouldn't have resolved the problem because it wouldn't be grade separated.

arcady said...

No, I think the anger is properly directed after all. There are dozens of CAPITAL projects around the region that would provide much more benefit for the money spent. And, please don't ever use the argument of "but the feds are giving us money for it". That's one of the main arguments Robert Moses used to push through his highway projects.

Winston said...

The airport connector isn't a win for the suburbs, it's a win for heavy construction contractors and a salve to Oakland's ego. AirBART is as fast as the proposed monorail, has lower fares and pays for itself. It does get caught in traffic a few days per year, which is a problem that could be fixed with a few queue jumping lanes. $50 million would be more than enough to double the bus fleet, install such lanes and run it for free forever. AirBART currently has about 3600 daily riders. Making it free, more resistant to traffic and more frequent, which could be done for less that $50 million would be a far better way to add 750 daily riders than building a monorail which would cost much more to operate and have higher fares.

JimS said...

I'm all in favor of this. I never *ever* fly out of OAK precisely because of having to ride a bus to the airport.

Mind you, I still will prefer SFO due to the direct BART train into the airport itself -- and really OAK should build this instead of adding another transfer into the mix.

Still, the addition of a non-carsickness-inducing mode between my home and OAK will make me actually consider flying out of there.

Pedestrianist said...

FWIW $500 million is what BART predicted a 30th/Mission infill station would cost. And for that you would get more than 4,350 riders per day.

I share switchingmodes' philosophy about capital improvements, in general. But I do question BART's priorities when deciding which projects are built and which gather dust

Anonymous said...

If we're throwing money around just to salve Oakland's ego, can't we have something useful like LRT downtown rather than a single-destination shuttle?

I agree that we should not view these issues as a fight between capital investment and operating costs, and should instead fight for more money for both. But capital funding will never be infinite, and as others have noted there are much, much worthier capital projects in the bay area.

Anonymous said...

Why BART, why not more commuter trains?

switchingmodes.com said...

Lots of views, comments, and editor responses to comments in response the article at Switching Modes, that says this project is a good idea.

theo said...

I also never fly out of OAK because I can't rely on AirBART. Adds another 30 minutes to each direction of the trip. So I have mixed feelings about the decision.

Anyway, the suburbanites didn't win the race so much as the urbanites shot themselves in the foot.

I still can't believe people are claiming status quo AirBART is adequate. AirBART is without exception the hokiest transportation in the Bay Area. Bad route, infrequent service, no timed transfer, pointless and inconvenient extra charges. Even if you upgrade the service, you're still stuck with the lousy brand.

BRT proponents didn't help their cause by proposing a 10-stop wild ride through Oakland which was an obvious attempt to use BART dollars from three counties to get Oakland a free local bus service. Nice job, guys.